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Create Cohesive Culture

Manage internal consensus, a course by Jeanette Horan.

Jeanette Horan

Jeanette Horan

Nokia Board Member, Former IBM CIO

Create Cohesive Culture
  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


How does a massive organization come to internal consensus around an idea or new initiative? How does it build a cohesive culture that’s personal to each employee? Jeanette Horan, IBM’s Chief Information Officer, has some suggestions: know your data, and optimize sales and marketing.

What You'll Learn

  • How to build a cohesive culture in a large organization

  • How to manage implementations

  • How to use big data to optimize sales and marketing


3 Episodes

1. Build Internal Consensus with "Jams"


How does a massive organization come to internal consensus around an idea or new initiative? How does it build a cohesive culture that’s personal to each employee? IBM has pioneered one particularly effective approach. Its “jams” are company-wide, text-based jam sessions typically lasting 72 hours.Rally your workforce with “jams” - 2-3 day company-wide conversations that accelerate learning, innovation, and unity around core organizational issues.Invite employees to answer kick-off questions that interest management. Advise all workers, including executives, to participate in a continued dialogue.Use text analysis tools to study the jam. What are the trends? What are people talking about? What are the things that are important to the employees?Inform company values, behaviors, and other topics of focus using employee-driven themes expressed in the jam.

2. Communicate the Case for a Shift in Corporate Strategy


When Jeanette Horan arrived at IBM she quickly realized that in order to implement the major shift in strategy being handed down by the C-Suite she needed to familiarize herself with the legacy environment of the corporation at all levels.In this lesson, she explains how she accomplished the difficult task of uniting a globally distributed IT department and moving it in a completely new strategic direction. By the end of it, you’ll have a three-part strategy for managing implementation of major shifts in organizational policy.I. Get to know legacy dynamicsInvestigate belief systems at all levels- from executives in the C-Suite to managers in the trenches.II. Identify key influencers at all levelsRely on key supporters to be ambassadors of the movement.Engage key non-supporters in dialogue to affect change.III. Devote special attention to the senior executive levelMake a case for the budget you need by grounding your request in the corporate strategy.

3. Use Big Data to Optimize Sales and Marketing


In the British sit-com “The IT Crowd”, a massive corporation has an IT department of three people in its basement. Their phone, which they never answer, always goes directly to a recording that says, simply: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”Your IT department is probably more helpful than that, but given the massive amounts of internal and external data available to any company these days, few are able to utilize it fully. Jeanette Horan, IBM’s Chief Information Officer, suggests redefining the role of the IT department entirely.Know your dataUse external data gathered from online conversations and outside analysis to inform you of marketplace trends. Use internal data collected from your customers to track specific consumer behaviors.How do we make vast amounts of information consumable and actionable to our business? IT can help sales and marketing put data into the context of the business challenge you’re trying to address.Optimize SalesHow do I optimally deploy...

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