As you read this, ask yourself, how are our organization’s values serving our strategy?

How do you change when business is good? Sam Palmisano took over as IBM’s CEO in 2002 and looked at the core values of IBM. He led the company for 10 years before Ginni Rometty took over last year (can’t wait to see where she takes the company).

Palmisano looked at the core values of IBM. Back in1914—when the company was making tabulating machines, scales for weighing meat, and cheese slicers—the then president decreed these three values which served IBM well:

  • respect for the individual
  • the best customer service
  • the pursuit of excellence.

Palmisano put out the question to all employees (crazy idea) in 2003 and through some tough debate came back with:

  • dedication to every client’s success
  • innovation that matters—for our company and for the world
  • trust and personal responsibility in all relationships.

Earthshaking? No, but how he then put those new values to work was impressive:

  • He called on the director of a major business unit—e-business hosting services for the U.S. industrial sector—and charged her with identifying gaps between the values and company practices.
  • He bluntly told his 15 direct reports that they had better follow suit.
  • Another online session was held the followingyear asking in employees to identify organizational barriers to innovation and revenue growth.

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By | 2016-11-01T22:30:53+05:00 January 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on HBR Article: Leading Change When Business Is Good