During four days of July 2003, IBM employees around the world engaged in an online intranet discussion called "ValuesJam" to shape and define the values that should guide the company and its people in the years ahead. Those thousands of postings and e-mails were thoroughly analyzed and then distilled into three values shared by all IBMers.
The first of those values -- dedication to every client's success -- is expressed in four principles:
A dedication to client or customer success is, of course, nothing new to IBM. In fact, the IBM tradition of superior customer service is legendary. It was one of the three "Basic Beliefs" held by IBMers in the last century. As IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr., said in 1962: "We want to give the best customer service of any company in the world. . . . The relationship between the [IBMer] and the customer, their mutual trust, the importance of reputation, the idea of putting the customer first -- always -- all these things, if carried out with real conviction by a company, can make a great deal of difference in its destiny."
Current IBM chairman Samuel J. Palmisano put that guidance in this context in November 2003: "If there's one thing IBMers agree on, it's that ours can be the greatest company in the world. And we agree that the essence of that greatness derives from our values." Again, "Value One," as defined by the IBMers of today, is dedication to every client's success.
This exhibit illustrates just a few of the thousands of specific examples of where, when and how IBMers in the past fulfilled the commitment to the "best customer service" defined by Tom Watson more than 40 years ago and how they demonstrated "Value One" as expressed by Sam Palmisano today. Most, but not all, of the examples in this exhibit were reported in the pages of two IBM employee publications, IBM News and Think in the 1960s and 1970s, and constitute merely a sampling of the many ways in which all IBMers have always been dedicated to every client's success.
You're invited to see how the beliefs of the past were prologue to the values of the present by visiting our Value One reference room. Enjoy your stay.