“Why are some organizations consistently good at innovating and adapting while others seem to be blindsided by change? Is it because of their disciplined innovation process or the knowledge and skills of their people? Or is it their determination to build a culture where challenging assumptions is not only encouraged, but expected? The IBM Creative Leadership Study found that leaders who embrace the dynamic tension between creative disruption and operational efficiency can create new models of extraordinary value.”
To gather the data for the IBM Creative Leadership Study, IBM conducted open-ended interviews with 40 leaders from around the world. Five of the participants are acknowledged experts in the area of creativity and innovation, five are senior HR officers from companies of various sizes, and the remaining 30 are creative leaders as defined by their peers.
Individuals in this last group represented a range of business and creative disciplines and were selected without regard to their formal leadership role in the organization. The interviews sought to answer three basic questions:
• What are the key capabilities of a creative organization?
• What are the catalysts of these capabilities in leaders?
• How can these capabilities be scaled across the organization?
To download and read the full report click here
It’s great to see that the enthusiasm for innovation is not just limited to large corporations, but is filtering down into the mid market as well.
A report just released by IBM, Inside the Midmarket:A 2011 Perspective found that in 2009, midsize businesses (53%) were mainly consumed with reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. The progress and momentum gained from these efforts continue to yield critical benefits and advantages for midsize businesses. Because of this momentum, they are now in a position to turn their attention to more forward-looking aspects of their business. This is demonstrated by the significant increase in focus on customers (+20 pts), innovation (+7 pts), and revenue growth (+5 pts).
18% are tapping into new and innovative business processes and models to help them transform into more agile and formidable competitors. With the economy continuing to strengthen, companies are looking for breakthrough innovations and new markets that will drive new revenue streams to carry them into the next decade.
from IBM, Inside the Midmarket:A 2011
You can read the entire report here.
“Jam” is IBM’s term for a “massively parallel conference” online. IBM had developed its first in 2001 as a way to unite the organization. More and more employees were working at home or at client sites, rarely coming to IBM offices. The idea was that a Jam — a group of interlinked bulletin boards and related Web pages on IBM’s intranet, with systems for centrally managing everything and seeking substantive answers to important questions in three days or so — would give people a sense of participation and of being listened to, as well as generate valuable new ideas. From the beginning, the Jam process showed it could engage tens of thousands of people at a time. There were 52,000 posts in the 2001 Jam, addressing questions like “How do you work in an increasingly mobile organization?” and “How do we get IBM Consulting into the C-suite?” Subsequent Jams helped clarify IBM’s values and produced good ideas for improving IBM’s operations. A carefully designed system for reviewing huge numbers of posts enabled the company to initiate important courses of action.
This article explores this innovation effort, unique in size and unusual in the amount of management resources invested in it. The article is based on participant observation in the Jam itself, review of Jam Web pages and postings after its completion, online use of some of the emerging technologies and more than 20 interviews with Jam organizers, participants, idea sponsors, senior scientists, senior executives and others.
IBM Has recently released its 2010 Global CEO Study. An excellent document that should be read by all, as it summarizes what is on the minds of CEOs around the globe, and, for those organizations that are looking to be more customer-centric (and that has to be every organization) understanding what the customer is thinking about is paramount.
Highlights of the executive summary are below, but I have also developed a PowerPoint summary of the document that I prepared as bedtime reading for all of us.
Today’s complexity is only expected to rise, and more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it. Seventy-nine percent of CEOs anticipate even greater complexity ahead. However, one set of organizations — we call them “Standouts” — has turned increased complexity into financial advantage over the past five years.
Creativity is the most important leadership quality, according to CEOs. Standouts practice and encourage experimentation and innovation throughout their organizations. Creative leaders expect to make deeper business model changes to realize their strategies. To succeed, they take more calculated risks, find new ideas, and keep innovating in how they lead and communicate.
The most successful organizations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes. They are adopting new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. By drawing more insight from the available data, successful CEOs make customer intimacy their number-one priority.
Better performers manage complexity on behalf of their organizations, customers and partners. They do so by simplifying operations and products, and increasing dexterity to change the way they work, access resources and enter markets around the world. Compared to other CEOs, dexterous leaders expect 20 percent more future revenue to come from new sources.