Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $6.56 (39%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Who Says Elephants Can't ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: 85% New. No marks in and out. Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change Paperback – December 16, 2003


See all 31 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.43
$7.00 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Frequently Bought Together

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change + The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Price for both: $26.48

Buy the selected items together
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement $16.05

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Shop the New Digital Design Bookstore
Check out the Digital Design Bookstore, a new hub for photographers, art directors, illustrators, web developers, and other creative individuals to find highly rated and highly relevant career resources. Shop books on web development and graphic design, or check out blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the design industry. Shop now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (December 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060523808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060523800
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gerstner quarterbacked one of history's most dramatic corporate turnarounds. For those who follow business stories like football games, his tale of the rise, fall and rise of IBM might be the ultimate slow-motion replay. He became IBM's CEO in 1993, when the gargantuan company was near collapse. The book's opening section snappily reports Gerstner's decisions in his first 18 months on the job-the critical "sprint" that moved IBM away from the brink of destruction. The following sections describe the marathon fight to make IBM once again "a company that mattered." Gerstner writes most vividly about the company's culture. On his arrival, "there was a kind of hothouse quality to the place. It was like an isolated tropical ecosystem that had been cut off from the world for too long. As a result, it had spawned some fairly exotic life-forms that were to be found nowhere else." One of Gerstner's first tasks was to redirect the company's attention to the outside world, where a marketplace was quickly changing and customers felt largely ignored. He succeeded mightily. Upon his retirement this year, IBM was undeniably "a company that mattered." Gerstner's writing occasionally is myopic. For example, he makes much of his own openness to input from all levels of the company, only to mock an earnest (and overlong) employee e-mail (reprinted in its entirety) that was critical of his performance. Also, he includes a bafflingly long and dull appendix of his collected communications to IBM employees. Still, the book is a well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“[Gerstner] entertains as he educates.” (New York Times Book Review)

“A well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Effective, to the point...Louis V. Gerstner Jr deserves his place in the management hall of fame.” (Financial Times)

“The best business book I’ve ever read.” (Imus in the Morning)

“[Lou Gerstner] has the substance of a genuine and ... interesting story.” (Wall Street Journal)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I found the book very informative and insightful, and will most likely find myself reading it again.
Mike Miller
Legendary CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. pulled off the turnaround of the century by bringing IBM back from near bankruptcy.
Rolf Dobelli
The loss of billions required drastic cuts, not just in a bloated administration, but in surplus productive employees.
Acute Observer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a fairly good book by an immensely talented CEO. It takes up more or less a few decades after the retirement of one of the greatest businessmen of the 20C (TWatson Jr.), when the business had lost its way and was under attack by extremely nimble rivals.
Gerstner took over the failing, almost bankrupt, company and both re-made its startegy and culture, re-focusing it on customer needs and re-engineering it (i.e. laying off an awful lot of people). In this book, he tells the outlines of how he did it, which is indeed extremely interesting. In particular, he stresses that while a strategy is needed, implementation of it is far more important.
Unfortunately, he does not go into enough detail for the reader to fully understand what he faced and how he did it. Neither the technology nor the brutal methods he had to employ were adequately addressed, at least for me. I read it carefully and did not feel I had had quite the full meal I expected. The reader also gets virtually no insight into what makes Gerstner tick, other than that he "wants to win" with passion. THe book was also entirely written by Gerstner; his style is competent, if somewhat like a business memo: good analyses are "actionable" and effective actions are "impactful."
Nonetheless, this is a very good primer on basic strategy and organizational behavior. He has lots of valuable advice to give and pinpoints many important issues. I will keep it and return to it.
THere were some things that I found questionable and surprising, if also unintentionally revealing.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Kassan VINE VOICE on October 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While this is a good book of an historic turnaround, there is little one can take away and apply. Between Gerstner's excessive modesty and the way he focuses more on his actions than the reasoning behind them, there is not much to learn here. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
52 of 66 people found the following review helpful By E. Griffin VINE VOICE on December 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a condensed version of IBM highlights under Gerstner's lead, this book will meet your needs. If you are interested in gaining an understanding of IBM's issues that led to the "elephant" stumbling, and Gerstner's solutions, you will be disappointed.
"Who says..." is a quick read with a superficial treatment of the various issues facing IBM and a simplified view into Gerstner's techniques to turn the company around. Many different scenarios are rushed through, leaving the reader wanting to know more about how and why. The solutions offered by Gerstner and his team seem pat--surely there was more going on.
Gerstner can not answer all his critics or the legion of angry ex-IBM'ers in a single book, particularly so close to his career transition. Unfortunately, this book misses the opportunity to provide the reader with anything more than a superficial insight into one man's view of IBM.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
67 of 86 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
While at IBM Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. developed a reputation of aloof arrogance. One would not suspect this from reading his book, in which he gives generous credit to the tens of thousands of people who created the company and to many others, some by name, who helped to save and resurrect it.
As a former IBM executive who took early retirement twenty years ago, just as the company's bureaucracy was beginning to strangle the organization, I was fascinated to learn how that bureaucracy spread and the extremes to which it went, creating a culture thst led to decisions (if any) by committee, conspiratorial compromise, and self-protective behavior. This is not the IBM I had known. Even more interesting is the rapidity with which Louis Gerstner diagnosed the sickness of the company and the speed and persistence with which he administered tough medicine.
Despite IBM's near-terminal condition Gerstner saw it correctly not only as a business enterprise but as a "national treasure" that was well worth the collossal efforts needed to restore it.
Unlike Jack Welch's adolescent "Jack: Straight from the Gut", this book focuses on the processes of leadership and management, strategic choice, and the decision process. But it speaks also to the essential importance of corporate culture, at IBM a way of life that is based on values rather than just on being first.
As a recovering IBMer I salute Mr. Gerstner for his remarkable achievements and as a reader applaud him for this exceptional contribution to the business book genre.
Don't miss it.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book says it all: elephants don't naturally dance, it takes years of cruel training to make them do it, and in the end, there aren't many customers for the show.
IBM's revenue record in Appendix C of this book also says it all: Gerstner has the worse revenue growth record of any IBM CEO, and that is despite the the Internet boom, despite the ERP boom, and despite the acquisition of such big players as Sequent, Lotus and Tivoli. Some turnaround, mate!
More than once in this book Gerstner cites the pleas of others: "You owe it to America to take this job." It's hard to see what he has done for America during his nine-year tenure... Where once there were many readers who wanted to learn about SNA, CICS, RPG/400 and other IBM inventions, today there seem to be no IBM technologies that a sufficient number of people are interested in to propel a manual even in to the bottom of the amazon bestseller list.
For the story of Gerstner's tenure at IBM is really the story of IBM's hollowing out, of an extraordinary sell-off of IBM's assets to the short-term benefit of shareholders, of whom Gerstner was one of the biggest. As one of the IBM UK CEOs during Gerstner's reign, Barrie Morgans, said of Gerstner's skill at cutting costs and inability to boost sales: "Well, anybody can slash and burn." Gerstner says on page 87 that the dismissal of the EMEA head, Hans-Olaf Henkel, was for subverting his memos to employees. It wasn't: Gerstner got rid of Henkel because Henkel dared to tell Gerstner that one of his strategies wouldn't work.. There is no reference here to the classic case, Churchhouse v IBM, which was heard in a US court.
Gerstner also dismisses, in a page or two, the needs of employees in terms of benefits and pensioners.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews