As many of you know, I’ve been traveling in India last week and this week to work both with key software partners, as well as to spend time with our rapidly expanding IBM India Software Marketing Center of Excellence.
As part of IBM’s transformation to become a globally integrated enterprise, our goal is to ensure we are leverage the best talent available all around the world, while simultaneously shifting talent to the best market opportunities. Obviously this requires quite an adept organization and strong leadership to ensure we are always focusing on the right product areas (software, services, high-value servers and not longer PCs), the right geographic markets (more focus on high-growth emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, etc.) and the right client opportunities (more focus in the last few years on small and mid-size clients.)
Managing to keep, retain, and shift talent to meet this ever changing business dynamic requires careful leadership and a truly global perspective. As I sat at breakfast this morning in Mumbai, India I was reading today’s The Economic Times – and ironically enough, they had a piece on their op-ed page that talks precisely about global leadership and managing talent. The author – Kumar Mangalam Birla is chairman of the Aditya Birla Group – which is a $28B Indian Company that is part of the Fortune 500 and has subsidiaries that compete in everything from cement and aluminum production to mobile telephones and grocery stores.
In his piece that was printed today he argues that –
“Being a true-blue MNC [multi-national company] is only partly about geographic spread. It is relatively simple to address cross-border issues pertaining to technology, finance, markets and products. But extremely difficult to cope up with challenges relating to the human dimension. Global leadership is all about developing a mindset that wants to leverage resources seamlessly, across geographic boundaries. A mindset that is eager to build unique capabilities, to transcend the barriers of cultures in order to create value. It’s about being global in attitudes — but without letting go of your roots.”
I think this offers a great perspective on the true nature of global leadership. Last week I had the privilege of meeting many of our newest members of the IBM Software Marketing Center of Excellence Team here in India – and I know they will help us blaze the trail toward creating the best possible value for our IBM clients by leveraging resources seamlessly regardless of their geographic location.
Below are a couple of photos of our new teammates!