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Thomas Schaeck, Distinguished Engineer, Collaboration Solutions, Web and Social Software, IBM

By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications

When Thomas Schaeck talks about the future of social networking and collaboration at the enterprise level, an apt way to sum up his description of what’s possible is: You ain’t seen nothing yet!

While enterprises are already realizing great benefits from social collaboration solutions, what’s in place today essentially lays the groundwork for extraordinary capabilities to come. Schaeck, a distinguished engineer working on social software at IBM Collaboration Solutions, is helping lead research and development that will take social business collaboration to the next level.

Nothing demonstrates the future and potential of social business collaboration more than Smart Social Q&A, a research initiative that lets an employee ask a question and then analyzes it and routes it to the best people in the company to answer it. Schaeck conceived the idea to integrate the IBM Connections enterprise social network and smart social analytics with advanced routing algorithms to enable employees to get the most useful answer to any question they may have, as quickly as possible. He works with IBM Research and customers on realizing this idea. Continue Reading »

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Ralf Larsson, Director of Online Employee Engagement and Development, Electrolux

By Ralf Larsson

The quest for business efficiency can seem endless. Companies are constantly looking for ways to work better, innovate more quickly, and boost their bottom line.
 

At Electrolux, a global leader in consumer and professional appliances, including the Frigidaire line of refrigerators, the heart of our organization is powered through the innovations of our employees. With nearly 58,000 employees across 60 different countries, harnessing the creativity for real innovation can be challenging using traditional modes of communication like email and phone.

A few years ago we embarked on a journey to find a solution that would better connect our workforce and help our employees share knowledge and creativity across the organization no matter where they were in the world, what time zone they were in, or what mobile device they were using.

After a rigorous evaluation process, we determined that creating a social business platform was the way to achieve these business goals. We knew it could help to transform our company culture, to harness the knowledge and power of our employees, and help us to evolve into a social business. With social business we’ve finally found a way to bridge cultural barriers and harness our corporate brain in a way that helps us to deliver unprecedented products to our clients and real business value for our organization. Continue Reading »

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December 5th, 2012
10:00
 

Matt Collins, Vice President, Social Business Marketing, IBM

By Matt Collins

It’s a well known fact that social networking has had a profound effect on society. Consumer social networks continue to creep into the workplace as many companies are encouraging and allowing the use of Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, during business hours. What’s new is that this shift is now causing a ripple effect in the business world.

The next generation workforce expects to share, post, update, and communicate with their colleagues and customers using social networking tools to get real work done. But the tools businesses use go well beyond the consumer apps that so many embrace today.

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Rudy Karsan, CEO, Kenexa - an IBM Company

By Rudy Karsan

Over the past several years we’ve seen social media and analytics begin to reshape how the world does business. Business processes from product development to sales are becoming more efficient, productivity is increasing, and organizations are getting smarter by gleaning insights from inside and outside the company.

But, while we’ve all homed in on the impact social + analytics can have on business processes, one area has been overlooked: the workforce. The impact of these technologies is felt by each and every employee, from those in the field to the executives in the front office.

Imagine the power and reach of a workforce made up of people who are in the jobs that are absolutely meant for them, fully engaged, empowered and productive. Picture a workforce that is flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of today’s market, that is able to harness its collective knowledge, talent and experience to anticipate client needs before they occur. These images are no longer visions of the future.

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Jamie Kirk, Online Project Officer, Local Government Association

By Jamie Kirk

“Houston, we have a problem.” These were the famous words from the stricken astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 space vessel when a technical malfunction left the crew stranded 200,000 miles from safety. In an iconic scene from the film adaptation, NASA employees gathered in a room and were presented with a small box of jumbled everyday items that the astronauts had in their damaged capsule.

The stark reality was that if they didn’t come up with a solution using just those items then the men would soon perish in space. In the face of this insurmountable uncertainty their commander reminded everyone in the room that “failure is not an option.”

In this time of immediacy, the traditional command structure was replaced by pragmatism. The NASA leaders didn’t care about job titles or what informal teams worked together as long as it produced effective solutions. By working collaboratively within tight constraints they managed against all odds to get the astronauts back to safety. Times of uncertainty, scarcity and high stakes when guided by effective leadership often produce the most creative solutions.

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Jeanette Horan, Vice President and CIO, IBM

By Jeanette Horan

As technology advances, enterprises are increasingly challenged to find creative ways to use tech to improve their operations and grow their business. It can seem like a daunting challenge. But I’d like to share a bit of wisdom that IBM has come to learn. That is, sometimes, looking within and tapping the creativity of your own family, can produce an endless stream of innovative ideas.

Today, IBM kicks off HackDay, a two-day online discussion that gives our employees the chance to think big and exchange ideas on how we can accelerate IBM’s transformation into a social business. This includes everything from new tools and work processes to fresh ideas on how to deliver value to IBM clients in a connected world.

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What skills do leaders need to succeed in the global economy?  Harvard Business School professor Linda A. Hill and leadership coach and writer Kent Lineback share their point of view as part of our Next Gen Leaders Series.

As globally-integrated firms like IBM are discovering, the roles of formal authority and hierarchy are declining in the workplace. What remains, however, is the core purpose they served – the need to influence others, to make a difference in other people’s actions and the thoughts and feelings that drive those actions.

Thus, the key challenge for IBM and others is this: if authority and hierarchy are waning, what are now the primary tools of influence available to those responsible for the performance of others? How, for example, can IBM’s Global Enablement Teams of senior leaders from mature economies best influence and develop the skills of local managers in emerging economies?

In this new world, we believe there are three key tools of influence, which we call the three imperatives of leadership:

Manage Yourself: Your ability to influence others begins with you and who you are as a person, and the most important feature here is whether people trust you. Are they confident you will do the right thing? Effective leaders now build relationships based on trust, not authority or social ties like friendship. And they do that by earning people’s confidence in their competence and character, the key components of trust. People trust someone who knows what to do and how to do it (competence) and who intends to do the right thing (character). Trust is the foundation of all influence other than coercion.

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by Michael Useem, Professor of Management and Director of the Leadership Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

A checklist is only as good as its underlying foundation, and the foundation is only as solid as the materials and engineering that go into it.  That also applies to effective leadership, which I believe can be distilled into a set of core principles that help leaders navigate complex challenges around the world.

To build a Leader’s Checklist, I have tapped not only my own experience but also that of an array of investigators, researchers, thinkers, and managers.  I have concluded that management experience points to a core of just 15 mission-critical leadership principles that vary surprisingly little among companies or countries: Continue Reading »

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Kevin Nosbusch is an IBM senior technology consultant based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1973 he played for the Fighting Irish during Notre Dame’s National Championship season, and went on to play for the San Diego Chargers.

When I played football at the University of Notre Dame and for the San Diego Chargers, broadcast television and radio were the primary ways fans enjoyed the game. There was no ESPN, no sports talk radio, the Internet was only known by DARPA scientists and social media didn’t exist.

Gosh, I sound pretty old. But in just 30 years the media and sports industries have been completely transformed by technology.  Today, fans are not only Tweeting about their favorite players and teams, but just last week at the Pro Bowl athletes were participating in the virtual conversation on the field at Twitter stations.

This week, IBM and the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) are conducting an analysis of social media trends related to Super Bowl Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Eli Manning.  By analyzing hundreds of thousands of public tweets they’ll determine the fans’ sentimental favorite – the people’s champion if you will.

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January 23rd, 2012
9:39
 

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