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Social media drives innovation at IBM

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

At IBM, being “authentic” with social media means losing control.

Rather than trying to control the brand’s image or message, leadership at IBM has handed the reins to thousands of voices inside the company.

With more than 100,000 employees using 17,000 internal blogs, the idea is that employees can collaborate and share—even with the public—unimpeded. You can also see the philosophy at work during IBM’s innovation “jams,” where employees come together online to crowd-source ideas.

For companies currently devising social media guidelines, the thought of such an open, unregulated exchange might seem scary. But at IBM, the “no policing” policy has created a self-regulating environment, where employees use blogs and internal tools to swap ideas and advance conversations.

Result: Crowd-sourcing identified 10 top incubator businesses, which IBM funded with $100 million.

— Adapted from “How IBM Uses Social Media to Spur Employee Innovation,” Casey Hibbard, Social Media Examiner.

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