By Saii Joveini Shahnazi,
I find it fascinating to explore an organization’s ability to create competitive advantage. I wrote a Master Thesis about this topic, which is why I wear a “special set of glasses” when I try to understand an organization. So, I took a look at IBM and I found four remarkable things:
#1. Tremendous Focus on the Individual’s Skill Development
One point that both impresses and surprises me is how the management prioritizes employees’ skill development. For example, I have a master degree in marketing and my job role is pretty technical. To succeed in my position, I have two job role mentors, a career mentor, a coach, several real-time online courses, and I can travel around the world to participate in various programs. Honestly, I am not sure what more I can ask for?!
#2. Dedication to Innovation
I was surprised when I found out that IBM invests multi billions of dollars in research each year. Take IBM’s portfolio in Big Data & Analytics as an example. So far, more than $24 billion has been invested to help people transform data into knowledge. Another example is Watson solutions, where more than $1 billion is invested in technologies for the new era of cognitive computing. The list is long – and I am very proud to represent cutting-edge technologies to clients and partners.
#3. Organizational Transformation is Deeply Rooted
IBM has several times throughout its 100 years of history transformed its way of doing business – and its current transformation is one of the first thing I noticed. Today’s IT solutions are mainly based on Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security, which IBM also describes as its CAMSS strategy. Major organizational changes have already been made to respond faster and more efficient to customers’ needs. Making such strategic implementation within a few years that concerns more than 430.000 employees is, in my opinion, very impressive.
#4. Culture of Expertise, Respect and Openness
This part is probably what I love the most about IBM. People are very knowledgeable. When I ask a colleague about something the answer is typically characterized by impressive reflections and perspectives. People are very passionate about their job – and they simply enjoy sharing their knowledge. I have also discovered that IBM’ers have many different roles through-out their career, which makes their profiles unique. This may explain why people really respect each other; working with highly competent, dedicated, and humble people creates a culture of openness. Perhaps this explains why many IBM’ers stay until they retire?
Maybe I have been very lucky with my experience at IBM or you may even blame my “special glasses”; luckily, I am not the only one.