When I wrote my first blog post for peepsfirst.com back in March, The Life-changing Magic of Mentoring, I had recently left my job as a management consultant at IBM because I wanted to follow my passion for putting people first. I wrote about how my mentor and leadership coach Christina helped encourage me to take a bold leap and follow my passion. Even though I was taking a risk by walking away from a good job with a steady paycheck, I knew that following my passion was the right thing to do.
I knew that I wanted to focus my energy on helping organizations thrive by putting people first. I wanted to help hire, retain, engage and develop great people. I wanted to help employees feel happier and more engaged with their work, which would in turn help their organization become more successful. I wanted to help drive a people-first culture, where leaders recognize the monumental importance of effective talent management and are strongly committed to putting people first.
But what I didn’t know was where my journey would take me. I considered talent consulting, where I could advise multiple companies on their talent management strategy and approach. I considered joining a startup, where I could do something more entrepreneurial and help a company manage its talent effectively while growing very fast. And I considered taking on a talent role in a larger company (a function that many companies call organization development), where I would have the opportunity to positively impact a lot of people.
After dozens of fascinating conversations with people in all kinds of talent roles, several job interviews and countless hours of researching, writing and soul-searching…I decided to go back to a company that was already very familiar to me…IBM! I decided to join the Organization Development team for IBM’s Performance Marketing organization.
I chose to come back to IBM because:
- There are a lot of smart, talented, extraordinary IBMers, and I want to work with great people.
- IBM is going through a mind-boggling amount of change to stay competitive in the technology industry, and I see a lot of signs that IBM’s leaders recognize the importance of talent and are moving towards more of a people-first culture.
- IBM still has a long way to go, and I see exciting opportunities everywhere to help IBM raise the bar on talent and continue to drive more focus on putting people first.
I have big, hairy, audacious goals for putting people first at IBM (I hate the term BHAG, but I couldn’t think of a better one). I’ll share two of those goals, since sharing them will make me even more committed to trying to achieve them.
- Help IBM strengthen its employment brand and move waaayyyy up on LinkedIn’s list of The World’s 100 Most InDemand Employers. In 2014, IBM barely made the list, coming in at #100. Within 5 years, I want to see IBM rank within the top 10.
- IBM didn’t even make the lists of Best Places to Work by Fortune and Glassdoor. I not only want to help get IBM onto these lists, I want to see IBM break into the top 20 within 5 years.
Yes, I know, these sound like out-of-my-mind-crazy ambitious goals, and there’s a very good chance that I won’t achieve them, given that I’m only one person. But I’m trying to embrace Google’s (#1 on LinkedIn’s, Fortune’s and Glassdoor’s lists, BTW) moonshot thinking, because even if I shoot for the moon and fall short, I might just achieve something remarkable in the process. And, in the words of Steve Jobs (one of the world’s greatest moonshot thinkers), “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Are you an IBMer (or would like to be an IBMer) who shares my vision for raising the bar on talent and putting people first? If you are, I’d love to hear from you! By sharing our visionary ideas and maybe even collaborating together on some of our goals, who knows what kinds of crazy, world-changing things we can achieve?
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons