The downturn in the global economy has made companies across all industries cut expenses to meet investor expectations. But if these cuts aren't done in a rational manner, they can lead to dysfunctional behavior that can just intensify the economic pressures worse. This article describes an action-based development program jointly designed by Irving Oil, a Canadian regional energy processing company, and Babson College, a leading provider of executive education. The focus of the program was to meet top management goals for expense reduction, while, in the longer run, building a culture of lean management. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.