LEADERSHIP and DIVERSITY Gathering with IBM VP Ron Glover

RG-EVent

We continue to prove the value of the Greater IBM Connection each time we find a way to gather across the world. Last week, we did it again!

Over 490 IBMers past and present from 28 countries signed up to meet each other ONLINE at an appointed time and place to participate in a conversation with IBM Vice President of Diversity & Workforce Programs, Ron Glover. Our purpose in meeting was to explore the topic of LEADERSHIP and DIVERSITY in a CHANGING ECONOMY.

GETTING ACQUAINTED
We started the dialogue by first learning a little about who showed up. This seemed to create a sense we were connected in the distance. We had a chance to plot ourselves on a world map, shared why we were drawn to be there in a POLL, and got a glimpse of how we had described our unique roles in life and work. When each of us registered for the event, we also were asked to identify one DISTINGUISHING QUALITY we had as leaders or innovators. We shared the list with everyone. It had hundreds of unique expressions— a little peer-to-peer sharing across cultures and twenty-eight countries. Nice!

CONVERSATION WITH RON GLOVER
Ron Glover spent the first hour with us and generously offered his stories and insights. We had received hundreds of questions from participants at registration. Our Greater IBM WIN-L Co-Founders, Cécile Demailly (France), Shara Sokol (New York), and Jane Scandurra (New York), joined me to field the questions submitted. The questions covered four key themes: Ron’s LEADERSHIP JOURNEY, his thoughts on BEING A LEADER, the status of DIVERSITY at IBM in this changing economy, and Ron’s SEND-OFF for us. We hung out together for another thirty minutes or so to discuss questions, reflect on what we learned, and share stories and perspectives.

As a Greater IBMer, I admit I was honored to have the opportunity to welcome IBMers past and present to our Global Dialogue Center ONLINE Conference Center and experience the power of connecting in still another way. As someone reflected on the event: “This was a one of a kind opportunity to connect with IBMERS from so many parts of the world and with so many views.” 

RECORDED HIGHLIGHTS, HANDOUTS, RELATED LINKS:
We captured the highlights of this global Greater IBM gathering at the Global Dialogue Center.
We invite you to share in the experience too…
Go here for RECORDED HIGHTLIGHTS:
http://globaldialoguecenter.com/events/gibm-june2009.shtml

It meant a lot to me be involved in this event. It was a special gathering that emerged through the Greater IBM Women’s Network for Leadership (GIBM WIN-L) from other online experiences we created together. It was produced in partnership with the Greater IBM Connection team. Together — Ron Glover, everyone who shared in this gathering, and our global team — we created a moment in time that would not have been possible at one time…a memorable one!

From the reflective writings of those attending…

“It’s very nice to have the opportunity to share ideas among all levels. It’s not very common in other companies to have this kind of opportunity.”

“…it is nice to see so many locations working to make the world and IBM a better place.”

Best…
Debbe

6-24-2009 BLOG-gibm

Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection Blog
Co-Founder, GIBM Women’s
International Network for
Leadership
(GIBM WIN-L)

Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies
author,
Putting Our Differences to Work
Video Book Review by futurist Joel A. Barker
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco
www.globaldialoguecenter.com

Small Change Leads to BIG CHANGE – IBM Corporate Service Corps in Emerging Markets

IBMGhanaSlideshowAfter another disappointing week of streaming news about bailouts and leadership decisions flashed in front of us that are painful symptoms of so much that MUST change, I was moved by the corresponding good news headline:

IBM Selects 200 New Global Leaders for the Corporate Service Corps to Tackle Socioeconomic Problems in Key Emerging Markets

The story reads: “Two hundred of IBM’s future leaders from nearly 40 countries will participate for international assignments to emerging markets in 2009 as part of the company’s Corporate Service Corps program, part of the Global Citizen’s Portfolio initiative announced by CEO Sam Palmisano.”

What made this good news so meaningful was the slideshow story told by Charlie Ung, 8-year IBMer from Canada about his four week experience traveling to Accra in Ghana, West Africa. It says more than any words I could write:

http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/ghana_presentation.html

What I’ve always loved about IBM remains the same.
They do stuff. They inspire us to do it too. They are on it. Not perfect perhaps, but like everything else, in its cracks, new LIGHT emerges always moving to something higher. Sam Palmisano made sure of it when he put his fingerprint on the future with IBM’s commitment November 6, 2008 in a speech describing THE SMARTER PLANET.

