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InnovationJam 2008: IBM's 'Brainstorming Wingding'

2009: Volume 1, Article 1

A "brainstorming wingding" is what columnist Steve Hamm called IBM's InnovationJam 2008 in his October 9th article on the event. Hamm, along with tens of thousands of IBMers around the world - and for the first time, IBM client companies - was invited to expand on the results of IBM's recently-released CEO Study, "The Enterprise of the Future" in which 1,100 CEOs from every region and industry disclosed their deepest business aspirations for the future.

IJam (what most called it) attendees talked to each other in real-time, within a global, collaborative platform, to figure out practical ways to move enterprises from what they are today, to what they need to be to prosper in the 21st century.

Although originally scheduled for Sunday through Wednesday, October 5-8, the Jam wound up being extended to Thursday, October 9 at noon, due to unexpectedly high attendance and participation.

Overall, Jam participants were involved in:

  • Interacting with leaders from across the globe who share their commitment to profound change in their companies and industries.
  • Learning about new opportunities, best practices, and breakthrough business models.
  • Sharing ideas about key issues they face - from managing global talent, to serving new generations of customers, to developing essential new skills.
  • Listening to IBM business and technology leaders, as well as peers and independent authorities in a diverse range of fields.

Here's what IBMers who joined the Jam had to say (and it's only the tip of the iceberg):

"I believe the Jam was a sign of IBM's maturity, best demonstrated by its willingness to actively listen to what ALL employees around the world had to say - regardless of position - and using that input to achieve higher quality in all fields.

For me, IBM is truly the best working environment I have known. There are almost endless opportunities for professional development ... how much you grow inside IBM only depends on you."

- Martin Nicolas Ausilio
IT Specialist
IBM Global Delivery Center

"InnovationJam opened my eyes to a world of IBMers and clients who are still thriving despite these challenging times. There were ideas, debates and lively discussion about the role of technology and the societal impact/responsibility of business. It was an event not to be missed."

- Karla G. Jones
Communications Program Manager
IBM Software Group
United States

"After attending IJam 2008, I [had] the feeling that IBM is the right place to work.

[It was great] to see thousands of people with tons of ideas, from different cultures and backgrounds, converging to [discuss] a single point: 'How to make my world, and my
company better.' IBM people are so passionate about the company that we were able to put aside pressures and problems to discuss everything from internal issues, to worldwide situations, with passion and creativity.

- Elcio Queiroz
Client Executive
IBM Sales & Distribution

"InnovationJam was an engaging, thought-provoking forum. In particular, I found the discussions centered around the use of technology to enhance collaboration did a great job of not only presenting the incredible advantages and benefits to be gained, in terms of driving business innovation, but the tremendous hurdles yet to be overcome including security risks and unchanging company attitudes and culture, that can easily slow progress down."

- Gregory Shalhoub
Program Manager,
Worldwide Technical Support Vitality Community
United States

"I loved the Jam. It ... [provided] a way [to] ... collaborate about the ideas of tomorrow, today. Find a cure for tomorrow's problems, today. [Take] tomorrow's initiatives and implement [them], today. My motto for the Jam, and life, is: 'The only way to predict the future, is to create it."

- Thys Michels
IBM Software Group
South Africa

"Overall, InnovationJam was a big hit here in the Philippines. [It] was fun, and indeed, a great venue for idea sharing. It was ... amazing seeing a collaboration program as big as this, [with
so many] ... people from diverse background and [job levels]. It solidified once again IBM's position as an [innovation] leader ... around the world."

- Ronal Ray K. San Juan
Project Assistant, Governmental Programs

"Several IJam participants, myself included, utilized Jam information for a pilot project called 'Prediction Markets' that explores new ways of tapping into the 'wisdom of crowds' for
forecasting events and/or making more accurate business decisions. Common ideas truly reflected our world's most pressing concerns today, including: 'Green Initiatives,' deemed
highly important for future collaborative study ... and 'carbon footprint,' as the concept most likely to cause policy changes in mature markets."

- Kulbir Singh
Business Solutions Manager
IBM Global Business Services
United States

"Personally I really liked the 'hive mind' approach to the Jam - not quite a collective consciousness, but when you bring together several thousand individuals in a condensed
time frame its amazing the volume, quality, diversity and richness of response. This is a powerful tool and I would like to see a way to exploit this collective brain power outside of the formal Jam process."

- Chris Howard
Manager, Worldwide Solution Development and Delivery
Emerging 3D Internet & Virtual Business
IBM Research


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InnovationJam 2008 stats

IBM Client participation:

1000+ companies by geography

  • 50% Europe
  • 25% AP
  • 25% Americas (of that 40% from US; 35% from LA; 24% from Canada)
  • 30% of clients from growth markets

Top five of the 20 industries represented

  • Financial Services
  • Education/Public Sector
  • Telco/Telecommunications
  • Electronics/Industrial Sector
  • Computer Services

Top Five most attended chats

  • Growth and the meltdown of the U.S. financial markets
  • Leveraging the global talent pool
  • Bridging the gap between IT and business needs
  • A panel discussion on key Jam themes
  • The west and the rest - trust in a globalized world

Partial List: Companies/organizations represented in IJam

  • Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
  • Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
  • Center for CIO Leadership
  • China Life
  • Clorox
  • College of Business, San Jose State University
  • Duke University and Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  • IBM Japan
  • IBM Software Group
  • IBM Global Technology Services
  • IBM Systems Technology Group
  • Investor Environmental Health Network
  • Liberty Science Center
  • Nokia
  • PatentCafe
  • Xyntéo

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