brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance
(by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.)

Amazon link: Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? sums up Lou Gerstner's historic business achievement, bringing IBM back from the brink of insolvency to lead the computer business once again.

Offering a unique case study drawn from decades of experience at some of America's top companies — McKinsey, American Express, RJR Nabisco — Gerstner's insights into management and leadership are applicable to any business, at any level.

Ranging from strategy to public relations, from finance to organization, Gerstner reveals the lessons of a lifetime running highly successful companies.

Try Googling: Gerstner Sony consultant

Contents of Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • PART I—Grabbing Hold
    • 1. The Courtship
      • The Search
      • What the Experts Had to Say
      • The Decision
    • 2. The Announcement
      • Meeting the IBM Team
      • The Official Election
    • 3. Drinking from a Fire Hose
      • Early Priorities
      • The Shareholders' Meeting
    • 4. Out to the Field
      • The Click Heard Round the World
      • The Mainframe Decision
      • The First Strategy Conference
      • The Customer Meeting at Chantilly
    • 5. Operation Bear Hug
      • The Management Committee Dies
      • Meetings with Industry Experts
      • The Financials : Sinking Fast
      • The Media Early On
    • 6. Stop the Bleeding (and Hold the Vision)
      • Keep the Company Together
      • Changing Our Economic Model
      • Reengineer How We Did Business
      • Sell Unproductive Assets to Raise Cash
      • Hold the Vision
    • 7. Creating the Leadership Team
      • Building a New Board
      • Employee Communications
    • 8. Creating a Global Enterprise
      • Remaking the Organization
      • Breaking Up the Fiefdoms
    • 9. Reviving the Brand
      • One Voice, One Agency
    • 10. Resetting the Corporate Compensation Philosophy
      • Pay for Performance
      • Stock Ownership
      • Executive Stock Ownership Guidelines
      • A Distasteful Necessity
      • Other Changes
      • Postscript: The First Year Ends
    • 11. Back on the Beach
  • PART II—Strategy
    • 12. A Brief History of IBM
      • Inventing the Mainframe
      • Growing Around the Mainframe
      • How the Culture Evolved
      • The Next Big Thing
    • 13. Making the Big Bets
      • Their Real Motive
      • A Services-Led Model
      • A Networked Model
      • Implications of a Post-PC World
    • 14. Services—the Key to Integration
      • Building the Organization
      • The Nature of the Bet
      • The Future
    • 15. Building the World's Already Biggest Software Business
      • Diamond in the Rough
      • A Future After the War
      • Acquiring Lotus
    • 16. Opening the Company Store
      • IBM Research
      • Getting Started
    • 17. Unstacking the Stack and Focusing the Portfolio
      • Leaving Application Software
      • The IBM Network
      • The PC Dilemma
      • Fallacies and Myths and Lessons
        • With OS/2-the fallacy that the best technology always wins.
        • In the case of application software—the myth of "account control."
        • In the case of pcs , there are still unanswered questions.
    • 18. The Emergence of e-business
      • Discovering the Cloud
      • A Network Computing Blueprint
      • Shaping the Conversation
      • The Emperor's New Economy
    • 19. Reflections on Strategy
  • PART III—Culture
    • 20. On Corporate Culture
      • The Basic Beliefs
      • Stepping Up to the Challenge
    • 21. An Inside-Out World
      • The Customer Comes Second
      • A Culture of "No"
      • Bureaucracy That Hurts
      • IBM Lingo
      • Presiders Over Process
    • 22. Leading by Principles
      • Here are the principles
        • 1. The marketplace is the driving force behind everything we do
        • 2. At our core, we are a technology company with an overriding commitment to quality
        • 3. Our primary measures of success are customer satisfaction and shareholder value
        • 4. We operate as an entrepreneurial organization with ...
        • 5. We never lose sight of our strategic vision
        • 6. We think and act with a sense of urgency
        • 7. Outstanding, dedicated people make it all happen ...
        • 8. We are sensitive to the needs of all employees and ...
        • The eight principles were an important first step
      • Waking Up the Leadership Team
        • Required Behavioral Change
      • A New Path for Leaders
      • Making It Happen
      • Declaring Our Moon Shot
      • Restless Self-Renewal
  • PART—IV Lessons Learned
    • 23. Focus—You Have to Know (and Love) Your Business
      • Steely-Eyed Strategies
      • Intelligence Wins Wars
      • Good Strategy: Long on Detail
      • The Hard Part: Allocating Resources
      • Survival of the Fattest
    • 24. Execution—Strategy Goes Only So Far
      • People Respect What You Inspect
      • World-Class Processes
      • Strategic Clarity
      • High-Performance Culture
    • 25. Leadership Is Personal
      • Passion Is for Everyone
      • What It Takes To Run IBM
      • Integrity
      • Postscript
    • 26. Elephants Can Dance
      • Too Expensive, Too Slow
      • A Step Too Far
      • Shift the Power
      • Measure (and Reward) the Future Not the Past
      • Walk the Talk
    • 27. IBM—a Farewell
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A— The Future of e-business
    • Appendix B—Financial Overview of the IBM Transformation
  • Index




Peter Drucker: Conceptual Resources

The Über Mentor

A political / social ecologist
a different way of seeing and thinking about
the big picture
— lead to his top-of-the-food-chain reputation

drucker business week

about Management (a shock to the system)


“I am not a ‘theoretician’; through my consulting practice I am in daily touch with the concrete opportunities and problems of a fairly large number of institutions, foremost among them businesses but also hospitals, government agencies and public-service institutions such as museums and universities.

And I am working with such institutions on several continents: North America, including Canada and Mexico; Latin America; Europe; Japan and South East Asia.” — PFD




List of his books


Large combined outline of Drucker’s books — useful for topic searching.




High tech is living in the nineteenth century,
the pre-management world.
They believe that people pay for technology.
They have a romance with technology.
But people don't pay for technology:
they pay for what they get out of technology.” —
The Frontiers of Management


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



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