Sharing, Innovation and Big Blue

June 9, 2010 at 12:02 PM 1 comment

Things change. When Stanley Kubrick imagined HAL, the psychotic computer in 2001:A Space Odyssey, an Source: Wikipediaurban legend had the name being derived by shifting the abbreviation “IBM” over by one letter. It’s not true, but everyone believed it, because IBM represented a kind of early version of the evil empire: secretive and bent on world domination.

Few companies have shifted so dramatically in their internal culture. IBM now thrives through a new strategy: sharing intellectual property. I read with delight a presentation by Anders Quitzau, an IBM executive, detailing their philosophy of opening up their labs to create an environment for innovation that goes beyond IBM’s own walls. The reason they did it:

[The] Pace of innovation outstrips an organization’s ability to “go it alone”

If you have a known market – say, computers in the 1960s, which sold to universities and government – you can thrive by managing the value chain. But most markets these days are unknown, because things are shifting so fast. The only way to go is to get ideas out there and test them. Your IP isn’t enough, probably: you need to combine it with others’. Sharing ideas lets you engage the market in a process of discovery. The money is in the solutions you build using the shared knowledge.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Architecture and Experience «  |  July 2, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    […] even IBM admits that they don’t have the internal resources to quickly design, build, and evolve fully […]

    Reply

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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at www.fuseinsight.com

 

"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters

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