It becomes clearer to me when I speak with analysts that IBM is a different company to work with. We’re some 300,000 + employees in over 160 countries and finding your way around IBM is difficult. Ok, I didn’t climb out on any limb here. If you look at revenues or patents, you quickly find IBM is also the largest IT company in terms of products and services.
So we have to find ways for people to try to negotiate inside of IBM. Heck, sometimes it’s hard for IBMers to do this, although we have some pretty terrific social networking products internally that we are trying to push out externally.
I often hear, “why don’t you just do this or that and it will fix your x problem”. That statement doesn’t take into consideration the breadth and depth of such a big company. If you consider a small company, compare it to a rowboat. One paddle forward to starboard and one backwards to port and you’ve made a 180 degree turn.
Not so with IBM, we’re an aircraft carrier. To launch planes, you turn it into the wind. An aircraft carrier is 30 stories high and has over 5000 people, a floating city. It doesn’t turn on a dime, but when it does, it has more firepower that some small countries.
Such is life at IBM. so we’re not as nimble as rowboat, but we bring some firepower. Unfortunately, we are often dinged for this inflexibility that handcuffs our communications. It is led by a paranoid team of New Yorker’s, who don’t understand social media and it’s power. The are stuck in a print minded world at the time of this post and lead a life that is sheltered from any reality other than serving the masters in Armonk. This is part of the short sightedness that causes IBM to move so slowly.
Now to my point. How the heck do you find the right person in a 300,000 person organization. A complex question with equally complex answers. I don’t have the magic bullet, but I am going to say that blogging will help.
Soon, we’ll have a launch page that takes you to the community that you are looking for. On developerWorks, there are zones for each of our software brands, there is a mainframe blog, Healthcare blog , open source, lots of communities.
Once you find the right person, or advocate you can be very effective. We have lots of programs for this, but even then it can be a formidable task.
So Admiral of the bridge, turn the Nimitz into the wind and launch the planes, let the blogging begin to help find out more about IBM and the person you need to find.