Thursday, February 10, 2005

More On Hewlett-Packard

It's clear from the contentious conversations about Carly Fiorina's leadership style and Hewlett-Packard as an institution, that HP itself had a deeply rooted culture before she arrived, which was not easy to change.

HP's corporate culture and its founders were legendary, inspirational and influential beyond their company, having a very important role in shaping the leadership philosophies of many engineering firms and start-ups in Silicon Valley.

I don't know enough about them and plan to read more. I guess I can start with The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company by David Packard.

Here's Amazon's description of the book:
In a dry fashion, Packard tells the true story of the mighty Hewlett-Packard Company: Two college buddies begin a partnership by producing an audio oscillator in a Palo Alto garage in 1938 and wind up 60 years later with a $25-billion-dollar electronics company on their hands. He wraps the book up tidily with a timeline of the company's development milestones. Packard chalks up success to many things, including government contracts during wartime, but mostly to the company's management outlook ("The HP Way"), which champions openness, honesty, and flexibility throughout the organization. Entrepreneurs and technologists alike will be interested in this journey of an American giant. Packard's tone sometimes veers toward the self-congratulatory, but in this case, it somehow seems justified.

Feel free to point me to other sources on HP.