Katrina Troughton IBM Connect 2016 copy

What is IBM doing to help empower students to better engage, collaborate, and take a leading role in the social age? This is the question Katrina Troughton, General Manager, IBM Social and Smarter Workforce Solution, addressed during a panel at the 2016 IBM Connect Conference in Orlando, Florida. During the panel, Troughton spoke with Professor Peter Cardon of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, along with students Bree Mayer and Jamie Winger, about their participation in the IBM-sponsored SocialStudent Competition.

The goal of SocialStudent was to provide participants with a real-world collaborative environment similar to the ones they’re likely to experience once they’ve graduated and entered the workforce. Using IBM-based tools, students from USC, the University of Arizona, and Aalto University engaged in a virtual platform to collaborate on a series of predefined deliverables for the team project. During the panel, Professor Cardon appeared especially pleased with the competition, speaking to the urgent need for emerging graduates to not only learn the tools and processes necessary for collaboration, but to develop a mindset more open and accustomed to these social best practices.

Check out the SocialStudent homepage to learn more about the program and where it can go from here. To see what participating students had to say, check out the video below:

Good Food, Good Conversation

Also while at IBM Connect, I was able to attend the Women’s Executive Lunch, also hosted by Katrina Troughton. Just like last year, the event was a great opportunity to meet with many of the prominent women in social business, to hear their thoughts on what the coming year has in store, and to discuss the growing presence of women in leadership roles at forward-thinking companies such as IBM.

It was a great pleasure moving from table to table hearing what all these women had to say. And the even certainly was timely, with recently released research from the Peterson Institute finding that businesses with greater gender diversity earn greater profits. Truly, such findings underscore key principles of social business, that broader collaborative engagement leads to improved business outcomes—and not just with women, but with diverse members of the digital bazaar from around the globe.

Does SocialStudent sound like a promising step forward to you? What do you think of the Peterson Institute’s findings? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out my other post on IBM Connect 2016, where I highlight the work Jeff Schick is doing to reimagine communication and collaboration.



IBM Book Club Banner FINAL 2015

Below are recent endorsements for The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) by Tom Peters and David Aaker on their social networks, but if you want to see more of their endorsements click here.

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Tom Peters (Twitter) attribution PPT

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In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

See what others are saying about The Social Employee and order your copy today!


Please check out @SocialEmployee media buzz! Click Here

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“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand


Amazon_agold-bookThe Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.

FORMcGrawHill_RedEWORD by David C. Edelman, Global Co-Leader, Digital Marketing & Sales Practice, McKinsey & Company

AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The New York Times, The Economist and Vanity Fair.

Download ~> Free Chapter 3 – “Brands Under Pressure”




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