Author: Melissa OMara

IBM to Focus on Infection Disease Containment, and Finding Your Passion at Work

IBM and Scripps Research Institute to Collaborate on Pandemic Research; ”Project Check-mate” To Focus on Infectious Disease Containment. This is what makes me proud to be an IBMer. And absolutely, this is about playing a bigger game. For me, from inside of IBM, it feels like we are beginning to put some real meat around the IBM Value, Innovation that Matters. Believe it or not, we have a VP of Global Pandemic Strategy (Roland Harris III). I know how important it is for me to feel like my work at IBM makes a difference. And it seems that I am not alone – we all want that, don’t we? Personal passion or full engagement at work is getting lots of attention right now in popular business books. There is research from Gallup , Institute for Employment Studies, and the Corporate Leadership Council and other sources that indicates that a very large percentage of the workforce is not fully engaged at work, and this is drastically impacting business results! Many books have been written in the last 5 years that speak to igniting the passion in the workforce, getting the right people in the right jobs, leveraging their strengths, and increasing innovation and productivity. I think one of the best books is The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, not Time is the Key to High Performance. The book is...

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Innovations in Corporate Responsibility – IBM

This was a headline on our IBM corporate Intranet this morning, and it really caught my eye. IBM.com has just published “Innovations in Corporate Responsibility 2004-2005”, which highlights the company’s corporate responsibility activities and updates most of the data that IBM reports on a regular basis. I haven’t read it yet, but I know IBM does some really great things, more than I realized. And I hope to read how much more we are planning to do… More comments after I actually read the report, and I would love your comments too. What do you want from our major corporations, many of them with more economic pull than medium sized countries? What do you expect beyond shareholder returns? And how do you let them (big corporations) know what’s acceptable, and what’s not? Corporations are constantly trying to assess marketplace needs and wants, and they are looking at the some really simple things, like what are people buying! So basically, everyday as we purchase products (groceries, electronics, vacations, supplies, gifts, services, gas, power…), we are voting “yes, more of this!”. We are rewarding producers of goods and services with our $$$, and basically telling them that we support their practices and methods by which these good/services are produced and delivered to us. Frankly, I never thought of it this way until fairly recently. So it’s not even a conscious vote,...

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General Electric – Corporate responsibility and citizenship

GE is beginning to play a “bigger game”. CEO Jeff Immelt appears to be going green is a very big way. Google “GE clean green machine”, and you’ll see more about this topic. It’s great to see GE making this big bet. Some argue that this is simply driven by economics. If so, I say that’s great news. Let’s prove that it is not only economically feasible, but actually advantageous to “do the right thing”. And if it’s driven by values, “virtue”, being a “good” company in the same way we want to be “good” neighbors, I say “Yay to being good, and doing the right thing”. I see a shift coming, and big companies have the opportunity to lead now, or follow suit later. I believe the leaders – those that “stick out their necks” and make strategic risks for the sake of “Innovation that Matters… to the World” as my employer IBM states in our values statement – these leaders will set the pace, the tone, and reap incredible good will at the same...

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Business transformation through chaos theory – interview with Dee Hock

Wow, another piece of the puzzle – Chaordic organizations and systems. This is how our bodies work, how evolution happens, and it so resonates with my current thinking on what’s possible and so very needed in corporations! Here’s a small bit of this article: “Dee Hock is the founder and former CEO of Visa International, the most successful business venture on Earth. Could this former bank manager with a conscience be evolution’s unlikely hero? Visa owes its success, according to Hock, to its structure, which is nothing less than an evocation of nature’s “cha-ordic” laws. Hock coined the term chaordic to describe that perfect balance of chaos and order where evolution is most at home. Yes, that’s right. A business venture that takes its cues from Mother Evolution, whose “trademark” dynamism, changing change, and explosive originality are forever groping to innovate, prosper, and extend creation’s euphoric reach further and further into manifestation….. And from the article – in Dee’s words…”Your organization needs to be absolutely clear about purpose and principles and must be very careful to know what a purpose and a principle is—you know, a purpose is not an objective, it’s not a mission statement—a purpose is an unambiguous expression of that which people jointly wish to become. And a principle is not a platitude—it is a fundamental belief about how you intend to conduct yourself in pursuit...

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