The Power of the Chart

If you want to start guessing about which CEOs should be worried in the wake of the Nardelli ouster, you might do better to look here or here or here.

As regards the last one, have you noticed that nobody has seen or heard from Sam Palmisano in more than a year? Does the phrase “Operation Condor” ring a bell? Trust me, the IBM board of directors make Pinochet and Stroessner look like kindergarten kids.

And yes, I know Sam supposedly visited us recently. I’ve come to believe the guy who came here was an impostor. First of all, the guy didn’t know a thing about computers. At the time we attributed that to the fact that he works at IBM. But the real giveaway was that he didn’t recognize me. I mean, come on.

No, my theory is that the real Sam P. has become a desaparecido, as they say in ancient Paraguayan. And now they’ve got the Fake Sam Palmisano in deep training, trying to bring him up to speed. Soon they’ll trot him out to make some speech about whatever new slogan IBM is cooking up for the year ahead. “People Ready”? Nope, taken. “On Demand”? Er, tried that. “Open Your Source and Bend Over”? Nice.

One suggestion: Maybe Fake Sam should start writing a blog, explaining IBM’s strategery and vision for the next few years. I know I’d read it, if only to find out which other parts are going to be sold off to the Chinese, and in what order.

I’m sure IBM could spare 20 or 30 or maybe 100 IBM Global Services “blog consultants” who could handle the task of writing Fake Sam’s blog for him. You know, like, meet once a week for half a day to discuss blog story ideas, then break into smaller teams that meet daily to work up prototype blog items and PowerPoint slides about possible blog production schedules.

Meanwhile Ed Barbini and his team in Armonk could spend a month writing a hundred or so drafts to put together a press release announcing that the IBM Corporation has identified blogs as a strategic technology and now IBM is going to devote one billion dollars (curled pinky at corner of mouth) to a major blogging initiative which will include opening blogging “centers of excellence” in twenty-five countries around the globe. Nothing at IBM can happen for less than a billion dollars. Ever notice that?

Now if they could just drag friggin Irving Cheddarcheeseky-Burger out of Second Life long enough maybe he can run the whole thing. And yeah, Irving, we know you’re on there trying to pick up Second Life chicks. And we’ve noticed your Second Life doppelganger is quite a good bit more hunky than the Real Irving. And what’s with this telling girls that you’re Justin Timberlake’s manager, and can totally get them in to meet him? That’s all we’re gonna say on the matter.