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  • 1. Surname 1Name of the studentInstitutionProfessorDeadline Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett Packard Introduction The book, Perfect Enough was written by George Anders an investigative journalist. Itwas first published by Portfolio Hardcover on 23rd January, 2003. The book contains 288 pagescovering the events around the life of the HP’s CEO Fiorina by then and the tough decisions shehad to make. It was also published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated in 2004. I selected thisparticular book as it unveils the possibility of making progress in the line of business. It revealsthe risk taking role that a manager faces and the strategies that have to be put in place to create acompetitively advantaged business (Anders 5). Fiorina joins HP with her own policies gearedtowards ensuring the multidimensional growth of the business. However, she faces a lot ofopposition from the stakeholders making her to get into loggerheads but stands firm on thedecision to acquire Compaq a company involved in the same line of production. Synopsis This book revolves around the battle between the founders of Hewlett-Packard (HP), acomputer making company and the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, Carly Fiorina.Conflicts arose because the stakeholders wanted the management of the company to be done the‘HP Way’. Fiorina joined HP in 1999 after having a successful span of management at Lucent
  • 2. Surname 2Technologies. Having done Sales and Marketing, she faces challenges in the organization whichhas a policy that requires any CEO to have qualified Engineering. She brings reforms whoseobjective is to maximize the revenues with reduced costs and thus increase the profits of theorganization. This comes after a moment of financial strains in the industry in the 1990’s. Shealso emphasizes on inventions by HP of new products to improve customer satisfaction. Herpresence as the CEO leads to many employees losing their jobs with the long job security ofemployees according to the policy of the company being abandoned. This leads to animprovement in the company performance with a 15% growth in profit and about 6% increase inearnings recorded in 2000. The test of her leadership comes when she communicates the idea of merging HP withCompaq a competitor. This transaction is estimated to cost $20 million which is opposed by thefounders of the company. Walter Hewlett engages in a series of exchanges with Fiorina whichincludes media and court proceedings. She finally receives majority votes from the shareholdershence Compaq is bought by HP (Anders 20). The purchase of Compaq leads to an increase in themarket share of HP-Compaq in 2002. George Anders presents majorly portrays the positive sidesof Fiorina ignoring her weaknesses. This makes him neutral unlike other authors who have reallydwelt on her shortcomings. Fiorina’s term as the CEO of Lucent portrayed her uniqueness evidenced by thewithdrawal of Lucent from AT&T just a night before the company could be made public. Shealso helped her colleague when his wife was ill through emotional and medical support. Thesequalities gave her an upper hand in being considered to take reign at HP. In HP, Fiorinatransformed the way of management by applying a vertical management approach as opposed tothe long-term decentralized approach adopted earlier. She encouraged innovation by the
  • 3. Surname 3company and diversification of products and also introduced the performance based approach toemployee management. About 20,000 employees were laid off by these reforms. She was alsobehind the merger of HP and Compaq as described above. The author attempts to explain the fact that the reforms brought by Fiorina were gearedtowards the realization of better returns by HP. In order to succeed in business, it is advisable notto give up but to keep the fighting spirit. Agility and aggressiveness are very paramount inmanagement of any organization. The manager should thus be able to take risks in business inorder to improve the net worth of a business. Lessons I Can Apply to my Business Career There are so many lessons learnt from this book. As a manager, it is very important to beinnovative in decision making. This entails the discovery of new ways to make the organizationbetter. The business should attempt to operate at minimized costs in order to maximize the profit.Managers are very vulnerable to opposition from the stakeholders and thus should apply theirskills to ameliorate the business with the achievement of its objectives (Julie 56). A managershould weigh the impact of words and speeches they make on the public image of the business. My Opinion I liked Fiorina’s help extended to the fellow executive member when his wife got ill. Thisshows charity and willingness to support in case of need. The level of Fiorina’s firmness despitethe opposition from the company’s founders is also very incredible (Fiorina 21). This reveals thequalities of a good manager after weighing the advantages and the repercussions of the decision.The innovative approach applied by Fiorina is also commendable as it widens the scope thecompany and brings diversification of operations.
  • 4. Surname 4 I however did not like the rapid changes which were introduced by Fiorina in the earlystages of management. Most of these reforms are better applied in a collapsing organization torecuperate the business. The new employee policy was aristocratic since it led to unemploymentof many as job insecurity made employees not to be loyal to the organization. The employeescould easily defraud the organization as they are not guaranteed about their future. Fiorina wastoo vocal and did not bother whether the exchanges in the media could have an impact negatingthe customer opinion about the business. This gave the rival Dell an upper hand in operation. If I was in Fiorina’s shoes as the manager, I would focus on marketing the company’spolicies. I would create a friendly working environment for the employees and foster goodrelations with the environment and the Government. The most interesting thing I learned from this material is the fact that HP as a companyhas laid down its strategies of operation. Every manager that is appointed should thus keep theobjective of the founding fathers of HP alive. Any violation to such rules results in a conflict, asevidenced by the material, irrespective of whether such management techniques are towards theincrease in the earning of the organization or not. Another aspect is the direct influence of thefounding fathers’ family in the affairs of the company despite the fact that the company has gonepublic. It is interesting to note that the efforts of Walter Hewlett do not succeed after the votingdone by the shareholders to acquire Compaq. ReferencesAnders, George. The Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.
  • 5. Surname 5Julie, Dina. Ranking The 50 Most Powerful Women. NY. Fortune Publishers, 1998.Fiorina, Carly. Tough Choices: A Memoir. London: Portfolio Hardcover, 2006.