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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

IBM Taps Employees for Innovation Using Blog Like Tools

On ComputerWorld, ran into an article IBM: Tapping Employee Brain Power you may find the print version easier to read (and on one page). The article mentions something that I had heard about from Tony O'Driscoll at IBM, but had not seen in print:

IBM’s new values, which include putting client needs first and fostering innovation, may seem obvious, but Truskowski says the participatory, grass-roots means by which they were developed gives them credibility with employees — something they would have lacked if they’d been developed by “a senior executive sitting in Armonk.”

Armed with the freshly minted corporate values, senior management charged business unit managers to find and close the gaps between those values and actual business practices. To help with that, IT rolled out in October 2004 a so-called jam ­— a worldwide brainstorming session that Truskowski describes as “a blog on steroids.” It drew ideas from 33,000 employees, and IBM later implemented the top 35 suggestions as determined by an employee vote.
More recently they've used "Jams" to look at innovative product/service ideas. This jam was open (somewhat) to outside input and it "generated 37,000 ideas from 140,000 people in 75 countries and 67 companies."

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