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Town hall with Sam (life blogging)

Sam Palmisano today visited Singapore for the first time since he became IBM's chairman. So IBM Singapore organized a town hall session with him. The session went as expected. Sam exhibited a humor in his address, that was nearly British (to my delight). He marveled about past supermen who actually managed to sell hardware and software together.
In the Q & A session he was asked what is the most important thing a people manager can do for his people he answered: " Lead, don't manage".
Leading means to enable people, managing is optimizing around the measurements.
He reminded us, that IBM is unique in its breath and depth of knowledge and can win any competitive battle once we deliver these (where he was very clear that there is room for improvement). While IBM is a great engineering company he stated, that IBM's ability to generate cash each quarter is what makes IBM tick. He predicted software being a bigger part of IBM in future, not because he likes software more than the other parts, but because most of the IT industry is software driven and software companies command a higher P/E ratio. He predicted that in the near future IBM will table more integrated offerings to drive IBM cash flow and profitability.
He made it very clear: "It is our ability to generate cash, that allows us to invest in you, therefore you should care for profits and margins". All the businesses (storage, PC etc.) IBM exited were for the reason, that they didn't make that margins and cash that drives IBM to be able to invest into innovation.
He urged and promised, that he will drive to simplify IBM for the benefit for IBM and their clients. His final word: "If you hire the smartest people in the world, let them do more than one thing".

Posted by on 09 May 2007 | Comments (3) | categories: IBM - Lotus


  1. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Thursday 10 May 2007 AD:
    Yeah. How can IBM layoff 150000 employees in the US if there are only 120000 there? And there has been said quite bit about it here: http://vowe.net/archives/008429.html

    Emoticon smile.gif stw
  2. posted by Slawek on Thursday 10 May 2007 AD:
    I must have missed it since I don't read German Emoticon smile.gif
  3. posted by Slawek on Thursday 10 May 2007 AD:
    May I temper this report with a view from a slightly different angle: