Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘thought leaders’ Category

IBM: Top Global Company For Leadership

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Some noteworthy news on the wire this morning.

IBM was named #1 in FORTUNE magazine’s 2011 Global Top Company for Leaders study — the first company ever to earn this recognition two consecutive times.

IBM was recently named #1 in FORTUNE magazine's 2011 "Global Top Company for Leaders" study -- the first company ever to earn this recognition two consecutive times.

Released today, the Global Top Companies for Leaders is the most comprehensive study of organizational leadership in the world.

An expert panel of independent judges selected and ranked winners based on criteria including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, impact of leadership in communities in which companies operate, business performance and company reputation.

IBM topped a list of 470 global companies that are committed to building leadership capabilities within their organizations.

The FORTUNE survey notes that leadership, more than ever, is the single largest determinant of competitiveness in business, and that the demand for leaders will only intensify in the current business environment.

According to the study, creating a pipeline of emerging business leaders is essential to developing a strong leadership brand, and critical to helping organizations sustain business performance.

“This recognition reflects IBM’s ongoing commitment to developing leaders from deep within our global organization. This is a discipline that is both world class and uniquely IBM,” said Randy MacDonald, IBM’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

“As we enter our second century, leadership development will remain at the top of our agenda as we groom the next generation of leaders skilled at collaborating across teams, cultures, countries and businesses.”

You can download a copy of the Top Global Companies for Leadership study here.

To read Randy MacDonald’s personal perspectives on leadership, visit http://ibm.co/v4Aed2

Written by turbotodd

November 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Google Dance

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Google co-founder and now CEO Larry Page has wasted no time in shaking things up at the search giant, particularly in its bid to become more social.

The Los Angeles Times Technology column has the skinny, and is reporting that Page has elevated key leaders of a number of its business units into SVP positions, and is giving them more “responsibility and accountability.”

At the same time, Nicholas Carson with Business Insider is reporting that “all Google employees will have their 2011 bonuses either go up or go down as much as 25% depending on how well Google ‘perform[s] against our strategy to integrate relationships, sharing and indentity across our products.'”

That is, depending on how social Google gets over the next year.

Ah, Larry, welcome to the world of complex organizations rife with competing interests, internal cooperation and coopetition, and massive complexity.  Are you sure you wanted to become CEO?

As Carlson observes, there’s no question who the target is of this “social bonus.”

Call it “The Facebook Effect.”

Me, I feel like I’m back on the sidelines of the Browser Wars of the late 1990s, waiting for Netscape and Microsoft to constantly try to reup one another on browser features.

Only this time around, there’s much, much more at stake, as these platforms are laying the foundation for consumer (and, possibly, business) IT services for years to come.

So does this mean Mark Zuckerberg’s going to offer up his troops a “search bonus???”

Written by turbotodd

April 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

IBM Industry Summit: IBM’s Jon Iwata On Making Markets For Smarter Industries

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Jon Iwata, IBM senior vice president of marketing and communications, visited the Barcelona IBM Industry Summit stage this morning with a little bit of Alice in Wonderland in tow: In order to understand how we were moving forward, Jon invited the audience to first take a glance back.

Jon Iwata, IBM Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, uses an image of the IBM System/360 as an object lesson as he explains how IBM is "making new markets" with its Smarter Planet agenda.

In a very matter of fact way, Iwata observed that it’s not very often one’s industry moves to an entirely different realm, but that when it does, it presents a unique opportunity for an organization to make new markets.

By way of example, Iwata explained that IBM will be turning 100 next year, celebrating its centennial as an ongoing business concern, and that it has made markets numerous times in its past.  It’s also missed opportunities to make them.

But by reminding ourselves of these moments, Iwata suggested, we start to see a pattern, one in which emergent technology plays a role often so powerful that new clients don’t quite know what to do with it.

In those circumstances, it’s important that we not only introduce new products and services, but also that we identify a new kind of client or buyer, possibly even a new vocabulary.

At these moments of inflection, however, it has not always been in IBM’s interest to embrace the new.

Arguably, Iwata explained, the first market IBM ever made, made IBM: The Hollerith tabulation machine.

But further innovation didn’t come when we tried to outsmart the competition, in this case Remington Rand, to try and counter their 90 hole punch card.

No, it was embracing vacuum tubes (which could compute faster than punch cards) and, later, the recording tape (which, in 1947, delivered the first recorded radio broadcast).

As Iwata explained, a whole room full of engineers in Poughkeepsie wondered whether that recorded audiotape could also serve as a new way of storing information — soon, an entire new inflection point was created.

Good thing, too: IBM customer New York Central Railway was punching 75,000 punch cards a day, and devoting entire floors of their Manhattan offices to storing those cards.

An IBM executive dropped by the Poughkeepsie office, saw the hullabaloo regarding the recording tape, and said “Interesting technology…but don’t forget the IBM company was built on punchcards.” (At the time, IBM derived one-third of its revenues from punchcards).

Yes, a good business…but still an inflection point.

Even with the new magnetic storage technology, IBM had to make the market.  That meant change, and not always change that was welcomed by customers (“We could see the data with the punchcards, but not with tape!”).

New technology, new applications, change the market.

Flash forward a few more years: A press conference presided over by then IBM CEO Thomas Watson, Jr.: The announcement of the System/360.

This was a bet-the-company move: $2B in R&D ($34B in today’s dollars), the first 8-bit byte, six processors in a family, 54 different peripheral devices.

IBM took 1,000 orders in the first month, and sold several thousand more the following months: But it took five years to ramp up to meet customer demand in volume.

Make the market. But in so doing, cannibalize virtually all of IBM’s existing product lines.

Later that decade, clients embraced radical new concepts like “online transaction processing,” and IBM technology even helped send men to the moon to allow both computing, and mankind, to go places neither could have gone before.

But at the time, it wasn’t obvious.  It was a market in the making.

Iwata explained, now flashing forward to the fall of 2008, another inflection point.

In the Smarter Planet agenda, we saw a similar pattern.

Despite the market fallout two years ago, we’ve witnessed a continued explosion in technology, much of it even now disposable, and with that an explosion of data in form, type, and speed.

New workloads, new applications — we had to develop a different vocabulary to be able to explain it both to ourselves, and to our customers.

Two years ago, we set out to make a new market, one that would open opportunities for IBM, our partners, and our customers.

We set out to modernize the understanding of IBM’s differentiation, to demonstrate IBM’s relevance to what people cared about, to take a leadership stance at a time the world was calling out for it.

But it almost didn’t happen.

When that global financial crisis hit, we hit pause, briefly, waiting for the next Great Depression…Panic…Uncertainty…All heading into a presidential election.

But as the fallout of the crisis settled in, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano hit “play” and introduced the ideas behind what drives a smarter planet at a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations.

That was two years ago this week.

It wasn’t introducing a new marketing campaign, explained Iwata.

IBM was initiating a conversation with the world to forge a shared belief.

What do you need to believe something, Iwata asked the audience in Barcelona? Facts. Data. Evidence.

In Palmisano’s speech, the word “IBM” never appeared once.  In the advertisements and editorials that began to emerge as part of the campaign, the focus was on the evidence, the data, the proof of the gathering storm that indicated the new market was emerging, but it was one represented not by IBM-speak, but rather by business-changing facts emblematic of what IBM customers were doing to improve their businesses and, in turn, the world.

The results: Two years later, 85% of IBM clients would consider IBM as a key partner having had prior knowledge of the smarter planet agenda.

Yes, it creates a more favorable selling environment, conceded Iwata.

But as IBM enters the third year of making this new market, even our friends at Gartner suggest that the smarter planet agenda is doing something more, is enabling IBM to stake a claim to a significant role in business and societal transformation.

Now, we’re providing client and partner references with hard facts, and lessons learned.  We’re helping clients understand the “how to’s” of building smarter systems.

We’re developing clearer paths to value, and we’re focused on quantifying outcomes, often via industry-specific measures.

We’re building progressive paths to provide clear roadmaps and to help partners chart outcomes and quantified value for their clients.

And we’re showcasing some of our most progressive clients, as well as using the social, digital eminence of IBM experts (by industry, technology, and so on) to reach out and demonstrate that value and make those experts accessible to the marketplace.

We’re making a new market, admittedly…but we’re trying to build a better world in the process.

The Hidden Side of Everything

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Okay, it’s Monday, and I want to welcome you back to the Turbo Monday edition of “Guess Who’s That Keynoter?”

For this particular edition, we’re going to jump ahead to the Information on Demand event being held in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada, in late October.

All our IBM conferences tend to be smokin’ hot good (and, I’ll even dare say it, fun), but the Information on Demand event holds a special place in my heart.

First, I’ve been attending and blogging at IOD since 2006.  There, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the coolest, smartest speakers and authors from across the landscape.

More importantly, I get to talk to so many of you, our customers.

This year’s not going to be any different.

But before we get to the keynote build up, let me tell you a few things about this year’s event.

First, we’re expecting some 9,000+ attendees.  Yes, IOD has gotten that big, but in this case, bigger is better, because we’re rolling our Business Analytics event (which Cognos once sponsored) under the IOD tent this year.

Second, this year we’ll be looking more holistically at what IBM and its partners bring to the Information on Demand table, including hardware, software, and services.

We also expect to have over 600 tech sessions, 160 Cognos and SPSS sessions, 11 industry-focused business and IT leadership sessions, 128 hands on labs, 300 customer speakers, and IBM’s largest exposition from all its events around the globe.

For 2010, we’ll also have two full days of business partner programs, and we’ll have our regular standard fare that you’ve asked to continue, including networking opportunities and 1-1s with IBM execs.

Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Now, back to the spotlight on our featured speakers.  They not only think out of the box — they don’t even know the box exists.  Because to acknowledge the box would be to acknowledge its limitations.

Like any good business analytics experts, they view the world through a very different lens by pointing out how numbers don’t lie, and, when carefully considered, can speak volumes to actual truths on the ground.

Do you know who they are yet?

If not, know their first unlikely collaboration resulted in an international bestseller. Its premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work…this book will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Anybody?

They went on to publish another best seller, and also to produce a podcast series on iTunes as well as a blog on The New York Times.

Okay, I’ll spare you the drum roll.  But I’m talking about Steven and Stephen, of course.

Steven D. Levitt, the professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and Stephen J. Dubner, an author and journalist living and working in New York City.

In their first tome, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economics Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, these two gentlemen delivered story after story that addressed ways to create behavior change and demonstrate what incentives work and what didn’t — with the research and data to back up their often controversial claims.

Hailed by critics and readers alike, the book went on to spend more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list, and has sold more than 4 million copies around the world in more than 30 languages.

Those are the kind of numbers that simply don’t lie.

This past October, they came out with their second book, Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance.

You can hear Steven and Stephen speak at Information on Demand, IBM’s Premier Forum for Information & Analytics, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center this October 24-28 in Las Vegas.  Visit here to get all the details and to register.

Meanwhile, whet your appetite for more from the Freakonomics guys by reading their blog.

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