The story of IBM (IM#129)

I came up with the story of Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, yesterday. He shared the secrets behind the atmospheric success of IBM.

He said:

“IBM is what it is today because of three main reasons. The first reason is that, at the inception of IBM, I had a very clear pictorial of what the company would look like when it was finally done. precisely, I already had the blueprint in my mind of what would my vision- my dream- look like in reality.

The second reason is that once I had a picture of what it would look like, I then asked myself- how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created the picture of how the company would act when it was finally done.

The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look like when my vision- my dream- was in place and how such company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we begin to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.

In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.

From the very beginning, IBM was modeled after the blueprint of my vision. And each and everyday we attempted to model the company after that blueprint.Everyday at the IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business.

We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one.”

This story reveals the secret of what makes a great business or organization great. It also tells us that the very successful organization start by a vision and acting like the one the want to become from the very beginning.

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