I was saddened to read of Irving’s retirement on his blog today, but glad to hear that he’s keeping one toe in the water, so to speak.
I was struck by this paragraph, in which he says:
More recently, prodded by our innovation initiatives at IBM, I have been asking myself seemingly “soft” questions about the intrinsic nature of business, especially what it means to be a globally integrated business in the 21st century. Revenue, profits and cash are clearly important. But at heart a business is a community of people organized to pursue common objectives. And increasingly, as people and communities interact with each other around the world, the cultural issues are becoming paramount. I am convinced that these are the life and death issues for companies, the keys to their ability to innovate and survive.
It’s an ongoing battle we web 2.0 warriors fight … so many people still don’t see the value of social software, in spite of our best efforts to the contrary. It’s a time-waster, they say. How is this going to help the organization? Which is one of the reasons I feel compelled to take the blogging show on the road – because I feel so strongly about the added value it has provided me and my work at IBM. Never would I have had the chance to interact with as many colleagues around the globe. It’s telling that I hesitate to call out the names now, because there are so many, I fear leaving someone out! 🙂
No longer should we be content to sit in our cubicles, interacting only with the 5 people we work with on a daily basis. We have the tools to really be part of the greater IBM… to make the best use of all 300,000 of us. To make an impact far beyond our small workplace.
If two heads are better than one, how much better are 300,000 heads?
The thrill of bringing new technologies into the real world, the challenge of making innovation real in the marketplace, and the opportunity to make a difference in society that I have experienced at IBM have not made this decision to retire an easy one.
I hear you. And the announcements at Lotusphere about Lotus Connections and such must make it all the harder.
This is an exciting time and it’s so great to see IBM right out there in the middle of it: blogging, dogearing, sametiming, second life-ing….
Can’t wait to see what happens next! 🙂