Can Ginni Rometty Lead IBM Watson to Healthcare Moonshot?

Can Ginni Rometty Lead IBM Watson to their Healthcare Moonshot?Can Ginni Rometty Lead IBM Watson to their Healthcare Moonshot?

What’s the biggest challenge facing the world today? Many of my clients believe it revolves around improving the world’s population with better healthcare. Healthcare impacts everyone on our planet! I was at IBM’s World of Watson last week to better understand what role cognitive and predictive technologies have on our lives, communities, and organizations.

Ginny Rometty took the opportunity to share her vision of a World with Watson. I was expecting a good presentation from CEO Rometty. What I got was a life affirming vision of a future where technology and humanity work together to change our world forever. I know this seems like hyperbole coming from me, but I couldn’t sleep for almost 18 hours after hearing Ginni Rometty’s keynote.

By the way, it wasn’t just her presentation, but the people she interviewed over the course of the afternoon that got me very excited about the future of our world. I kept hearing the Beatles tune “I get by with a little help from my friends.” I couldn’t help but hum it as I was trying to sum up what I had seen that afternoon.

They shared the opportunities to look forward to. The possible collaborations between people and these new emerging technologies. Ginny seemed to know that she was leading a transformational revolution that will allow us to treat and cure many chronic diseases in our lifetimes. I was forced to consider Watson as the alchemist our world needs.

Today I’ll try to share why I believe this is possible. In future blogs, I share the many technologies I got to see and experience over the past several days in Las Vegas. So are you ready to share the journey with me?

I believe there are several reasons Ginni Rometty and Watson will achieve her vision for the world. The first is that she has discovered how to master communications with the many different stakeholders she needs if she hopes to achieve her mission for IBM.

She has been selective in where she appears and speaks over the past year. She and her team have made sure they are getting early adopter organizations and people to see and share her ideas in many ways and media. She has enlisted many different people in creating her IBM ecosystem. She has created key alliances with many organizations, which in the past may have been competitors, into incredibly powerful collaborators.

She has put the infrastructure in place to accelerate adoption and best practices. I spent significant time in Cognitive Alley and was startled to hear about the projects that they were working on with IBM. The partners had a clear view of how a World with Watson will work in their organizations, clients, and customers. They shared stories about how they see these new technologies transforming their industries.

The reason I believe IBM will achieve a World with Watson is they have embraced the ambiguity that new emerging technologies require. The push and pull of helping clients see the possibilities that cognitive technologies offer clients and customers. Over the years I’ve seen many new technologies fail because of a lack of clear understanding how it impacts the customer and their ecosystems.

New technologies like Watson not only impact our direct customers, but also those they serve. Organizing business units and divisions to better serve the customer chain helps ensure both early success and long term success. It’s critical that IBM shares their successes early and often. This is even more important when you have several generations working together in the workplace, each with their own unique way of learning and implementing ideas. I met several fellow experts from large global news agencies, including Switzerland and India. On the Indian side, I met a technology writer with over 4,000,000 daily subscribers.

Another key to achieving this vision is Ginny Rometty’s leadership teams who are constantly fine tuning their teams while moving ahead at breakneck speeds. Watson is providing a catalyst for transforming many industries and markets. It’s a platform designed to provide better collaboration between various stakeholders and constituencies.

I had a chance to interview several leaders I had worked with in the past at the conference and all shared how much more agile their teams were becoming at evaluating risk and opportunities in potential projects. They even shared how their organizations were teaming with key business partners to provide significant benefit to their customers’ value chain. Watson is providing new partnering opportunities for many organizations around the world!

I’ve always believed successful organizations have a high performing team culture. Individual and specific skills move in and out of projects more quickly than in the past. To do this, it’s critical to know the different capabilities of all the team members and leaders. We are moving into a more agile talent era. IBM is using this model to help transform their organization to provide greater value to their clients and partners.

I will be sharing more of this with you on future blogs including bringing in several experts who are implementing these programs inside IBM and their key partners. Tomorrow, I share the foundational values that are making this transformation possible for IBM and their partners and clients.

See you tomorrow at Developing Serving Leaders!

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