Unleashing collective intelligence within our own organization using BlogJams

Preliminary research conducted within our Strategy & Transformation consulting practice indicates there are five overarching themes driving change within our core clients:
  • Digital Transformation – Addressing the opportunity of increasingly digitized business models, customers, and workforces.
  • Pervasive Innovation. Driving innovation into the DNA of organizations’ business and operating models and creating sustainable commercial advantage from it.
  • Next Wave Globalization – Increasing global integration and operating agility to capitalize on increased complexity driven by a steady shift in the underlying paradigm.
  • Efficient Sustainability – Simultaneously driving operational efficiency, cost reduction and environmental performance beyond the conflict between these drivers.
  • Deal Value Realisation – Exploiting the transformational opportunities presented by increased corporate deal activities while ensuring that the full value of such transactions can be realised.

To hone our points of view on these themes, we decided to capitalise on the intelligence of our own workforce (a finding from our 2010 IBM Global CHRO Study), by inviting more than 9,000 practitioners globally to join in a three-day discussion on each theme.  Using IBM internal blogs and social networking tools we have just completed the discussion (we call them BlogJams) on three of these topics. Engagement from our practice has been impressive and we have gathered a collection of cultural and geographic insights that would have taken months through traditional research, not to mention the prohibitive expense! We still plan to conduct more traditional research in 2011 but the analysis of the BlogJams has given us specific areas into which to probe.

The lesson we learned from this?  In large global organizations there exists significant intellect to help solve a multitude of problems rapidly and efficiently – and the corporate social networking tools are mature enough to permit such focused and ongoing dialogues.  We have found that members of the organization adopt this way of interacting and collaborating much faster than expected and they find the exchange energizing. This is clearly a recipe for starting a virtuous cycle for the next level organizational performance.

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