Vice President, Learning
IBM Vice President of Learning Ted Hoff and his team developed the Role of the Manager@IBM initiative, sponsored by IBM’s CEO, in order to change organizational leaders’ thoughts and views about the way they do their jobs. Specifically, this meant getting managers and executives in many different business units to communicate and collaborate faster and more frequently in order to better facilitate alignment with overall company goals.
The goal was well-suited to Hoff’s philosophy on learning, which advocates transformational education—that is, a learning regimen that builds new skills and knowledge that align to contemporary business goals.
To determine how to develop the Role of the Manager@IBM program, exhaustive research was conducted to establish what the current state of management was, as well as the organization’s ideal management paradigm. In order to understand existing and expected management roles and responsibilities, Hoff and the IBM Learning division contacted every business unit to find out what possibilities and challenges each faced.
Objectives for the Role of the Manager@IBM initiative included using “e-approaches” to familiarize teams in the business with fundamental organizational goals, and generating a learning-and-communications program between peers to discuss those goals. These were met by blending learning modalities, such as online collaboration and knowledge sharing, interactive e-simulations, in-class role-playing exercises and online “Action Nets.”
This approach not only helped IBM managers better understand and converse about business objectives, but it also helped promote the company’s policy of integrated leadership development.
In subsequent interviews on the business impact of the program, more than 300 managers who participated reported positive changes in customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, as well as increased motivation, engagement, communication and knowledge of business issues among team members.