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APQC 2007 Communities Hotbeds of Innovation at IBM


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This is the presentation a couple of colleagues and myself did at the APQC KM & Innovation event where we showed the power of communities, and their usage of social software tools, in helping drive innovation at IBM by sharing knowledge and collaborating with other knowledge workers

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  • It would be interesting to get an update on IBM's innovation incubator programs now, three years after this presentation was posted. Your approach sounded good. Is it working? Encouraging innovation as inteneded or hoped for?
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  • The usage of imagery in this slideshow is very effective. You have done a fantastic job here friend.

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APQC 2007 Communities Hotbeds of Innovation at IBM

  1. Communities: Hotbeds of Innovation at IBM Alice Dunlap-Kraft Luis Suarez Mary Ellen Sullivan
  2. IBM is an innovation company <ul><li>Open, collaborative, global, multi-disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Combine products, technology, know-how to create systemic value for clients and for the world </li></ul><ul><li>“ Innovation occurs at the intersection of invention and insight. It’s about the application of invention – the fusion of new developments and new approaches to solve problems.” </li></ul><ul><li> – Sam Palmisano </li></ul>Innovation is what is going to differentiate businesses and national economies
  3. IBM uses enterprise-wide jams to generate ideas and solve problems collaboratively
  4. What is a jam? <ul><li>A jam is not: </li></ul><ul><li>An announcement vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>A top-down communications tool </li></ul><ul><li>A personal soapbox </li></ul><ul><li>A chat room – no one is anonymous </li></ul><ul><li>A community creator or definer – it’s a population, not a community </li></ul><ul><li>A jam is: </li></ul><ul><li>An event – an organizational intervention that begins and ends </li></ul><ul><li>Best-practice capture – vehicle to surface and socialize good ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Global collaboration – find people you otherwise would never meet </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic – equal access and freedom-of-action for all </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic – participants rate actionable ideas and behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational research tool – a population snapshot, a barometer of culture change </li></ul>
  5. Recognized experts set the stage for the forum <ul><li>Each forum is moderated by senior leaders and aligns with an engaging strategic question </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized experts focus the discussion with an initial framework for the topic </li></ul><ul><li>You pick a forum and dive into the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>You track your own ideas in “My Jam Activity” </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators escalate the best discussions to the “Hot Ideas” area and issue “Jam Alerts” to refine the discussion </li></ul>
  6. Communities drive jam participation by calling on members to initiate a new idea or collaborate on an idea already posted
  7. “ If you unleash all this energy, opinions and hope, you better be prepared to do something in response.” -- Sam Palmisano In January 2005, IBM unveiled the rating results for WorldJam in 11 languages. Employees could read in detail about the 35 actions relating to 4 strategic areas. <ul><li>The Jam is more than a “feel good” event </li></ul><ul><li>To be successful, the Jam’s outcomes must be distilled and acted upon </li></ul><ul><li>To reinforce the link between the Jam and its outcomes, results are communicated quickly, clearly, and periodically </li></ul>
  8. Jams led to the creation of ThinkPlace <ul><li>2003 – ValuesJam led to a new set of IBM values, including “innovation that matters” </li></ul><ul><li>2004 – WorldJam solicited ideas to bring our values to life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees ranked their ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sam Palmisano and senior leaders committed to implement the top-rated ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2005 – one of the top ideas, “reinvent the IBM ideas program for 21st century,” was implemented as ThinkPlace </li></ul>“ We’re taking the best aspects of jams, wikis, and on-line communities and applying them to our understanding of innovation in the 21st century” <ul><li>Nick Donofrio Senior Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Executive Sponsor, ThinkPlace </li></ul>
  9. ThinkPlace is IBM’s 24x7 idea marketplace <ul><li>Open, collaborative system : ideas submitted, discussed, then refined by community </li></ul><ul><li>Every employee can see ideas from others, comment on ideas, rate them, or tag them </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates social networking by using tags to enable discovery of similar ideas and people with similar interests </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized action lists with simple workflow for idea evaluation and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Executive challenges request ideas to address specific issues </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of catalysts worldwide facilitate collaboration and implementation in their areas of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Linkage to prototyping/validation programs (BizTech, Technology Adoption Program) </li></ul><ul><li>Innovator’s Awards for implemented ideas </li></ul>
  10. <ul><li>An accessible quorum of the whole, where all are trustworthy because all are empowered </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting across processes and silos to brand, culture, and purpose, where every employee belongs as an “IBMer” and reporting relationships are irrelevant </li></ul><ul><li>Building a collective understanding and context about what’s standard and what’s innovative </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing on passion, motivation, and caring about the future of the domain of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a safe and welcoming place for new ideas </li></ul>Communities epitomize the qualities of Jams and the ThinkPlace that make them innovative and successful
  11. Executive challenges seed new ideas by focusing attention on an area of interest to the executive
  12. The executive challenge to communities netted 143 ideas, 374 responses, and 84 volunteers to work on the ideas
