Leadership Development at IBM

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Case Details:

Case Code: HROB147
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 1992-2011
Organization: IBM
Pub Date: 2012
Teaching Note: Not Available
Countries: Global
Industry: Information Technology

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Leadership Under Lou Grestner: Proposals, and the Transformation

The Challenge
Gerstner was chairman of the board of IBM Corporation from April 1993 until his retirement in December 2002. He was CEO of IBM from 1993 until March 2002 and was credited with turning around IBM's fortunes...

Initial Plans
Gerstner's immediate task at IBM as CEO was to make the company profitable. He visited different IBM offices all over the world and met customers, competitors, senior executives, financial analysts, and consultants to get a first-hand account of the actual state of affairs. He called upon the top twelve managers of IBM and asked them to clearly define their business in terms of various parameters...

IBM Leadership Competencies

Gerstner also felt the need to integrate IBM's different business units in order to improve product quality. This led him to take the crucial decision of reversing the plans of his predecessor Akers to split IBM into 11 entities. Another challenge before him was bringing about cultural change...

IBM's Nextgens and Senior Leadership Group

In February 1995, Gerstner formed a Senior Leadership Group (SLG) with 300 top executives. The SLG was formed to focus attention on leadership development. This group acted as change agents for IBM's transformation and membership was not granted automatically; it had to be earned. Membership of the SLG was not based on rank or role...

IBM's Executive Assistant Program

Another IBM leadership development initiative was its Executive Assistant Program that focused on the NextGens. The company's Worldwide Management Council handpicked Executive Assistants who in turn served the top global executives. Under the program, the Executive Assistants were given broad exposure to the business problems and its leaders...

IBM's New Leadership Traits

In October 2002, IBM's then CEO Sam Palmisano unveiled a new initiative that he hoped would transform the company. He felt that IBM should quickly adapt to the rapidly changing market trends through an 'On-Demand' business model. He wanted to study IBM's best performing leaders and replicate their traits across IBMers...

Developing Leaders at IBM - The Process

IBM focused on the needs of corporate customers. The main factor that attracted talented people to IBM was its quality of leadership and development. "We strive to make sure that IBM is seen as the best choice for people with talent to develop themselves and their careers," said Sej Butler, IBM's European Recruitment Manager...

Excerpts Contd... - Next Pages >>


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