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

Extended Audio Sample Who Says Elephants Cant Dance?: Inside IBMs Historic Turnaround 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: Abridged 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 Daniel Milstein | 2/20/2014

    " I think the first part of the book is amusing. The rest four parts lack this satire and are a little bit boring. I liked the fact that Gerstner went solo to write this book because that helped me to understand what he was thinking when he made his different choices. Everything from reintegrating the IBM management team to unveiling IBM's e-business idea was so precise in a book that is quick to read . This book will inspire anyone with the hopes of being management material. It's definitely worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Menner | 2/17/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brentley Campbell | 2/12/2014

    " Lou Gerstner reminds me in many ways of an executive that Buffett would like to invest with. He is honest and was always focused on long-term results for shareholders. The book is also a nice look into IBM culture and its history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cori Aleardi | 1/29/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayaa | 1/24/2014

    " the best book read in recent times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A. Gh. | 1/22/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Maguire | 1/19/2014

    " I have worked hands-on daily with IBM hardware, software and services for well over a decade, some of which overlapping with Lou Gerstner's period as CEO of the company, so I picked this up expecting not to learn much I hadn't already known about IBM. I was entirely wrong. This is a really engaging and honest account of the turnaround of a company that was literally falling apart as it failed to adapt to the changing world in which it was operating. The clarity of purpose which Gerstner, as a 'non IT person', brought to the company and it's strategic direction shines throughout. The book could be accused of being one-sided, but the performance of IBM during Gerstner's time at the helm is so remarkable that some element of victors writing the history is understandable. The insight into 'bet the company' decisions and simple management strategies applied to the giant organisation that is IBM is really fascinating. Great read, highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 12/30/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 12/14/2013

    " Best business book I've read. It has an authenticity that can't be replicated by some one who just visited with people and observed some common behaviors - which is 90% of business books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mangesh Chaudhari | 12/14/2013

    " 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 Santhosh Kandaswamy | 12/7/2013

    " 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). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hector Maldonado Maldonado | 11/11/2013

    " Un libro ideal para personas fuera de IBM, y mejor para IBMer. Como historia y como caso de negocios. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Bykov | 11/7/2013

    " Absolutely brilliant story and insight from a non-tech executive turning around the world's biggest tech company - despite all odds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany | 11/3/2013

    " 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 Gaurav Hirlekar | 9/4/2013

    " Great book. It really gives a never before seen insight into the turnaround of IBM and the difficulties of changing the momentum of a behemoth of a company like IBM. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arun | 8/30/2013

    " 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 Abhi | 4/15/2013

    " Definitive checklist for someone called upon to save a failing company. What really stands out is the fact that Lou, even until the end (a whole 9 years later, after having done what was expected of him), accepted the fact that he would always be an outsider. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 1/25/2013

    " A bit to much American style! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 9/16/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Byron | 8/22/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elena Calin | 8/3/2012

    " Daca ati preluat de curand conducerea unei companii, trebuie sa cititi aceasta carte "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 8/2/2012

    " 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 Will | 7/28/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gary | 7/25/2012

    " great business come back from the brink "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl Caudill | 6/28/2011

    " Liked that the book was written by Lou and not a ghostwriter. Had a chance to meet him in NY which is why I read it. Wasn't expecting to enjoy it but I did. "

  • 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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