  13. <ul><ul><li>Seek ways to identify opportunities for innovation on behalf of defined communities and groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review program submissions and advance applicable ideas for management review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assist authors of promising submissions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and advance strong ideas that have been overlooked </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Propagate IBM’s strategic approach to innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide feedback to project team </li></ul></ul>Innovation catalysts move ideas in ThinkPlace forward Hundreds of influencers worldwide who … A few IBM communities with innovation catalysts Business Resilience Community Global Learning Community Grid CoP Microcode and Firmware Design Community Networking Technical Community Open Source CoP Project Management Knowledge Network Security Technical Community SOA/Web Services CoP Telecom Industry Community WebSphere CoP
  14. Innovation circles – small groups of catalysts helping catalysts – amplify the benefits <ul><li>32% increase in the number of catalysts taking ownership of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>41% increase in the total number of ideas owned by catalysts </li></ul><ul><li>Searching - how to find good ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Idea extension - how to make an idea better </li></ul><ul><li>Network connections - how to bring in the right collaborators </li></ul><ul><li>Road blocks - how to address institutional resistance </li></ul>Typical sequence of topics <ul><li>Open discussion but discussion must be focused on positive suggestions for promoting specific ideas assigned to specific catalysts </li></ul>Format <ul><li>30 minutes, meets weekly </li></ul>Time, frequency <ul><li>Groups of 3-5 catalysts </li></ul>Size Details Element
  15. Communities are creating community innovation circles, linking to ThinkPlace, and implementing ideas Idea submitter from IBM India estimates this saves $15K/user/yr Catalyst and leader of 10,000-member Project Management Community Typical ThinkPlace idea lifecycle (note: community plays evaluation and implementation roles) Catalyst borrows innovation circle concept to create community innovation circle (including catalysts and non-catalysts) <ul><ul><li>ThinkPlace Idea #28759: c reate reusable template to transition project details to new project managers more efficiently </li></ul></ul>Community adopts idea Community evaluates idea merit Community implements idea Submits idea in ThinkPlace Search ThinkPlace for ideas Evaluate in community Determine next steps Meets monthly
  16. IBM’s Academy of Technology reached out to communities to bridge a thought leadership gap <ul><li>From the Academy to the communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to the Academy website from community portals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify Academy members who are community members and broaden their role to become Academy ambassador for that community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite community core team members to Academy Speaker Series calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include community core team members in the Academy’s calls for participation for studies and conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give community members access to the Academy reports in the Technical Leaders Database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The academy includes IBM’s most distinguished experts and has a mission to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide technical expertise to the IBM executive team and thereby impact the direction of IBM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote communication and synergy throughout the IBM technical community </li></ul></ul>A bi-directional effort to inspire, inform, exchange, and influence ideas <ul><li>From the communities to the Academy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage communities to identify, submit, and lead Academy activities that pertain to their areas of technical interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poll communities in Academy’s annual theme development efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have communities be pilot users of the “Ask The Academy” project </li></ul></ul>
  17. Using ThinkPlace and conducting innovation circles have become community best practices in IBM <ul><li>Ensures community collaboration on ideas of interest to community </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates value of community </li></ul><ul><li>Community can leverage built-in reward structures of ThinkPlace </li></ul>Ideas that meet approval at Innovation Circle are brought to attention of entire community for development, SME feedback Community collaboration on ideas (ratings, comments, tags) <ul><li>Focuses collaboration on ideas of interest to community </li></ul><ul><li>Validates ideas and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes to community members </li></ul>Publish a ThinkPlace executive challenge to solicit ideas on a specific opportunity Post and promote ThinkPlace executive challenges <ul><li>Access to rewards and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates value of CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Helps achieve community objectives at low cost </li></ul>Community members vote to take action to implement idea from ThinkPlace. The community can leverage enterprise innovation programs for implementation. Community adoption of ideas <ul><li>Ensures community awareness of ideas arising in ThinkPlace that overlap with community interests </li></ul>Leaders of community and community catalysts review ThinkPlace ideas that overlap the community mission Establish community innovation circles <ul><li>Establishes review of relevant ThinkPlace ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Forges link to ThinkPlace </li></ul>Members of the community sign up to be ThinkPlace catalysts Establish community catalysts What it does How it works Action/Practice
  18. Collaboration Technology Luis Suarez
  19. The Telecom Industry Community held a lightweight Jam in a wiki
  20. For 72 hours, seven forums explored the impact of Web 2.0 within the telecommunications industry <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Enable the collective wisdom of the community to be tapped in a new and creative way </li></ul><ul><li>Bring the concept of “innovation that matters” to life in the telecom industry </li></ul><ul><li>Test the wiki technology as viable platform for jamming </li></ul><ul><li>Test the process and management of a community-based Jam </li></ul><ul><li>Gain an understanding of the resources needed for execution </li></ul><ul><li>Make recommendations for future deployment </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm and select ideas to further develop for telecom’s Web 2.0 strategy </li></ul>
