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Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

by Louis Gerstner

Lou Gerstner, the visionary former chairman and CEO of IBM, gives his detailed, insider account of the now-legendary turnaround at the giant computer company. Revealing his tactics step by step, this book summary takes the reader behind the curtain and discusses the unbelievable mess he inherited and shows glimpses into the office and mind of a Fortune 500 CEO facing the challenge of a lifetime.

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? won the 2003 Harold Longman Award as Soundview's Best Business Book of the Year.

What You'll Learn

In this summary of Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?, you will learn:

  • Always be ready to fight. Analysts took one look at the disparate units that comprised IBM and how much they were costing the company and its shareholders, and demanded they be broken out into their own businesses. Gerstner said "No," engaging in his first battle with "The Street."
  • If it's broken, fix it. IBM had an anemic economic model, a host of revenue-draining assets, and even problems with its own internal information technology tools (an oddity in the information technology industry). IBM was in serious trouble when Gerstner took over. Yet, with the right vision and strategy (not to mention the valued resources that followed them), he was able to breathe new life into the moribund organization.
  • If it's not broken, fix it anyway. Some aspects of the business could have probably been safely ignored or set aside. Gerstner improved them anyway.
  • Make a personal commitment to leading. True leadership - the kind that makes companies special, that can turn them around, that can make elephants dance - requires commitment, determination and passion for life, for business and for winning.
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