Monday, August 3, 2009

getting out of the penalty box

A reader sent a note this morning, remarking on one of Packard's famous diatribes -- "the Give 'em hell" talk circa 1974. According to the reader's recollection, Packard publically described inappropriate behavior, having to do with putting HP in debt, to a couple of key managers. Later, one became CEO, and the other ran the computer group successfully for years. The question was -- how rare was this, to get out of the penalty box? And does the forthcoming book have some more stories of this type?

I personally experienced this, in an event later given a positive credit via "the Medal of Defiance". It surely didn't feel like a medal at the time!

But of course there are a ton of such stories. We're wrestling with how to collect more of these stories, for in many ways this is the clearest expression of THE HP WAY -- go ahead, make an error, one big enough to get noticed and even singled out for "stupidity" as Obama might say, and then tell how/whether you got back into "good graces". Or, you never did, which makes for a different story

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