The Greater IBM Connection?…
It felt good today to be reminded by the GOOD NEWS above. Another plus was finding out about it on Twitter from GIBMer Jasmin Tragas, IBM Australia (Wonderwebby) It is still another example of the goodness that comes from our Greater IBM Connections across the world. Jasmin reminded us all today in one of her tweets, “Give, give, give. Without take. Learn how Jasmin is setting the example in her own words and in a creative visual exhibitat the Women’s Gallery at the Global Dialogue Center — changing lives for women in the Philippines. Then you are invited to GIVE, GIVE, GIVE. Like Charlie Ung told us in his story from Ghana…

…Maybe that’s the key:
small change that leads to big change.”
  

Tell us what small changes you are leading. Spread the good news!

Best…
Debbe

Dk010109-recollectionDebbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection Blog
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Cos.
author, Putting Our Differences to Work
Video Book Review by futurist Joel A. Barker
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco
www.globaldialoguecenter.com


GroupCHAT-smONLINE EVENT: You’re Invited!
MARCH 31

“INNOVATING in HARD TIMES”
…a global conversation with futurist and filmmaker Joel A. Barker
1:00 pm ET – 2:30 pm ET (10:00 am PT – 11:30 PT)
No fees. Registration required. Login/audio sent via email.
We expect it to be widely attended based on registration.
Hope you can join us!
INVITATION and REGISTRATION:
http://tinyurl.com/MAR31joelbarkerDIALOGUE

 

Contributing to the Success of Others – Online Women’s Gallery

There is a new call for leadership and service all around the world. Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us…

“Our own success, to be real, must contribute to the success of others.”

Jasmin Recently, Jasmin Tragas, author of Wonderwebby and Managing Consultant with IBM Human Capital Management in Australia, brought this wisdom to life in an innovative and deeply meaningful way. I wanted to share this unique Greater IBM story…

When you put your heart and talent into a project, wonderful things can happen. Jasmin proved this. In an invitation to women, she promised, “By writing a single sentence”for her special Wonderwebby project, we could contribute to empowering other women, make a difference, and speak out against poverty. “You can change the lives of a group of women in the Philippines,” she explained. …and twenty-six women showed up to share their insights.

“The reason I am asking you, Jasmin wrote, “is because I believe you are a woman with an entrepreneurial spirit. Along the way, you made an investment. It may have been words you spoke, a course you undertook, a gift you gave, a smile, a risk or an adventure. Perhaps another woman made an investment in you.”

JT-GDC-WILGallery

Jasmin turned the insights from the twenty-six women into a beautiful slideshow with stories and wisdom to share with the world. It was one of the most inventive, mutualistic fund raising ideas I’ve seen. It is a win, win, win. Our Greater IBM connection across the world, offered an opportunity for Jasmin and I to team up, share our resources and showcase Jasmin’s project in a special way.

The online WOMEN’s GALLERYat the Global Dialogue Center, which I founded in 2003, is honored to share this special self-learning exhibit, WOMEN’s INVESTMENT: A tribute to the Entrepreneurial Spirit. The exhibit features the slideshow Jasmin created with beautiful photographs by Amy Palko (lessordinary.org.uk) that tell mini-stories from twenty-six women around the world taken from their personal experience of WOMEN’s INVESTMENT. Jasmin also tells the story of the project in a personal audio message.

THREE WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SPECIAL EXHIBIT:

  1. Visit the exhibit and take insights of twenty-six women.
    Click through the visual exhibit.
  2. Tell your story or share your insight;
    Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
  3. Make a donation…a small contribution empower another woman

Greater IBM Side-Story:
Jasmin and I have never physically met. I live in San Francisco and she is in Australia as I mentioned. We met one another through Greater IBM and have supported one another’s events, projects, and contributions. This special story serves as an example of what we can do by putting our differences, experiences, and resources together to create a better world.

Have you joined Greater IBM? Do it NOW…

Debbe

DK Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Cos.

author
, Putting Our Differences to Work 
www.globaldialoguecenter.com
www.puttingourdifferencestowork.com

IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco
 

GATHERING Matters When It’s Genuine

Wow! There is something about GATHERING that matters. People like it, especially when it is genuine. It was especially meaningful today when Greater IBM women (and men) came together to put the spotlight on “learning from each other’s role models”. The event was sponsored by the Greater IBM Women’s International Network for Leadership (GIBM WIN-L) and was held online at my company’s Global Dialogue Center CONFERENCE CENTER.