  21. Participation was active and feedback was positive and practical <ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Jam home page had 1,887 hits from 824 visitors </li></ul><ul><li>123 ideas and comments posted </li></ul><ul><li>Industry executives in every geo participated </li></ul><ul><li>A post-jam survey indicated that 72% of visitors actively participated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>30% posted comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% read the discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>80% would recommend a Jam as a way to collaborate on other industry topics </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback on outputs desired </li></ul><ul><li>Synopsis of top ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrade and make strong statement on IBM's strategy on Web 2.0 in telecom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize and implement top ideas to improve our solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase community collaboration for business benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prioritization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community evaluate ideas and make recommendations to executives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management huddle and issue direction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action plan to implement best of the best </li></ul>
  22. The innovation circle of the Global Learning Community is using its wiki to advance ThinkPlace ideas
  23. The Service-Oriented Architecture CoP put its newsletter in its wiki to reach a wider audience with dynamic content
  24. Communities use Lotus Sametime 7.5.1 Broadcast Suite to set up channels for instant help or collaboration
  25. The HorizonWatch community uses a weblog to collaborate and innovate
  26. Social bookmarks enable IBM communities to share essential links on a wide range of topics
  27. Social bookmarks also help communities find the knowledge and innovations that others have tagged
  28. Social tagging has been added to ThinkPlace to enhance sharing and collaborating on ideas <ul><li>Tagging facilitates social search and discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Users can share their tags and build public collections of related ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Tag information is used to present similar ideas in real time </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at a tagged idea can also lead you to people with similar interests </li></ul>
  29. A new activity-centric computing tool enables community members to collaborate and innovate outside of e-mail
  30. SmallBlue, an IBM Research experiment in visualizing personal networks from email data, helps members find connections
  31. IBM Global Innovation Community: Case Study Mary Ellen Sullivan
  32. IBM has identified six vital innovation enablers and recognizes that communities can supply them Climate for Creativity Working environment where inspiration thrives and creativity flourishes Idea Generation Secure a continuous source of creativity and flow of new ideas Incubation Structures Support the development and growth of ideas from innovation to delivery Metrics and Incentives Measure outcomes from creative processes and recognize talent at the organization and individual levels Role of Collaboration and Partnering Work externally and internally with organizations and specialists who have the strongest capabilities for innovation Integration of Business and Technology Integrate technological capabilities with business insight to achieve innovation
  33. Global Business Services’ Strategy and Change practice chose to use a community as the basis for its innovation focus <ul><li>Innovation practice </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation project </li></ul><ul><li>Center of excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation community of practice </li></ul>For speed, flexibility, and cross-boundary connections
  34. The hallmarks of innovative communities exemplify the six vital innovation enablers Global Innovation Community Goals Hallmark <ul><li>Share the innovation story </li></ul>Lead via the expertise of members <ul><li>Recognize members for innovation practices </li></ul><ul><li>Measure success across the community </li></ul>Apply innovation metrics and incentives <ul><li>Leverage cutting edge tools to share knowledge, collaborate, communicate, and innovate (e.g., virtual worlds) </li></ul>Better integrate business and technology <ul><li>Focus on global innovation issues </li></ul>Exhibit diversity in membership and activities <ul><li>Through agenda, collaboration, tools, activities, and membership </li></ul>Excel in knowledge sharing <ul><li>Foster innovation through collaboration and partnering within and outside IBM </li></ul>Lead in collaborative innovation, both internal and external <ul><li>Bring innovation to the membership through topics and projects </li></ul>Excel in agenda innovation
  35. The Global Innovation Community (GIC) launched in May 2006 <ul><li>GIC agenda: Accelerating growth </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share best practices for pursuits and engagements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Join deep business expertise with deep technology expertise to differentiate IBM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain tangible client examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify innovation opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance skills and professional expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access collateral </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaborate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-create new collateral and thought leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close the gap between what clients need, what IBM can offer, and how IBM can help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advance understanding of new collaborative approaches and tools </li></ul></ul>Climate for Creativity
  36. The community’s vision, mission, and agenda aspire to innovate <ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster enthusiasm for innovation through sharing best practices, collaborating, co-creating, and delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better position IBM as the “innovator’s innovator” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver on the differentiated value of innovation as a growth strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on services and cross-IBM solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and access collateral suitable to client pursuits, proposals, and client engagements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay current with IBM's innovation messages, including competitive differentiation </li></ul></ul>“ None of us is as good as all of us: the power of community” Climate for Creativity
