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IBM Advanced Business Institute (1989-2004), Palisades Executive Conference Center (1989-2016)

One of my millennial sons has framed IBM as “the Google of my generation”.  My career path included assignments and visits to the IBM Advanced Business Institute, in Palisades, NY.  Mentions of that team, and the Palisades Executive Conference Center where it was located, have mostly disappeared from the Internet.  As one of the younger IBM professionals to have known the ABI, I can provide some history.  (If friends want to correct me, I welcome that!)

  • 1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
  • 2. The Executive Consulting Institute from 1993 was instrumental in education for IBM Consulting Group
  • 3. The Advanced Business Institute offered courses for customer executives 1989-2004

While the Facebook page for the IBM Palisades Executive Conference Center has recent additions, the venue hasn’t had that title for some years.

1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989

IBM Palisades is not to be confused with the IBM Learning Centre in Armonk, that was opened in 1979, a facility primarily for the (internal) management development of IBM executives.  IBM Palisades is also not the Thornwood Conference Center in Westchester County, opened in 1985, that was more often used for customer technical briefings.

One of my millennial sons has framed IBM as “the Google of my generation”.  My career path included assignments and visits to the IBM Advanced Business Institute, in Palisades, NY.  Mentions of that team, and the Palisades Executive Conference Center where it was located, have mostly disappeared from the Internet.  As one of the younger IBM professionals to have known the ABI, I can provide some history.  (If friends want to correct me, I welcome that!)

  • 1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
  • 2. The Executive Consulting Institute from 1993 was instrumental in education for IBM Consulting Group
  • 3. The Advanced Business Institute offered courses for customer executives 1989-2004

While the Facebook page for the IBM Palisades Executive Conference Center has recent additions, the venue hasn’t had that title for some years.

1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989

IBM Palisades is not to be confused with the IBM Learning Centre in Armonk, that was opened in 1979, a facility primarily for the (internal) management development of IBM executives.  IBM Palisades is also not the Thornwood Conference Center in Westchester County, opened in 1985, that was more often used for customer technical briefings.

Evolving Pattern Language towards an Affordance Language (Almaden, 2018/05/09)

With a visit of one week at IBM Research Almaden with @rarar and @jimspohrer , I was invited to give a talk.  As an IBM alumnus who was active in pattern language community from the mid-1990s, this was an occasion to surface some history of science about activities inside the company that is otherwise opaque.  This history shapes my aspirations and predispositions towards continuing the development of pattern language in new domains.

The high-level agenda aimed to cover three parts:

  • 1. 1964 → 1999 → 2012: 
    Synthesis of Form→OOPSLA 1996→Battle (Eishin)
  • 2. 1993 →2002→2006→2010: 
    Hillside Group→IGS Method→AWB→Eclipse
  • 3. 2014 → … : 
    Wicked Messes→Service Systems Thinking

Here’s the abstract sent in advance of my arrival:

Pattern language has its origins from architects of built physical environments. The approach was cross-appropriated into software development methods at the rise of object-oriented design, and was influential in the emerging styles with agile practices. The idea has been extended into social change. Are the philosophical foundations from the 1960s-1970s appropriate for the 21st century era of service science, and innovations in augmented intelligence?

With a visit of one week at IBM Research Almaden with @rarar and @jimspohrer , I was invited to give a talk.  As an IBM alumnus who was active in pattern language community from the mid-1990s, this was an occasion to surface some history of science about activities inside the company that is otherwise opaque.  This history shapes my aspirations and predispositions towards continuing the development of pattern language in new domains.

The high-level agenda aimed to cover three parts:

  • 1. 1964 → 1999 → 2012: 
    Synthesis of Form→OOPSLA 1996→Battle (Eishin)
  • 2. 1993 →2002→2006→2010: 
    Hillside Group→IGS Method→AWB→Eclipse
  • 3. 2014 → … : 
    Wicked Messes→Service Systems Thinking

Here’s the abstract sent in advance of my arrival:

Pattern language has its origins from architects of built physical environments. The approach was cross-appropriated into software development methods at the rise of object-oriented design, and was influential in the emerging styles with agile practices. The idea has been extended into social change. Are the philosophical foundations from the 1960s-1970s appropriate for the 21st century era of service science, and innovations in augmented intelligence?

Optimism for open sourcing

The October 2018 acquisition of Red Hat by IBM gives me hope.  Both IBM and Red Hat have been champions in promoting open sourcing behaviours.

