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Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance in a Complex World, 3rd Edition by Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Karl E. Weick

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Chapter 8Organizational Culture and Reliability

“Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization's makeup and success—along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like…I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn't just one aspect of the game—it is the game.”1

—Lou Gerstner Jr.

“The pursuit of excellence over time became an obsession with perfection. It resulted in a stultifying culture and a spider's web of checks, approvals, and validation that slowed decision making to a crawl…I can understand the joke that was going around IBM in the early 1990s. ‘Products aren't launched at IBM. They escape.’”2

—Lou Gerstner Jr.

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