Working for a large company doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a start-up mindset. IBM is a case in point. The tech giant is embracing the agility, innovation, and quick decision-making typical of start-ups. IBM’s approach involves leveraging its vast resources and global reach while fostering a culture of innovation and risk-taking. This is achieved through a blend of top-down and bottom-up initiatives.

IBM’s ‘Innovation Jam’ is an example of a top-down initiative. It’s a 72-hour online brainstorming session involving all employees, clients, and business partners. The best ideas are then funded and developed. Bottom-up initiatives include the ‘First-of-a-Kind’ (FOAK) program, where employees propose innovative ideas and, if selected, work with clients to develop them.

IBM also encourages employees to take risks. The ‘Fail Fast, Succeed Faster’ philosophy means staff are encouraged to try new things and learn from failures. This approach, combined with a focus on customer needs, has led to the development of successful products like Watson, IBM’s AI platform.

By adopting a start-up mentality, IBM has managed to stay at the forefront of technology, proving that even large corporations can foster innovation and agility.

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