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Download Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Who Says Elephants Cant Dance?: Inside IBMs Historic Turnaround (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,141 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN:
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In 1990, IBM had its most profitable year ever. By 1993, the company was on a watch list for extinction, victimized by its own lumbering size, an insular corporate culture, and the PC era IBM had itself helped invent.

Enter Lou Gerstner. The presumption was that Gerstner had joined IBM to preside over its continued dissolution into a confederation of autonomous business units, effectively eliminating the corporation that had invented many of the industry's most important technologies. Instead, Gerstner took hold of the company, making the bold decision to keep it together, defiantly announcing, The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision.

Told in Lou Gerstner's own words, this is a story of an extraordinary turnaround, a case study in managing a crisis, and a thoughtful reflection on the computer industry and the principles of leadership. Summing up his historic business achievement, Gerstner recounts high-level meetings, explains the no-turning-back decisions that had to be made, and offers his hard-won conclusions about the essence of what makes a great company run. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Talpey | 2/17/2014

    " Good read. Fun walk down history lane. It was interesting to get a view into IBM back in the 90's and fun to remember all the changes in our industry and realize how important it is to not become comfortable in your profession. No big management trucks to succeed but a great consolidation of good best practices. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joep | 2/11/2014

    " The first chapters are very entertaining. It then gets a bit boring but the last chapter on culture is fascinating. All in all interesting enough for three stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cori Aleardi | 2/6/2014

    " One of the stronger business memoirs - Gerstner has a gift for storytelling and the lessons he extracts are good ones. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Menner | 1/31/2014

    " As an IBM employee I found this book to be an enjoyable read, both to learn about IBM's history in the 1990s and to hear Gerstner's approach to addressing IBM's issues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reem | 1/30/2014

    " It's a book that tells how patience and wise you have to be to rise from a great failuer to huge success.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Conor | 1/21/2014

    " This book teaches us how to deal with people and make it work when nobody thinks you can do it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 1/18/2014

    " It's like Gerstner was talking about the University of Denver much of the time. It's great when advice can be immediately applied to your work situation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Santhosh Kandaswamy | 1/7/2014

    " IBM was on the brink of failure in the early 90's and this book talks about how Louis Gerstner joined the company as an outsider and turned around the company into profitable ways. It was an interesting read for me (esp. as I work for the company). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Byron | 12/17/2013

    " Great business book, perhaps because it was written by the man himself, rather than some ghostwriter. Easily readable reference on how to be an effective change leader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Weavx4 | 11/27/2013

    " Some would ask, "What was the man thinking?" With this book you can understand he was asking IBMers, "What were you thinking?" One view of the melting pot of IBM. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 11/11/2013

    " An interesting discussion of how Gerstner changed IBM's culture and focused the company on what it could do best. It was worth reading, but I think you could stop about 70% through and still take away a lot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nirmal | 10/28/2013

    " very good book. but I'm tired of reading strategy. so last chapter is still pending, but no plan to read. two stars for cardboard narration..sorry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Uzzi | 9/8/2013

    " Some good interesting stuff, some quite trite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vishal Biyani | 9/8/2013

    " Story of turn around of IBM in 1993. Change is only certain thing in life!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 7/14/2013

    " I am not a fan of management stories because they are so lackluster and conceptual and use jargon language. Gerstner is the best of the lot - and he has a good story to tell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 6/2/2013

    " Surprisingly good and insightful. Gerstner doesn't get the attention of the Jack Welch, but he certainly had bigger challenge and created a better company. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 5/15/2013

    " A good perspective of the tribulations of dramatic change within an organization. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 4/26/2013

    " Probably wouldn't recommend this unless someone's interested in IBM or the generic CEO's perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 2/22/2013

    " Gave Gerstner's views on what he did at IBM. Some parts seemed like rationalization and some self laudatory; that comes with the territory of autobiographical business books (as well as autobiographies of politicians and other household names). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hani Qandil | 1/26/2013

    " Good Book. The Language is somehow very advanced where he used uncommon vocabularies frequently. Business wise, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to advance in Strategy Management and really benefit from remarkable experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dale | 12/9/2012

    " Phenomenal turnaround - excellent study of strategic decision making. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Richard | 7/29/2012

    " A narrow history of Gerstner's tenure at the helm of IBM. Does not treat the OS/2 decision with any degree of detail, and emphasizes the importance of the role played by Gerstner. Did not finish the book, which was boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 7/22/2012

    " This is a good honest story about turning around a company, its products, its culture and changing the minds of thousands. There is one surprise after another. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 6/30/2012

    " I found Lou's experiences with IBM to be invaluable for leadership types. To walk into an industry he knows nothing about and make drastic, yet innovative changes is inspiring. It was also appealing to know that I worked at IBM while Lou was performing his magic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 5/27/2012

    " There are a few good takeaways about how to manage people through change. It was also interesting to hear about the inside view of the turnaround of IBM. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashish | 4/3/2012

    " Interesting read...but the book could have been structured better. Nonetheless the book delivers excellent suggestions on strategies that can be adopted in a turnaround situation "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 4/3/2012

    " Easy read considering written by a CEO. Interestng to read about what drives a CEO and what keeps them up at night. To be successfull, it seems to be based on simple concepts that most everyone can understand, actually he makes it sound easy to a certain extent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arun | 3/7/2012

    " It was an amazing read for my first impression was not so good but by the time I completed it the feeling had a paradigm shift. I was able to understand how strategy fits in an organization, how important it is to get it right..& never late to admit you're wrong.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany | 2/19/2012

    " This book was not a bad educational book to read. I would have to say that it was better than most. I liked how it was from his point of view and things that had happened and not about the technicality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsten | 2/9/2012

    " One of the best business books I've read. Very pragmatic, and well told. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A. Gh. | 5/9/2011

    " Some parts of it is boring and not necessary but generally it was a worthy one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mangesh | 5/5/2011

    " Very good book about large scale organization change orchestration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 2/15/2009

    " Easy read considering written by a CEO. Interestng to read about what drives a CEO and what keeps them up at night. To be successfull, it seems to be based on simple concepts that most everyone can understand, actually he makes it sound easy to a certain extent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Weavx4 | 1/9/2009

    " Some would ask, "What was the man thinking?" With this book you can understand he was asking IBMers, "What were you thinking?" One view of the melting pot of IBM. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randomwalker | 11/15/2008

    " Excellent book. Interesting story, well told. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 3/30/2008

    " Probably wouldn't recommend this unless someone's interested in IBM or the generic CEO's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cori | 3/7/2008

    " One of the stronger business memoirs - Gerstner has a gift for storytelling and the lessons he extracts are good ones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vishal | 2/12/2008

    " Story of turn around of IBM in 1993. Change is only certain thing in life!! "

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