As a student studying business and management, i heard many interesting tales of hewlett packard

As a student studying business and management, I heard many interesting tales of Hewlett Packard.  It’s no secret that the computer, printer, toner and ink manufacturers have some of the best managers and, as a company, are the envy of many a multinational organization for their empowering culture and people centred approach to innovation.

This is the story of Charles (Chuck) House, the head of corporate engineering at Hewlett Packard.  Chuck had always been an innovator and had always had a deep rooted commitment to his work.  This probably explains why, in the early eighties, Chuck decided to get to work on a large screen computer monitor.  Nothing strange about that I hear you say!  Well, the thing was that David Packard (co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard company) had ordered good ol’ Chuck to stop working on the screen and abandon the project.  History tells us that Chuck ignored the order from above and pressed ahead.

The original marketing research findings had estimated that the company would sell thirty of these high quality precision monitors and it looked like a waster of time.  Luckily, Chuck House didn’t agree.  Hewlett Packard sold more than 30,000 of the monitors and they have been used in many industries from manned space missions to open heart surgery.

In recognition of Chuck’s pig headed optimism and commitment to working for the company, even risking his own job security by closing his ears to his company orders, Chuck was awarded the Hewlett Packard in house medal for “extraordinary contempt and defiance beyond the call of duty”.  Chuck is recognised by Hewlett Packard and the computer industry and being one the great leaders of modern management.  Dr Charles “Chuck” House has since worked as Science Policy and Societal Impact Director for Intel corporation and is currently the Executive Director of Media X, Sanford University’s technical advancement and innovation programme.


Garfield, C. 1986. Peak Performers: The new heroes in business. Great Britain. Hutchinson Business.

MediaX at Stanford University website. [online] Accessed 17th May 2009.

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