Innovation, transformation and leadership

Tackling big challenges comes naturally to our company. There is a reason one of the core Values that IBMers wrote for themselves was “Innovation that matters – for our company and for the world.” The harder the problem, the more interested an IBMer becomes – and the more the world turns to us for ideas, breakthroughs and partnership.

You see this in the kinds of challenges IBM has undertaken over the years – from the creation of Social Security in the United States; to the shaping of modern finance, transportation and business; to putting a man on the moon and returning him safely. You see it in our current “moonshots,” as we apply the power of cognitive technology and the thinking and dedication of the world’s most brilliant workforce to problems like cancer and education.

You see this mindset not only in which challenges we tackle, but in how we tackle them. We don’t just throw money at a problem or make symbolic gestures of our good intentions. We actively seek out partners from across civil society and government, often collaborating with both – but we don’t wait for someone to ask us for help. Rather, we take the initiative, approach complex problems as the systemic challenges they are, and don’t feel satisfied until we have put in place lasting, institutionalized and systemic solutions.

For IBMers, this is what transformation and leadership mean. It is the “matters” in “innovation that matters.” And you will see example after example of it through this report. You will see the creation of an innovative model of education that seamlessly connects school to college and career; of citizen diplomacy designed to empower communities: and new ways to transform oncology, genomics and the “last mile” of healthcare. You will learn how we are not just offering new forms of artificial intelligence, but are implementing principles to guide their fair, just and societally sustainable use.

Finally, you see this seriousness of purpose in how we act as stewards of IBM itself. We are now in the midst of arguably the most ambitious and extensive transformation in a history of continuous reinvention. IBM is one of few companies in our industry to have moved from era to era for more than a century. We have done so not by tinkering around the edges of change, but accepting the need for fundamental, bet-the-business transformation – in order to help our clients and the world move to the future.

This nexus of innovation, transformation and leadership, on a societal scale and with global impact, is expressed nowhere more clearly than in our Corporate Citizenship strategy, work and outcomes. It is the subject of this report. I hope it engages you as an ambitious professional – no matter what your field or industry. And I hope you will join us in building a world that is healthier, less wasteful, more productive, more sustainable and fairer.

Ginni Rometty signature

Ginni Rometty

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

Download the 2016 report