IBM has a long history of innovative leadership development programs. From cultural adaptability to cross-discipline mentoring, IBM believes that developing leadership qualities is good for employees, IBM and the world.
Basic Blue for IBM Leaders, Shades of Blue, the Accelerate Executive Leaders (AccEL) program for new executives and Executive Insights for newly hired or acquired executives are just a few examples. And in 2010, IBM continued to invest in its latest leadership development initiative, Global Enablement Teams (GET), with a decision to focus specifically on growth market countries.
GET teams were originally launched as a pilot in 2008 in nine countries, representing a mix of developed and developing economies. In each country, a team of four or five senior executives from around the world build relationships with the country general manager and the country leadership team. The goal is to enable the country leaders to advance IBM’s strategic focus within the country by leveraging the knowledge, expertise and networks of the GET members. To accomplish this, the GET team members work with the country leaders to develop or enhance relations with local government officials, clients, academics and other influential figures and to determine what issues are important in that country. The GET members then help the country general manager and the local teams make the most of our globally integrated enterprise to support the country in addressing those issues.
To put those ideas into action, GET members make short, but intense, visits to their adopted markets. To get an idea of how intense, consider that the Nigeria team had 25 meetings in two days. These visits help IBM align our business strategy with the national agenda, which opens new opportunities and builds goodwill by helping a country meet its greatest challenges. In the process, team members learn a great deal about a country, its society and its business. But the ultimate aim of the program is to enhance and accelerate development of a new generation of business leaders that possess truly global mindsets and display high degrees of cultural adaptability.
In 2010, the program was expanded by four countries and in 2011 to a total of 18 countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. So far, the country leaders have reported that they believe the GET program is helping to accelerate their efforts to grow IBM’s market access in their countries. They believe that the greatest benefits are coming from team members’ ability to help them to gain access to resources and expertise throughout IBM and to develop the capabilities of the leadership team. The GET members report that the experience is helping them develop broader enterprise leadership capabilities and cultural adaptability.
Discover how Global Enablement Teams help solve problems in emerging markets by leveraging the power of the globally integrated enterprise.
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