There are a lot of big ideas floated around, a lot of words that are said, and a lot of plans that never come to fruition. The logistics matter. How does a big idea get from point A to point B? Ask Carly Fiorina.
She successfully executed one of the largest technology mergers of the time, which was instrumental in bringing Hewlett Packard back as an industry leader.
I would know, I worked at Hewlett Packard during Carly’s time as CEO of the company.
When Carly was recruited to be CEO of HP, it was because HP needed change. It was a company that was bogged down by its tradition. It was a company that held the American Dream near and dear—having been developed by two entrepreneurs in 1939—but at the same time was held down by its past.
Carly had a plan of how to bring HP into the new technology era. She knew the logistics of how to get HP from point A to point B. She developed a plan of action, how to get HP back on track, and followed through with it. Was it difficult? Yes, tough decisions always are.
I’ve heard Carly speak on the campaign trail about the importance of using technology to the advantage of voters and the government. Carly is right, we need a leader that will be able to utilize technology to engage citizens, in all aspects of government, including the voting process.
It’s instrumental to our democracy that all voices be heard, and like she says, what better way than using our smartphones. If you can vote for a winner on a reality show by phone, why shouldn’t you be able to tell your government what you’d like to fix, and provide your input on how to fix it?
Carly has used technology in this way in the past, and it has worked. At a corporate level, Carly communicated with all HP employees using technology for live meetings with the ability to submit questions real-time which she responded to. We were all able to voice our concerns, ask questions, and be heard by Carly. It is in this way that we knew we were being listened to, and the best ideas were being considered for the future of the company.
Carly was a great communicator.
She kept employees updated on a very regular basis, on the status of company issues, initiatives, etc. Therefore, I had the opportunity to witness her management style firsthand; it was one of trust in the people she hired, their ability to be effective, and their utilization in the success of the company.
The merger with Compaq, though widely disputed and criticized, was one of the largest and most successful mergers at the time. Because of Carly’s foresight and vision for the company, revenues doubled to more than $80 billion, innovation tripled to 15 patents per day, the revenue growth rate more than quadrupled to 6.5 percent, and HP grew to become the 11th largest company in the country. Carly brought the changes necessary to ensure the longevity and prosperity of the company. She set up HP for future growth and success.
From my experience, I cannot dispute the fact that this country is in need of assertive leadership. Carly has a plan of action, and she won’t let the logistics get in her way.
Michelle Hines is a former HP Employee