Exploiting Chaos

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change - an award-winning business innovation book by Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of Trend Hunter

Issue link: http://book.trendhunter.com/i/42053

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Page 73 of 273

CULTURE OF REVOLUTION · Perspective Shift perspective, spark revolution IN 1993 IBM WAS CAUGHT in a downward spiral, losing nearly a bil- lion dollars a month. Demise seemed imminent. Then, Louis Gerstner took over the role of ceo. Along the way, he realized that the key to change rested in culture: "If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head- on, I probably wouldn't have . . . changing the attitude and behaviors of hun- dreds of thousands of people is very, very hard. [Yet] I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn't just one aspect of the game—it is the game."32 72 One of the ways Gerstner changed IBM's culture was by shiſting vernacu- lar and ritual. He noted that "you can understand a lot about organizations by their word choice . . . I choose my words very carefully." Gerstner held a workshop with 420 company leaders. There, he introduced the adjacent chart which broke company lingo down into banned words and alternative vernacular. To inspire change, he read a quote from Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, one of IBM's largest rivals scoffed, "IBM? We don't even think about those guys anymore. They're not dead, but they're irrelevant." In the six years that followed, IBM became a profit machine. Its shares skyrocketed more than 10x. The change would be heralded as the greatest turnaround in corporate history. Reinventing perspective triggers and shapes change.

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