Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard, the founders of the fabled Silicon Valley company, did not hole themselves up like so many top executives nowadays but invited people to share ideas. A wedge of darkened linoleum can be found behind each door, evidence that the doors were open in a corporate culture created by the two engineers – men who favored pocket protectors and short sleeves and summed up their executive style as “management by wandering around.”
By contrast, Carleton S. Fiorina, deposed last week as Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive, the first ever hired from outside, preferred to dazzle people with PowerPoint presentations and other trappings of the modern-day manager as she struggled to reinvent Hewlett, a company that gave rise to Silicon Valley and defined its culture.
The article talks about how Ms. Fiorina understood change was necessary at HP, but the kind of change she sought was not always the “right” kind of change.
There is perhaps a note of caution here for those of us who fancy themselves change agents in whatever organization we find ourselves. With the change, there must be at least a nodding-of-the-head to the things that made the organization great in the first place.
Now, on the other hand, if the organization has never reached its potential in the first place…
(BTW, just in case Ms. Fiorina happens to read this – yeah, right! – feel free to stop by for lunch and you can tell me all about your side of the story!)