Louis Gerstner Jr. BOOK REPORTINTRODUCTION
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Louis Gerstner Jr. BOOK REPORTINTRODUCTION
The business world is constantly changing. Companies rise and fall on a regular basis but the ones that can fall and rise up again end up becoming the symbol of success in today’s business market. The book called “Who says elephants can’t dance?” is written by Louis Gerstner Jr. showcases a company (IBM) that fits in this category. The purpose of this book report is to inform students of how a company in today’s business world becomes and remain successful.
This book was written by a former CEO of IBM, Louis Gerstner Jr. He is accredited with changing the face of IBM to become a leader in this industry. Before he arrived, IBM was on the brinks of bankruptcy. The three most important points of this book can easily be categorized as culture, communication and leadership. Before Louis Gerstner came in as the CEO, IBM was just known as having narrow-minded corporate culture, which managed to ignore the needs and wants of its customers, and to an extent its employees. An example of how structuralized the company had become, comes from a senior executive, who wrote a sixty page document on how he wanted his administrative assistant to serve him, it even included a section on how and when this executive wanted his spearmint gum to be. The two most important points communication and leadership will be further discussed in the following paragraphs.
POINT #1: COMMUNICATION
The company was lacking communication with the customers and its employees. They didn’t have a system of getting customer feedback and didn’t have any sort of informal communication system for its employees; every form of communication was so highly organized. Louis was able to establish informal communication by simply writing out a friendly email to all the employees. “Dear colleagues, I’m pleased to announce that the fourth quarter profits for this year are up.” Following that Louis was able to cut down prices and set up a system to get customer feedback which help improve IBM’s products.
COURSE CONCEPT#1: PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
The problem solving process has six main steps: find and define the problem, generate alternative solutions, evaluate alternative and select a preferred solutions, conduct ethics double check, implement solution and lastly evaluate results. The first step was taken when IBM found out that they were on the edge of going bankrupt. The second step was getting someone in the CEO position that could help turn them around from their current issue and this was where Louis V. Gerstner, Jr came in, he instantly learnt about the problems the company was facing and next (step 3) started to write out informal emails to employees, sharing with them the current problems and getting their feedback on how to get thing in the right direction, he also decided to installed a system where they could really get the feedback of the customer. The fourth step was completed when Louis V. Gerstner, Jr did an ethics check about possibly cutting IBM in to two companies but decided not to because he thought about the job loss of the people working there and instead decided to change by implementing (step5) his informal way communication and customer feedback system. As part of implementation he also setup goals for IBM and where they should be by the next 2 years etc. The last step he took was evaluating the results of the company changes that he had implemented he was encouraged by the improvement thus continued on with that approach.
POINT # 2 LEADERSHIP
Louis created a vision for the employees by setting up goals and using informal communication. He kept the company together rather than letting it get divided into different sections. It showed that he believed in the employees that worked there, which is important for a large corporation such as IBM. Through his emails he encouraged employee feedback and promoted equality and teamwork by keeping his way of communication. An example of this is when he once interrupted an executive who was delivering information in a meeting about a product he had developed. On this particular day Louis turned the projector off and asked the executive to explain his product by just talking about it in simple language. Louis wanted the meeting
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Business, Economy, Industrial and organizational psychology, American Express, Louis V. Gerstner Jr., Gerstner, IBM, Leadership, Organizational culture
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