Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yes, elephants can dance !

IBM reported its results recently and yes, Mr. Gerstner, you were right ... Elephants can dance!

Lou Gerstner the erstwhile CEO of IBM wrote about how large firms such as IBM can be nimble in a fast paced business environment. Large firms are often slow to adapt to environmental shifts and are left in the dust, however, Mr.Gertsner disagreed with this popular notion and talked about IBM managed to be nimble.

The business landscape is strewn with numerous examples of firms that could not adapt and were either bought over or just went bust. There are also firms like IBM, 3M, Apple which seem to redefine their very existence time and again, adapting to their customer's needs well thus being nimble.

IBM has shown against conventional wisdom that being large does not imply ineffectiveness in strategy. IBM is my favorite firm, not just because it is a great champion of the open source cause, but because its institutional memory has outlived the visionaries who were at its helm. Although, many would argue that individuals have longer memories than institutions; a firm like IBM has shown that as long as the knowledge structures that deal with strategy formulation and implementation are codified into an organization's routines, an institution's memory can be as effective as an individual's.

Go IBM. And by the way, I eventually transitioned smoothly to an IBM Thinkpad from my old Dell workhorse. I now realize why an IBM laptop is so much more expensive than a similarly configured Dell. You got to use a Thinkpad to fall in love with it. However, I do pay due respect to the workhorse that saw me through my PhD days.

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