Open sourcing is an open innovation behaviour related to, but distinct from, open source as licensing.  [Ing (2017) chap. 1, p. 1].

The label of open sourcing frames ongoing ways that organizations and individuals conduct themselves with others through continually sharing artifacts and practices of mutual benefit. The label of private sourcing frames the contrasting and more traditional ways that business organizations and allied partners develop and keep artifacts and practices to themselves.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.2, p. 5].

The label of open source is most readily recognized from software development. An open source license allows free use, modification and sharing.  Open sourcing is a norm where the resources of system internals, e.g. artifacts and practices, are shared in a community beyond the originators.  Private sourcing is coined as a norm where the resources of system internals are reserved within a privileged group.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.3, p.6]

This deal continues a socio-economic trajectory by IBM …

  • starting in 1993 with the Lou Gerstner expectation of “open, distributed user-based solutions” after the Chantilly meeting [Ing (2017) sec. 2.3.1, pp. 55-56];

The October 2018 acquisition of Red Hat by IBM gives me hope.  Both IBM and Red Hat have been champions in promoting open sourcing behaviours.

Open sourcing is an open innovation behaviour related to, but distinct from, open source as licensing.  [Ing (2017) chap. 1, p. 1].

The label of open sourcing frames ongoing ways that organizations and individuals conduct themselves with others through continually sharing artifacts and practices of mutual benefit. The label of private sourcing frames the contrasting and more traditional ways that business organizations and allied partners develop and keep artifacts and practices to themselves.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.2, p. 5].

The label of open source is most readily recognized from software development. An open source license allows free use, modification and sharing.  Open sourcing is a norm where the resources of system internals, e.g. artifacts and practices, are shared in a community beyond the originators.  Private sourcing is coined as a norm where the resources of system internals are reserved within a privileged group.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.3, p.6]

This deal continues a socio-economic trajectory by IBM …

  • starting in 1993 with the Lou Gerstner expectation of “open, distributed user-based solutions” after the Chantilly meeting [Ing (2017) sec. 2.3.1, pp. 55-56];

Using logic for productive presentations and reports | Mark Buckwell | Jan. 31 2013 | buckwem.wordpress.com

The style of reports in the original IBM Consulting Group style is explained well by @buckwem, with presentation slides in landscape format following Minto’s pyramid principle structured with horizontal logic and vertical logic.  I never met Mark Buckwell during my IBM career, but he’s been there since 1993, so we “went to the same school”.  If I’m not using this style in a presentations, it’s for a conscious reason, as this way of writing and presenting is always in the back of my mind.

On Slideshare, Mark has shared Using logic for productive presentations and reports 31-jan-2013 – speakerdeck in the series http://www.slideshare.net/markbuckwell

Mark first surfaced Using Logic for Productive Presentations and Reports while teaching a chemical engineering course at Birmingham University, on a blog post at http://buckwem.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/using-logic-for-productivepresentations-and-reports/.

The Pyramid Principle from Barbara Minto was first written over forty years ago and defines a logical way of writing reports and presentations. The technique first came from McKinsey and Company but it is now used by many management consulting companies including IBM Global Business Services.

On a subsequent blog post, he provides a rigourous “Checklist for Presentation Logic” at http://buckwem.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/checklist-for-presentation-logic/ .  This knowledge is normally imparted situationally by experienced engagement managers, so the checklist could seem intimidating for individuals coming up the learning curve.

The style of reports in the original IBM Consulting Group style is explained well by @buckwem, with presentation slides in landscape format following Minto’s pyramid principle structured with horizontal logic and vertical logic.  I never met Mark Buckwell during my IBM career, but he’s been there since 1993, so we “went to the same school”.  If I’m not using this style in a presentations, it’s for a conscious reason, as this way of writing and presenting is always in the back of my mind.

On Slideshare, Mark has shared Using logic for productive presentations and reports 31-jan-2013 – speakerdeck in the series http://www.slideshare.net/markbuckwell

Mark first surfaced Using Logic for Productive Presentations and Reports while teaching a chemical engineering course at Birmingham University, on a blog post at http://buckwem.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/using-logic-for-productivepresentations-and-reports/.

The Pyramid Principle from Barbara Minto was first written over forty years ago and defines a logical way of writing reports and presentations. The technique first came from McKinsey and Company but it is now used by many management consulting companies including IBM Global Business Services.

