Responsibility at IBM

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

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In this section, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty’s letter describes how IBM’s goal to unite its business and citizenship strategies is taking shape. We take a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship at IBM, and we integrate that approach into many aspects of our company. In this section you will also find a high-level overview of some of our major activities.


It’s not enough to develop world-class technology, services and expertise—at IBM we realize we must directly apply these things to the communities in which we live and work in order to have a positive impact. In this section, you will find examples of the ways we practiced this approach over the course of 2012 and into 2013.

The IBMer

A great company is forever evolving and growing. At IBM, we make it a top priority to hire, support and retain the people who make us a great company. In this section, you will find examples of the ways we support both the personal and professional development of our employees.


IBM’s unwavering commitment to environmental protection is evidenced across all of our business activities, from our research, development, products and services to the solutions we provide our clients that help them be more protective of the environment. In this section of IBM’s Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find information on our environmental programs, performance and solutions during 2012.

Supply Chain

Social and environmental responsibility is an important part of our business relationships with our suppliers. We work closely with them to encourage sustained improvement throughout our global supply chain and across various aspects of corporate responsibility. In this section you will find examples of how we set requirements for the companies we do business with, grow the global diversity of our supply base and collaborate with industry groups and stakeholders.


IBM’s culture of ethics and integrity is guided by a rigorous system of corporate governance. In this section, you will find examples of the many ways we govern the conduct of the company, manage risk and contribute our expertise to public discourse.

Awards & Metrics

Many of our corporate responsibility efforts received recognition from others in 2012. The most significant of these are listed in “Awards and Recognition.” We rely on a number of metrics to measure our corporate responsibility efforts. Our Key Performance Indicators and other significant metrics can be found in “Performance Summary.”

Leadership Development

As we continue to deliver and expand our mission of building a Smarter Planet, it’s essential that we develop leaders who inspire other IBMers, our clients and our larger community of stakeholders to make the world work better.

To support this belief, IBM offers a wide variety of innovative leadership programs designed to enrich IBMers with experiences and opportunities that will serve them at IBM or wherever their careers take them.

IBM’s long history of investing in the development of its leaders continued to be a top priority during 2012, a year during which we focused on building unique experiences and refreshing core programs to accelerate advancement to leadership positions. Below are highlights of some of those leadership development programs during 2012.

Joint Leadership Development Program

The Joint Leadership Development Program is a two-year, multi-company initiative where select senior leaders enhance their leadership capabilities by developing relationships and gaining perspectives outside their own company. Each senior executive attends and actively participates in seven learning events over the two-year journey. Six sponsoring companies are collaborating to create the development experience, where each company hosts and plans a single face-to-face event. Participants also engage in virtual team exercises to gather experiences from each session; they then share their consolidated learning with their respective organizations.

IBM’s event was held in March 2012 with the theme “IBM’s Transformation Journey.” The event included discussions with IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty, past CEOs Sam Palmisano and Lou Gerstner, and an interactive session with IBM’s supercomputer Watson. The event was well received by participants and set a high standard for others to come. Other events during 2012 covered the topics of globalization and leadership in a global world. The final four sessions will take place during 2013, culminating with a graduation ceremony.

I&VT 9: IBM’s leadership in social business

For the last seven years, the Integration and Values Team (I&VT) has played an integral role in the advancement of IBM’s most promising leaders. I&VT members are appointed with the expectation that they will work to integrate and transform IBM, lead by values and develop other IBM leaders.

Since 2006 there have been nine successful I&VT initiatives that centered on important areas of focus for IBM: client value, enabling the globally integrated enterprise, the global IBMer, cloud computing, business analytics, Africa and most recently social business. Each of these initiatives has transformed the way IBM does business, brought value to our clients and helped in the development of our senior executives.

The most recent initiative, I&VT 9, focused on IBM’s leadership in social business. This initiative was pivotal in engaging IBM senior leaders to think, act and lead in a social way. The team had the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience, working with experts both inside and outside of IBM and witness the impact of social media on the world.

Some members of I&VT 9 team participated on committees to explore how we connect and collaborate with clients and partner organizations. Other I&VT 9 team members committed their efforts to IBM employee engagement. With a lens on social media, the I&VT 9 team explored how IBM can leverage social business to access expertise while enhancing our culture to be more personalized, leading to even more positive employee engagement. This new behavior is championing IBM’s social transformation.

The Client Experience Team (CET)

In 2012 IBM launched the Client Experience Team (CET) based on the premise that a company can’t build a great business without nurturing from within. As we strive to enable our clients to do their best work, we recognize the need to advance the client-valued skills and expertise of IBMers.

The team, chaired by Ginni Rometty, is a diverse group of client-facing leaders representing all business lines and geographies within the company. The team convened around a charter focused on three themes: build a system of engagement that delivers signature client experiences; close the gaps that detract from the client experience; and make pervasive a culture that enables IBMers to live our values.

The CET embraced the opportunity to critically analyze the ability of IBM and other leading companies to activate their cultures in service of client experience. The CET met with CEOs and senior leaders at several companies and convened our Board of Advisors who offered valuable input on how IBM and the IBMer are unique.

In early 2013, the CET engaged the expertise of IBMers at every level to re-define a number of talent development and employee engagement programs. IBMers had the opportunity to engage and offer their input into the Client Experience Jam — a live, online brainstorm from which we determined what it means to be an IBMer and defined behaviors which set us apart and shape our client experience.

Several other programs have been enhanced and expanded in 2012 to widen our leadership development reach and impact. These are just a few:

General Manager Leadership Development Program
During 2012 we expanded our General Manager Leadership Development Program (GM LDP) for future leaders in growth markets. In less than 5 years, participants in the GM LDP rotate through assignments designed to accelerate their advancement around the globe. Rotations through units such as consulting, business development and sales and corporate functional assignments are included.
Accelerate Executive Leaders
Accelerate Executive Leaders (AccEL), designed to guide newly appointed executives, was refreshed and enhanced to provide an even more personal development experience in 2012. Real-world application, case methodology and team learning are now included to ensure the transition of these IBMers to the executive level is successful.
Cornerstone for Global Business Services, which accelerates the advancement of our pre-executives to executive through a six-week journey of blended learning, expanded beyond North America to include Europe and growth markets in 2012. The program includes learning from senior leaders, diagnostic tools, team learning, feedback, simulations, coaching and personal experimentation.