Two of our colleagues and members of IBM’s small strategic communications team…
Christopher Barger, who has been one of IBM’s most visible leaders in IBM’s deep dive into blogging — our semi-official blogger-in-chief as it were — and other new media fronts
Ben Edwards, who has been a global leader in IBM’s new media efforts, including podcasting and the excellent ShortCuts program on ibm.com, as well as revamping ibm.com’s homepage editorial strategy and helping shape IBM’s Globally Integrated Enterprise strategy.
are taking on exciting new roles…Chris is joining General Motors, and Ben is circling back to the Economist (from whence he joined IBM) to lead that fine publication’s internet and new media efforts.
Both Ben and Chris have been wonderful collaborators and skilled pros in the leading edges of communications that we’ve been lucky enough to work on. And because they have lived and breathed the ways in which innovation has become open and collaborative, I expect that they will embody the hope and promise of IBM’s new business social network… the idea that “Once an IBMer, Always a Greater IBMer.”
Just as they have been valued and esteemed as collaborators within IBM, they will be valued as collaborators with IBM (and Greater IBM) in their new roles. Ben and Chris are just the kind of imaginative and strategic thinkers that will undoubtedly find ways to make the most of The Greater IBM Connection, now with more than 3,500 members. (The community has in fact nearly doubled in the last six weeks).
For starters, I imagine they may take advantage of the network’s ability to help them maintain their contacts with current IBMers, as well as extend their reach to thousands of Greater IBMers — those like Ben in Chris now in new roles, as well as retirees and interns –
More important, I imagine that they will also contribute good ideas on how this expanding network can actually drive business opportunities and support the kind of constructive collaborations that are the hallmarks of the people-powered Web 2.0 phenomenon — and of Greater IBM’s mission.
Of course, one of the fundamentally human reasons for launching Greater IBM was to ensure that whenever an IBMer like Ben or Chris becomes a Greater IBMer (as we all will, sooner or later… preferably not posthumously), the enterprise and its extended ecosystem can celebrate the personal and career success of those moving onto new challenges or entering retirement.
After all, IBMers regularly go on to greater things — the company is one of the largest breeding grounds for future CEOs and CIOS — because the culture both attracts the best and often makes people even better.
Ben and Chris: we salute you and sincerely wish you well. And while you will both be sorely missed, the Greater IBM Connection means that we aren’t saying goodbye, but inviting you to continue to collaborate with us, and with the Greater IBM community.