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Former CEO of IBM Sam Palmisano reflects on the company’s past 100 years as a leader in the tech industry in his strong leadership keynote. He begins his speech by stating that the most obvious and underestimated lesson he and the team at IBM have learned is that the company must keep moving to the future. He explains how it is easy to stick the systems, policies and strategies that led a brand to its greatest instance or instances of success. He believes that a strong leader will be able to recognize when it is necessary to change and when it is necessary to continue along the same path. The strongest leader will find a balance between knowing when to change and knowing when to maintain a particular behavior.
While discussing why companies such as IBM have remained so successful, he notes that many companies have a hard time breaking the emotional tie with whatever it was that made them successful in the first place.
His strong leadership keynote is not only an interesting reflection on IBM’s first century as a powerhouse in the tech industry, it also offers valuable insight into how it got to where it is today.