Leading Change When Business Is Good

An Interview with Samuel J. Palmisano. by Paul Hemp and Thomas A. Stewart

IN JULY 2003, International Business Machines Corporation conducted a 72-hour experiment whose outcome was as uncertain as anything going on in its research labs. Six months into a top-to-bottom review of its management organization, IBM held a three-day discussion via the corporate intranet about the company’s values. The forum, dubbed ValuesJam, joined thousands of employees in a debate about the very nature of the computer giant and what it stood for.

Over the three days, an estimated 50,000 of IBM’s employees—including CEO Sam Palmisano—checked out the discussion, posting nearly 10,000 comments about the proposed values. The jam ...

Get HBR's 10 Must Reads on Change Management (including featured article "Leading Change," by John P. Kotter) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.