There’s been a lot of speculation on when I will deliver a vision. The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision. What it needs right now are tough-minded, market-driven, highly effective strategies.
—Lou Gerstner, 1993
That was Lou Gerstner, famously responding to a reporter’s question after he took over as IBM’s CEO in 1993. Of course, Gerstner actually did have a pretty big vision in mind for his new company, one on which he delivered masterfully by reinventing IBM around software and global services. According to many, Gerstner saved the storied technology company in the process; IBM had been declining for years because of its heavy reliance on old technologies and even older thinking.
To accomplish big, revolutionary things in business, as elsewhere in life, you need to start with a vision. Having a clear, strong, and compelling picture of what you want to be and where you intend to go significantly improves your chances of getting there. But having a big vision is not the enemy of having tough-minded, market-driven, highly effective strategies.
My vision for this book was always to disrupt the status quo in terms of how companies create revenue, and to foster a new kind of corporate structure that would drive outsized growth and success for businesses worldwide. In this vision, the old dysfunctional sales and marketing model has been forever replaced by highly efficient and effective Revenue Performance Management strategies, processes, technologies, ...