The biggest challenge was to change the culture- the mindset and instinct of hundreds of thousands of people who had grown up in an undeniably successful company, but one that had for decades been immune to normal competitive and economic forces.
It was like taking a lion raised for all of its life in captivity and suddenly teaching it to survive in the jungle.
DURING CRISIS : The author believes in the public acknowledgement of the crisis. If employees do not believe a crisis exists, they will not make the sacrifices that are necessary to change.
WAKING UP THE LEADERSHIP TEAM: He showed photos of some of their top competitors to the employees. Quoted one of the competitor Larry Ellison “IBM ? We don’t even think about those guys anymore. They’re not dead, but they’re irrelavant.”
From the lessons learned :
When the going gets tough in the base business, companies try their luck in new business.
Superb execution .
Building measurable targets and holding people accountable for them. Accountability must be demanded, and when it is not met, changes must be made quickly.
Leadership is personal
It is about visibility – with customers, suppliers, and business partners. They don’t leave to others the delivery of bad news. They treat every employee as someone who deserves to understand what’s going in the enterprise.
ELEPHANTS CAN DANCE
Big matters. Size can be leveraged. Breadth and depth allow for greater investment, greater risk taking, and longer patience for future payoff.
“ It is not a question of whether elephants can prevail over ants. It’s a question of whether a particular elephant can dance. If it can, the ants must leave the dance floor”.