Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does H.P. Need a Dose of Anarchy?
Published: NYT, April 25, 2009

This is a very interesting article not only on how a new approach at a major Silicon Valley company helped in a needed turnaround, but also, from our vantage point, how a very simple thought model helped the CEO manage a very complex situation. I strongly suggest reading the full article.

"IT all seems obvious when viewed through hindsight’s pristine lens: Hewlett-Packard didn’t need a reinvention. It just needed some fierce fiscal discipline to transform itself from a bumbling, lost soul into a well-oiled profit machine.

At its core, H.P.’s turnaround works against the natural order of things in Silicon Valley, where people talk about technology first and finances a distant second. The frenetic hunt for the next big thing has helped a select few endure decades of busts and booms, and they have always left it to the bean counters to obsess about the bottom line.

So it took a true outsider, in Mark V. Hurd, to engineer H.P.’s resurrection and to create the world’s largest technology company. Mr. Hurd, hired four years ago in the wake of Carleton S. Fiorina’s tumultuous departure as chief executive, forced a steady, boring diet of performance benchmarks, heavy-handed cost-cutting and data-mining down H.P.’s corporate throat." …….

The thought process model discussed in the article is:

What I love about the model is its simplicity and power. A leader must focus their thought process—choosing those issues that are most germane to the situation – and then really focus on addressing the multiple challenges through this lens.

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