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March 05, 2007


Anne Johnson

"business decisions involve not just the employees of the organization, but all its key ecosystem partners, including customers, supply chain partners, service providers and dealers. This requires a culture of collaboration .."

In particular, it requires a style of management which thinks through the implications of the work to be done for all the partners; it is a big shift from the mindset of 'ask Jane in the cubicle down the hall' to 'search in the project discussion forum, and if there's no relevant information post the question to the forum with the right subset of participants, having due regard to their employment status, availability, and what they will read between the lines of the question'.

From previous experience of collaborative work between IBM and Cisco, IBM is fairly good at this, but it takes empathy added to detailed technical understanding of the tools as well as the subject matter to do it well.

Anne Johnson

Thomas Fundneider

In my view, the essence of a globally integrated company is the search for strategic flexibility: organisational resources and managerial skills needed to coordinate the company´s global activities in respose to market, competitive, regulatory and political fluctuations/changes. This goes beyond Bruce Kogut´s stamtement "Global strategies rest on the interplay of the competitive advantage of firms and the comparative advantage of countries."

However, what is often neglected is that globalisation is not only an issue for big companies but for small firms as well. These small organisations are competing in a global market, thus ultimately the market will come to them (except some niche markets).

Maciek Mlynarski

One think worth noticing is that now only organization could be lighter with many less levels of organizational structure. Because for those who transmit data,information,decision either upwardly or downwardly, having its added value in doing some aggregation and processing role is slowly disappearing. While, now possibilities open for self-organizing teams withn the framework of the company.
New ad hoc teams composed of specialist from
many units, even coutries can solve problems
ecountered by the company.
But possibilities are even much more.

Doug Seitz

IBM's opportunities and challenges in this integrated world are enormous. Keeping track of local legistation on privacy, health and safety, or security is daunting and cries for intelligent data repositories and analysis engines. Selling or purchasing across boarders is another area that cries for consolidated data and tools.

Yet as the need for centralized repositories of information grows, the need for coordinated organic execution also grows. Scalability breaks down if local execution is gated. Adequate information cannot flow fast enough to make central decisions on every detail. Just as with people, pushing authority, capability, and responsibility as far down into the system optimizes the ability to manage global enterprises with rapid local execution. Real empowerment works. The challenge comes in coordinating tens or hundreds of thousands of disparate execution points with common policies, rules, and strategies.

I cannot think of another organization on the face of the planet better positioned to architect centralized information, command and control, authority, and local execution with common guidelines than IBM. As the bumper sticker says, "Act Locally, Think Globally".

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