Peter E. Greulich (2014)
A View From Beneath The Dancing Elephant. Rediscovering IBM’s Corporate Constitution.
On-line version at: www.amazon.com
The story of IMB’s turnaround described by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. is not complete until you read Peter E. Greulich book “A View From Beneath The Dancing Elephant”. Greulich tell us the other side of the story. The employees’ side not the CEOs’ side, the side where all real transformation happens. This book is about the history of IBM through the eyes of a corporate’s employee-owner.
Greulich describe the principles that guided IBM through good and bad times, including second world war and the great depression, and he also crashes some of the arguments presented by Louis Gerstner in his memorable book “Who Says Elephant Can’t Dance”. Greulich’s book gives you a full perspective of the cultural issue lived in IBM and a lesson to all executives who deals with cultural change.
My favorite excerpt is”Growth only comes through a corporation’s employee-owners, and long-term profit is only found in a customer-driven product-portfolio- not an earning-driven one”. I could’t agree more, growth comes through employees identified with company’s goals and long term profit is reached when a company focus its attention on customers’ value not profits.
The book is divided in six chapters:
Chapter one: The path to growth
Chapter two: life in the redwood forest
Chapter three: A culture under pressure
Chapter four: The watershed event
Chapter five: A floundering ship
Chapter six: Reigniting a true Blue Béjá Vu