New Year’s Resolutions

I heard on the radio this morning that next Friday, January 20, is the date by which the majority of people who made New Year’s Resolutions will have already given up on trying to achieve them. If I had one wish for 2012, it would be that our corporations would make (and keep) a New Year’s Resolution to become more collaborative and engaging of their employees and customers.

To quote from this Business Insider article, Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple,

Today’s Big Blue is the antithesis of Big Brother. It’s ‘Big Open’. A transparent, nimble, collaborative organization known more for listening and engaging customers than for dictating to them. While ironically, some say Apple now resembles Big Brother given their propensity for tight controls.

And that’s why IBM — not Apple — represents the future workplace.

While Apple has been wildly successful, IBM’s Social Business is much more attainable and sustainable than what Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky describes as Apple’s genius led, culture of fear. For the genius is always, as Benjamin Disraeli and later Peter Drucker predicted, succeeded by a “lieutenant of Marines” who understands the business but nothing else. So the company is only left with an innovation vacuum.

In IBM’s social business culture, the genius lies in the 400,000 employees who are free to create circumstances that enable their associates to build on each other’s ideas. Its genius lies in fostering innovation through co-creation with its employees, suppliers, partners and customers. Remove one genius, and there are thousands more in the network to fill the vacuum.

Bottom line: IBM’s Social Business is creating real shareholder value.


About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.

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