Personally, I am still coming down from the quite remarkable experience. We’ve not added up all the numbers and details, but we know Greater IBMers showed up from around the world and by all the personal reflections shared at the event, we had an exceptional time together. If you attended, chime in! :-)

Amparo Moraleda, IBM President of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel, and Turkey was a “bright light” for us all. She sat with us in our “virtual living room” for the first hour and answered our many questions about her leadership journey, her life and work demands, and offered many powerful ideas for us to take away as a personal gift. People called it “intimate” “personal” and “close”. She is a remarkable role model for us all. We can’t wait to share a summary of what we learned from her experience and wisdom.

We also shared our own stories about our role models and other leadership insights— and seemed to discover how much we have in common. It meant a lot to have men demonstrate their support and interest in women’s leadership by showing up. Enrique from Argentina shared openly how much he learned from Amparo and having a chance to learn from women’s perspectives. We learned from him too. All the way around we mentored each other across differences, distance, generations, and cultures.

To top it off, I had the honors of planning, co-hosting, and producing the event with five remarkable GIBMers: Nuria Carretero (Spain), Cécile Demailly (France), Linda Griffin (Virginia-US), Gagan Rudra (Canada), and Shara Sokol (New York). We all met each other at the Greater IBM Connection — we’ve never physically met, but our months of virtual collaboration across the world has in itself been a great JOY!

A very special feature was having Nancy Marguiles, well known as the “godmother of graphic recording” join us to do real-time illustration of all we were hearing and learning together. Her unique artistry was a big hit at our first event and by popular demand, she generously showed up to support this “BIG DREAM” that emerged from GIBM women worldwide.

I would have to say it was truly a “peak experience” to connect with others in such a genuine way. I loved standing on the summit together to see the view of what we accomplished in a short time.

A favorite POEM below came to me when we said good-bye…

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again…So why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above.

One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer but one has seen. There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”Rene Daumal, Mount Analogue

TO DO’s…

If you attended, tell us about your experience!

If you didn’t, tell us how much you wish you had :-)

We invite you to join GIBM WIN-L on Facebook.

Have you joined the Greater IBM Community at our new HOME?

Debbe

Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies

author, Putting Our Differences to Work
www.globaldialoguecenter.com
www.puttingourdifferencestowork.com

IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco

LEADERSHIP: Calming the Fears of Others

Nelsonmandeladetail_5Over my desk, I have seven paintings of leaders who have influenced me: Mother Teresa, Viktor Frankl, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Jalaluddin Rumi, and Eleanor Roosevelt. They watch over me as I work…and they serve as a constant reminder to check my behavior and actions, remembering what I’ve learned from each of them. (Nelson Mandela, Original oil by Bay Area Artist, Sally K. Green)

There is lots of talk about leaders these days and plenty to learn from those put in the spotlight — there is behavior to emulate and other actions to leave out of your leadership portfolio. What is very clear is that this is a time of great marketplace turbulence, workplace uncertainty, community adversity, and worry for many in almost any direction. For most of us, these realities bring some level of fear depending on how you are personally impacted or how close the rippling influence comes to your family.

What is the role of a leader during times of UNCERTAINTY and ECONOMIC WORRY?

In reading and studying the life of Nelson Mandela, he teaches us a great lesson about a leader’s response to fear. I recently read an article written to commemorate the passing of Mandela’s 90th Birthday, Mandela: His 8 Leadership Lessons by Richard Stengel (TIME, July 2008). His No. 1 lesson is one that talks about the important role of a leader in calming the fears of the people.

Richard Stengel writes:
In 1994, during the presidential-election campaign, Mandela got on a tiny propeller plane to fly down to the killing fields of Natal and give a speech to his Zulu supporters. I agreed to meet him at the airport, where we would continue our work after his speech. When the plane was 20 minutes from landing, one of its engines failed. Some on the plane began to panic. The only thing that calmed them was looking at Mandela, who quietly read his newspaper as if he were a commuter on his morning train to the office. The airport prepared for an emergency landing, and the pilot managed to land the plane safely. When Mandela and I got in the backseat of his bulletproof BMW that would take us to the rally, he turned to me and said, "Man, I was terrified up there!"

Mandela was often afraid during his time underground, during the Rivonia trial that led to his imprisonment, during his time on Robben Island. "Of course I was afraid!" he would tell me later. It would have been irrational, he suggested, not to be. "I can’t pretend that I’m brave and that I can beat the whole world." But as a leader, you cannot let people know. "You must put up a front." And that’s precisely what he learned to do: pretend and, through the act of appearing fearless, inspire others. …He knew that he was a model for others, and that gave him the strength to triumph over his own fear.

