A $10 Million Education

When Tom Watson Jr. was chief executive of IBM in the early 1960s, he summoned an executive to his office after the man lost $10 million in a venture. Watson asked the man, “Do you know why I called you here?” Knowing of Watson’s legendary temper, the man replied: “I assume you’re going to fire me.”

“Fire you?” Watson asked. “I spent $10 million educating you. I just want to be sure you learned the right lessons.”

Source: Failed Strategies | By Paul B. Carroll And Chunka Mui | Chief Executive, September/October 2008

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  1. Hi Tanmay,
    After going through the topic raised about the management talks, I have a question for you. Does the management really justify to the company by retaining the employees who has done huge losses to the company. Is that a right decision. Does’nt the management wasting time again to assign the work to same person?


  2. Hi Tanmay,
    The person has made loss of $ 10 million to the company, So eventually he owes the losses. I have a question for you in regard to management talks. Not on offensive side but just to go in depth to understand management.

    Whether the manegement help the employee to recover from his mistakes or leave him alone to sort out? Did the managment took right decision in favour of the company by assigning the task to the same person? Or wasting its time?


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