The turnaround of IBM under Louis V. Gerstner's leadership is considered to be one of the most remarkable turnarounds in corporate history. The strategic measures taken by Gerstner to transform IBM from a loss making company to a profit generating company; and to transform a hardware vendor to a complete IT solutions provider were remarkable. The case also reveals how he continuously reinvented the business model of IBM amidst rising competition and changes in the business environment. Under Gerstner, IBM's new strategy was to use processes and culture to regain advantage.
The change of culture he introduced gave IBM the speed and effectiveness that was missing before. The network-enabled process and the Internet were certainly stimulating forces in his achievements. The Major measures Gerstner undertook to bring IBM to success were customer orientation, reducing work force, changing employee compensation structure, decentralizing decision making, developing e-business strategies, focusing on problems at hand, minimizing restrictions over employees, and regular monitoring of different units around the world. Though some of the strategies adopted were at the cost of the employees, Gerstner's main aim was create a profit making corporation as well as maintain a promising overall performance by bringing radical changes to IBM that would support such adjustments.
Three Management Traits
One of the three management traits that standout is the carefully calculated and unconventional strategies that Gerstner utilizes to achieve his goals. The sudden appearance of rivals that constantly change and shape the global market calls for the need to have a flexible as well as unique business approach to adjust to such an unconventional business environment. Moreover, his ability to turnaround the performance of a business is extraordinary as noted not only in IBM, but also in his previous career with...