LESSONS LEARNED…
This story reminded me that a leader’s job is to be the shining example of what you want others to be. It also reminded me that great leader’s don’t create or promote fear in those looking to them for leadership. They make it easy to be brave, to persevere, to reach inside yourself to find the strength to engage at a whole new level when it is needed most.

I admit these principles were also instilled in me at IBM. When I think back on the "tough times" that came along, we were always a company that transcended the obstacles and made sure we were ready for the next opportunity.

What do you think people need most during the ECONOMIC uncertainty, worry, and recovery?
What leadership qualities calm your anxieties and inspire you?

Debbe

Dkdesk1008Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies

author, Putting Our Differences to Work 
www.globaldialoguecenter.com
www.puttingourdifferencestowork.com

IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco

WHEN WOMEN GATHER

Womengatheringsm2_2We did it! Last Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, Greater IBM women came together from around the world for our first Women’s Leadership Gathering. It was an online dialogue event hosted by my company’s Global Dialogue Center CONFERENCE CENTER. The theme for our first conversation was Leadership Lessons: Missteps, Miracles, and Milestones. Shara Sokol, Greater IBMer (1999-2004) from New York and president of s2 Creative Communications, joined me as co-host. We were also very blessed to have Nancy Margulies, who worked with us in the initial pilot (see "related article" below) and is well-know as "the godmother of graphic recording". She did live illustration to bring our dialogue to life. It wasn’t just the two-hour conversation experience we shared together, there was a magic in the preparation in the days leading up to the event that counted too.

As women from around the world, including Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, and from every region of the United States, made their way to the gathering, some were stepping up to put their fingerprints on our dialogue in meaningful ways long before the actual day. It started with three Greater IBM trailblazing women, who volunteered to serve as "conversation starters." Each of them found a unique way to share their thought-provoking messages.

Linda Griffin from Virginia started the dialogue by telling us, "I spent 30 wonderful years in my career with IBM. I loved my job!" She followed with her story of how she turned her experience into a leadership coaching career in 2006, as founder of ClearWind LLC. Her warm and generous sharing provided  "pearls of wisdom" for all of us to take home.

Orsoyla Selley, Greater IBMer from Hungary, wasn’t able to be with us for the event. However, she gave me the honor of carrying a message from her to the meeting. This demonstrated how even when we can come to an event, we can still make a contribution by sharing ourselves.

Jane Scandurra, Greater IBMer from New York, and contributing author to the Greater IBM BLOG, wrote to say she wouldn’t be able to attend as she was heading out on vacation — but this didn’t stop her from "being there" with us. You see, Jane Scandurra is owner of Go Pictures and Films, LLC with a new documentary film just launched, called "SINGLE". A few days before our Women’s Leadership Gathering, a video arrived in my email from Jane. As I watched her clever message — I was so touched at her efforts to support our first gathering. In the great tradition of IBMers, she "leaped over a few buildings" to deliver her brand of excellence as she talked with us via video at the event.

WHAT DID OTHER WOMEN HAVE TO SAY ?
Here is a small sampling of the words Greater IBM women chose to share about the experience before leaving the event…

– "So refreshing to meet in a place where everyone had your best interest in mind."
– "Gave me lots of food for thought when I really needed it!"
– "Appreciate the experience so much. It was wonderful!"
– "Invaluable. Please continue. Taking home some great pieces of wisdom."
– "
A suprise due to the original and fun format!!
I will promote this forum!!!
– "Appreciate IBM offering us an opportunity to network with
IBM and IBM alumni women; we share a common link."

In one of my cherished books, I re-read this passage the week before our first Greater IBM Women’s Leadership Gathering: "…miracles always will happen if you believe them to be possible." This was truly a small miracle for which I am so grateful to have been apart.

We recorded the event to share with other Greater IBM women. It will be available shortly for replay with visuals, video and audio too! Watch for an announcement on Greater IBM on Xing; I will post on our forum. Most of all, there will be more! This was just a first in a series. Our next event Greater IBM Women’s Leadership Gathering will be announced shortly. It will have wonderful theme that emerged from ideas during our dialogue at the first event. You won’t want to miss it!

Have joined the Great IBM Connection?
…our a business and social network for current and former IBMers

Debbe

Dkatdesk2Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies
www.globaldialoguecenter.com
author, Putting Our Differences to Work (Berrett-Koehler June 2008)
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco

RELATED ARTICLE:
"Women’s Jam — just a beginning of online synergy"
Greater IBM Connections eMagazine
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/greateribm/connections/connections_article24.shtml