On a subsequent blog post, he provides a rigourous “Checklist for Presentation Logic” at http://buckwem.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/checklist-for-presentation-logic/ .  This knowledge is normally imparted situationally by experienced engagement managers, so the checklist could seem intimidating for individuals coming up the learning curve.

A 90-year evolution: beliefs and values at IBM

In the IBM Archives, there’s a “IBM Management Principles & Practices” document that reflects the culture of an organization where I spent 28 years.  The 19 pages includes articles by seven IBM chairmen over a span of 90 years (published in 2002):

# Article Author Date
01. Basic Beliefs and Management Principles Thomas J. Watson, Jr. April 1969
02. Basic Management Responsibilities Thomas J. Watson, Jr July 1960
03. Be Yourself Frank Cary September 1975
04. Community Education Thomas J. Watson, Jr. August 1961
05. Community Service T. Vincent Larson December 1971
06. Conformity Frank Cary August 1973
07. Decision-Making Thomas J. Watson, Jr. October 1963
08. Equal Opportunity Frank Cary February 1974
09. Ethical Conduct Thomas J. Watson, Jr. June 1961
10. Gobbledygook Thomas J. Watson, Jr. February 1970
11. Human Relations Frank Cary December 1975
12. Managing People Thomas J. Watson, Jr. October 1964
13. Moves Thomas J. Watson, Jr. May 1968
14. Provincialism Thomas J. Watson, Jr. June 1962
15. Quality John R. Opel December 1981
16. Recognition Thomas J. Watson, Jr. March 1970
17. Thinking Thomas J. Watson, Sr. February 1930
18. Trust John F. Akers June 1986
19. Why Thomas J. Watson, Jr. May 1963
20. Women T. Vincent Learson August 1970
21. Win, Execute and Team Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. 1998

The article that led my interest was “Basic Beliefs and Management Principles”, which alphabetically happens to be first.  The “codification of the basic beliefs” is placed in the year 1962 by the IBM Archives, so the 1969 restatement by Thomas J. Watson, Jr. came seven years later.  The letter was addressed to IBM managers:  the first three points review the basic beliefs, followed by four principles for managers to heed:

Basic Beliefs and Management Principles

As you all know, we have long held to three basic beliefs in the conduct of this business: Respect for the individual, the best customer service and superior accomplishment of all tasks.

In the IBM Archives, there’s a “IBM Management Principles & Practices” document that reflects the culture of an organization where I spent 28 years.  The 19 pages includes articles by seven IBM chairmen over a span of 90 years (published in 2002):

# Article Author Date
01. Basic Beliefs and Management Principles Thomas J. Watson, Jr. April 1969
02. Basic Management Responsibilities Thomas J. Watson, Jr July 1960
03. Be Yourself Frank Cary September 1975
04. Community Education Thomas J. Watson, Jr. August 1961
05. Community Service T. Vincent Larson December 1971
06. Conformity Frank Cary August 1973
07. Decision-Making Thomas J. Watson, Jr. October 1963
08. Equal Opportunity Frank Cary February 1974
09. Ethical Conduct Thomas J. Watson, Jr. June 1961
10. Gobbledygook Thomas J. Watson, Jr. February 1970
11. Human Relations Frank Cary December 1975
12. Managing People Thomas J. Watson, Jr. October 1964
13. Moves Thomas J. Watson, Jr. May 1968
14. Provincialism Thomas J. Watson, Jr. June 1962
15. Quality John R. Opel December 1981
16. Recognition Thomas J. Watson, Jr. March 1970
17. Thinking Thomas J. Watson, Sr. February 1930
18. Trust John F. Akers June 1986
19. Why Thomas J. Watson, Jr. May 1963
20. Women T. Vincent Learson August 1970
21. Win, Execute and Team Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. 1998

The article that led my interest was “Basic Beliefs and Management Principles”, which alphabetically happens to be first.  The “codification of the basic beliefs” is placed in the year 1962 by the IBM Archives, so the 1969 restatement by Thomas J. Watson, Jr. came seven years later.  The letter was addressed to IBM managers:  the first three points review the basic beliefs, followed by four principles for managers to heed:

Basic Beliefs and Management Principles

As you all know, we have long held to three basic beliefs in the conduct of this business: Respect for the individual, the best customer service and superior accomplishment of all tasks.

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