Lou Gerstner implemented several strategies to keep IBM united and strong. One of the first decisions he made was to keep IBM together rather than sell off the individual business units, despite industry analysts suggesting otherwise. Gerstner believed that IBM would meet a valuable need by staying together and playing the role of an integrator in a world where there were many companies offering individual solutions but few willing to integrate them. His confidence in this strategy was bolstered by his previous experience as an IBM customer when he was head of American Express and later RJR Nabisco.

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Entrepreneurs and managers can learn several lessons from Gerstner's approach to organizational structure. Firstly, the importance of unity in an organization. Gerstner believed in keeping IBM together rather than selling off individual business units. This decision was against the industry analysts' suggestions, showing the importance of strong leadership and conviction in one's decisions. Secondly, the value of being an integrator in a market full of specialized entities. Gerstner saw the opportunity for IBM to meet a valuable need by staying together and playing the role of an integrator. Lastly, the value of past experiences. Gerstner's confidence in his position was bolstered by his previous experience as an IBM customer.

Gerstner's vision challenged the existing paradigm by advocating for unity and integration rather than division. At a time when industry analysts suggested that IBM would best realize shareholder value by breaking apart and selling off its more valuable units, Gerstner decided to keep IBM together. He saw a gap in the market where there were many companies offering individual services, but few who could integrate these services. Drawing from his experience as an IBM customer in his previous roles, he was confident that IBM could meet this need by staying together and playing the role of an integrator.

Under Gerstner's leadership, IBM played a crucial role as an integrator in the industry. Gerstner's vision was to keep IBM united with a strong services arm. Despite suggestions from industry analysts to break apart IBM and sell off individual business units, Gerstner decided to keep IBM together. He saw a gap in the market where there were many companies offering individual solutions, but few were able to integrate these solutions. Gerstner, with his previous experience as an IBM customer, knew that IBM could meet this valuable need by staying together and playing the role of an integrator.

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Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change

Learn from one of the best turnaround leaders of our time, Lou Gerstner of IBM. Take a page from Ger...

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