As documented in Our Values at Work on being an IBMer and elaborated on in Corporate profile: Values, the values are:
- Dedication to every client's success -- IBM's relationships with its clients are no longer based on product sales, but often on deep, long-term partnerships built around our knowledge of each client's business and the market environment.
- Innovation that matters, for our company and for the world -- At their best, IBM's innovations transcend the technology industry, enabling others to innovate as well. We also pursue innovation in education, work/life balance, environmental protection, and all the ways a company organizes and runs itself.
- Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships -- The heart of IBM is the personal commitment each IBMer makes to building and preserving trust even if things don't go smoothly with all the constituencies of our business: clients, partners, communities, investors and fellow IBMers.
Yeah, hoopla, but I can tell you, IBM reminds us employees of this stuff all the time and really expects us to live it. It's the basis of our Business conduct guidelines. It guides us on making sure to treat our clients right, work on what's important, and stay out of trouble.
These values are discussed in--you guessed it, my favorite year-old article that I just discovered this week--"IBM's Management Makeover" (Nov. 2004) in Fast Company magazine, the article that also discusses how IBM Customers Are Clients and Collaborative Influence. The article casts the values as "IBM's New Leadership Traits," which ties in nicely to the leadership stuff I've been thinking about.
These values seem to have spawned imitation, if not word-for-word duplication. A company called BizAtomic appears to have cribbed our values. Ditto for the CEMA Territory Champion award, and for ProGroup. Two of the three values of JSB Intelligence seem familiar (guess they don't innovate). But I guess that's the sincerest form of flattery. Although I might quibble about the irony of apparently plagiarizing the wording of a value espousing trust and personal responsibility. D'oh! (Disclaimer: I'm not trying to talk trash about any of these companies, and I don't know for sure where they got their wording from. But they appear to be copying IBM, and not giving IBM credit.)
Here's where you can do some more reading about these values:
- Value One -- Including four principles of that dedication (IBM)
- As I See It: On-Demand Values (IT Jungle)
- Trust, Values and Business in the 21st Century (Irving Wladawsky-Berger's blog)
- 10 Questions for Randy MacDonald, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, IBM (Watson Wyatt)
- IBM Takes the Top Spot (Training Mag)
- IBM: Culture (Wikipedia)