Tuesday, June 21, 2011


15 Secrets of Success


 (the Youthful Centenarian)

In the last 2 Posts in this Blog, we have seen –

(i)IBM’s current Financials in the URL :

(ii) its 100 year history in a nut shell, in the URL :

Its total revenues for 2010 stood tantalizingly at $99.9 billion –almost a 100 billion, marking its 100th year celegrations. this year. Its net Income was $14.8 billion and its Gross Profit margin was a hefty 46.1%.It expects to beter its record in 2011 and the first quarter already shows that promise.

So what are the secrets of success of IBM, arguably the most youthful centenarian?  

We like to discover and talk of these secrets.

Even if they are as clear as the day light Sun – they are still, IBM’s secrets of Success. It is customary to call them so – in Corporate, Management jargon.
And why not? Even if they are visible like the broad day light – Others couldn’t copy them, emulate them, or better them – and couldn’t succeed like IBM did!

So, they somehow remain as secrets for the rest.

Here  are the Secrets of IBM. Actually, we have made them into lessons for the rest of us :

(1)You must innovate. You must innovate like hell. To the extent of bagging Nobel prizes frequently. IBMers had won two – as we have seen in last Post, and I do get the sense that, IBM is not satisfied.
(2)Alfred Nobel didn’t think of prizes for many new science and technology  areas. Yours may be one such. Any way - Get the best prizes available for innovation – and get recognized for Life changing, world changing Innovations.
(3)What all this means is – R&D must be a major, result-oriented activity in your company. Ask yourself – How many Patents have you registered this Year?
(4)Will you build on the Past? Fine. But, better, build on the Future. The past is no more indicative of the many changes that will come in future. As IBM says - People around the world are now  ready for Big Changes. So, look into the future. Be the champion, be the harbinger, be the torch-bearer of these Big changes which people are ready for.
(5)Sharpen your saw regularly, by all means. But that is not enough. Get a brand new saw regularly. Your old saw isn’t going to saw as fast as the future needs. Harness Old skills by all means. But,Get New skills regularly.
(6)Announce proudly that -  I have the Best Men”,   I have the Best Machines”, or, “I have the Best Materials” and so on, and Ensure that, like I B M. Prove it with Results often.
(7)When Elephant dances, every part of it dances in sync. Every part of your organization must move in sync.
(8)All your new skills, all of your R&D,  all of your Patents, must be focused on meeting customer aspirations. How often do you ask yourself whether you are internally focused or externally focused? And, how often do you correct the Focus?
(9)It is not enough if you have sold a good product or service to a customer. Are you making sure that your product or service ensures your customer’s success? Is there a long term relationship with the customer? That is the game changer in marketing.
(10)     Go for Big game changers in technologies– like smart planet or nano type of technologies, products  and services. IBM says - the new leaders who emerge on this global stage will win not by surviving the storm, but by changing the game. Are you a Game changer?
(11)     Gauging Customer satisfaction and aspirations isn’t easy. One is of the Past.The other is of the future.  Don’t just depend on charts and indices for this – they hide more than they reveal. You must evolve other direct ways to gauge the feelings and aspirations of customers – and reorient your company to suit them.
(12)     Don’t be emotionally attached to a product, because you have spent much time and money on it. Whether market wants it – is what matters. That should decide its continuance, improvement or dumping altogether.It is a hard decision. The hardest. The real game changer of all.
(13)     Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game – says IBM. What is your Corporate Culture? How much do you like your Corporate’s culture? Does it permeate from the Board Room to the last man on the shop floor and to the security guard at the Gate? And, how do you know it does?
(14)     IBM is present in about 170. In how many countries are you present? Where are YOU not selling your products and services? And why?
(15)     Ha.ha.ha…These are the well known secrets of SUCCESS of IBM – or, the lessons IBM teaches us. But, remember - All the secrets of success must result in manifest Financial success!!That matters the most – finally.

Readers are free to add, modify,delete – any secret – and improve upon the list. This Blog will be grateful for your suggestions and criticism.

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