  37. The GIC developed a structure to support innovation in thought leadership and delivery of services to clients <ul><li>The GIC core team comprises global leadership, practitioners, and cross-enterprise contacts </li></ul><ul><li>The community fostered the development of sister communities – to dive more deeply into and create outlets for innovation topics </li></ul><ul><li>The community launched a Center of Competence – to provide an organization to support innovation in the community </li></ul>Incubation Structures Idea Generation
  38. The GIC developed a network of sister communities for deep focus on innovation topics Innovation Agenda Global Innovation Community Business Model Innovation Product Innovation Services Innovation Collaboration & Partnering “ None of us is as good as all of us: Planting seeds” … To Be Discovered Idea Generation
  39. The GIC Center of Competence provides global community management and delivery support <ul><li>Activities include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual property management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides for ongoing, consistent delivery of services to the community </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates innovation by providing an organization to support creation and sharing of innovation </li></ul>Incubation Structures
  40. The center evolved into a support system for innovation incubation <ul><li>Event Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage community events (global, for sister communities, training, special events) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Membership Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage membership, community segmentation, and sister community membership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Welcome and exit survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage ongoing sourcing and contribution of community collateral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage community wiki, community w3 Media Library series, w3 community resource homepage, community knowledge card </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communications Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborate with community communications advisors, sister communities, and geo leads to support needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage internal promotion of news and activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinate to publish innovation-related information on intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Core Team Housekeeping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage central repository TeamRoom, community mailbox, process documentation of key activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology and Tools Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage ongoing exploration and use to support selling, enablement, productivity, communications, collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationship Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaise with sister communities and geo leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate cross- network, -industry, and -geo collaborative opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand the community network into local geographies, across business units, and externally </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enablement and Delivery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage IBM and member requests and needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support innovation citations and innovation offerings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage directory of innovation contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver 2007 community survey and results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support the development and promotion of go-to-market solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create collaboration opportunities with like communities of practice (e.g., Innovator’s Club, Foresight@IBM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an external community node (e.g., The Greater IBM Connection, GBS Alumni) </li></ul></ul>Sponsors, Leadership & Management Incubation Structures
  41. A keystone of the GIC is sharing the innovation story and recognizing successes by members at events Metrics and Incentives
  42. The GIC speeds to market the ideas that are spawned through collaboration or uses them to improve operations Idea Generation
  43. Innovation through the use of collaboration tools provides the climate for creativity for the community CommunityMap for membership mailings Wiki for collaboration Centra and Raindance for interactive webinars Sametime 7.5 and FreeJam for “town hall” interaction Role of Collaboration and Partnering TeamRoom for documents
  44. The GIC wiki provides members a place to collaborate to innovate <ul><li>For on-line collaboration and off-line information dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange innovation project information </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate the latest innovation thought leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Enable a gathering of almost “real-time” consensus on innovation topics </li></ul>Role of Collaboration and Partnering By setting the basic level of information about innovation, the wiki builds a common identity for members of the GIC
  45. The community is integrating business and technology through virtual world events for members Integration of Business and Technology Planning Orientation Main Event
  46. The GIC, now with over 3300 members, continues to innovate and provide value with its initiatives for 2007 Events Enablement / Delivery Thought Leadership Support Messaging / Communications India Innovation Summit (tentative) Second Life Event #1 Jan 30 Wave 1 Innovation Offerings Second Life Event #2 Feb 15 Ongoing - Monthly Global Events Ongoing – Membership Inquiries, Wave n Innovation Offerings, Innovation Citations 1 Year Anniversary (May 12 th ) Collaboration & Partnering Jan 25 Innovation Portal Relaunch (March) Operations Innovation white paper (throughout Q1) Collaborative Innovation white paper (begins end Q1) Business Model Innovation white paper (mid/late Q2) Innovation Compendium publication Q1 Services Innovation Feb 13 Services Apr 3 & Jun 6 Collaboration & Partnering Apr 25 Q2 Q3 Q4 W3 Resource Page Launch (end March) KCard Launch (April) 2007 Community Survey Services Innovation Sep 6 Services Innovation Nov 7 Collaboration & Partnering Oct 25 External Event #1 External Event #2 Ongoing – Biweekly calls, ItM Team Monthly update Events Enablement / Delivery Thought Leadership Support Messaging / Communications Brief Biwkly S&D Innovation Team (March) Brief CIC (April) Community Collateral Refresh ANZ Summer School Mini Summit Brief S&D 2006 Innovation Citations
  47. Through collaboration, communities actively drive innovation <ul><li>Innovation is the creative side of collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration is built on trust </li></ul><ul><li>Trust is built on relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships are built by getting to know others </li></ul><ul><li>- Lynn Busby, Community Facilitator, IBM </li></ul>