The Journey To Authentic Self
You know when you finish reading a great chapter in a book and you can’t wait to get to the next one because there is so much more you want to know about the story? My departure this week from IBM, after 17+ years, is definitely like that.
IBM and I have grown and changed in so many ways. As a global thought leader on multinational teaming, and complex program management, and an expert on developing project leadership, social project management, and digital eminence, I am so excited to have the opportunity to now take my story in a new direction.
There are so many people who have influenced me over the years that it is impossible to thank them all by name. It was the people who I interacted with, both in and outside IBM, that made all the difference. They will always be family.
I have been lucky enough to work with global teams almost all of my time at IBM and the places I’ve been and the people who I have worked with have all taught me so much and have left their marks on the memory of my total recall forever.
Thank you to my first IBM family at Amtrak. As an IT Architecture consultant in Washington, DC, on local and wide area networking and program management, they taught me how to navigate the complex waters of a huge corporation and how IBM worked with the Federal government. Coming from being a private consultant into this very different world took some major shifts for me, and they were gentle.
Thank you to my HealthVillage Team. As a loaned project executive in Global Industries to healthcare clients, leveraging my background as a network architect and engineer, I got the opportunity to be on the ground floor of what IBM was calling at the time ‘Network Services’ (then e-business and today social business). What a great team we had creating one of the first healthcare web applications with our new family at Lotus, and being one of the first to use IBM’s newly built Atlanta Innovation Center for Web development. Hey, guys, I still have the coffee mug from our launch.
Thank you to the IBM Project Management Center of Excellence and the Curriculum Steering Committee. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the perfect time as Lou Gersner, IBM’s CEO at the time, strategized to ‘projectized’ IBM. Using my computer training experience, my technical capability, and my passion for people, it was awesome to help build the award-winning Project Management Curriculum. I will never forget our fantastic curriculum development meetings with members from all divisions and all countries of IBM. And thanks to all my friends on the PM Certification Board and the PM Professional Development Board.
How blessed I feel to be one of the first people to work with Standford University’s Center for Professional Development and IPS Learning to turn their classroom courses into e-learning for IBM’s advanced knowledge need. Thank you to all the co-authors, curriculum developers, trainers, and pilot students, who made the work so interesting. And to all my colleagues who have come and gone creating the Project Management Center of Excellence, if Carol Wright were still alive she would be very proud,
Thank you especially to Debi, Chrys, Sandy, Shirley, Scott and Steve, in the States, and Toula in the Outback. It is not so hard to leave the work, but it is, the people. And thank you to Liam, Theresa, and Som in Dublin, knowing that you will carry on the good fight.
Thank you to all my PMI volunteers: Over a decade ago, I say the need for IBMers to have a low-cost and time effective way to study and pass the PMI Project Management Professional exam without taking a week-long class. The PMP is mandatory for IBM certification. This drove me to create the very successful PMI Exam Study Group. I designed and produced a 55 page website complete with a full study guide programs, originally for US Public Sector, but today worldwide, through which over 6,000 IBMers have studied the PMBOK in 5 different languages. Thank you to all the volunteer facilitators who did an outstanding job over the years, many of you still holding groups year after year. Keep up the good coaching. (And thanks to many of you for the nice notes on my way out the door.)
Thank you to my global project teams. Through the years of advising global clients on project leadership, professional development, organizational effectiveness and maturity, as well as implementing internal performance measure systems (like my PM Match which was reported all the way to the Chairman), I was humbled to learn first hand how challenging it is to implement a consistent competency process across 199 countries. My team in India is outstanding and rose to every curve ball that I could throw them. Thank you for all your efforts, Mohan, Soumitra, and Yamuna. You will do great things.
To all the people that I have mentored, coached, and just plan prodded through their project management professional development over the years, you have made me a better human, please do link up with me on the outside. And to my mentors and coaches over all these years, I am, who I am today because of your support.
And finally, a thank you to the incredible people in IBM doing fantastic things in the area of social collaboration and social project management. They know that the great thing about the social web is that even though I am outside of the IBM Firewall, I am still as loud and social as I ever was.
I could go on and on, but you know who you are, and hopefully you know what you all mean to me.
Of course, I will continue blogging on The Digital Attitude and on my petblog, DogDaz.com. I love writing the blogs and it is just such a great way to summarize knowledge and share and collaborate with others.
I am in the process of starting up my own consulting company. It will take me some time to package my diverse experience and passions into a consulting practice, but I know that I have several things in my bag of knowledge to help client’s solve critical challenges. Look for the launch of THE DIGITAL ATTITUDE Consulting coming soon.
I plan to continue speaking at conferences and events, both national and international, especially on the topics of Social Project Management, Global Teaming, and Digital Eminence. I am trying to put together a calendar for fall and winter and will share it as soon as I can. If you would like to contact me about speaking at an event contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personally, my adjunct teaching at Anne Arundel Community College will continue in the fall with a monthly series I just created focused on women in business. And my work on the executive board of the Anne Arundel County Commission for Women is always fulfilling.
But first, the family and I are off to the beach, because, it is always, always, about the people.
See you next blog.
(All the Social Butterfly’s views are her own)