IBM Leadership Audit

Challenges Facing Leaders

In the current era, there are several challenges that seem to challenge leaders. Most of these challenges have come to be universal regardless of the industry involved. They are both external and internal. Internal challenges include diversity, attracting and retaining competent employees, having a unified vision, resistance to change and generation X. On diversity, it has become difficult for leaders to manage under diverse workplace environments. There are those policies developed, and tend to favor one groups as opposed to the other. Making everyone happy is becoming a challenge. Generation X is a challenge based on the environment the young adults grow in nowadays. They are very informed, and sometimes they pose extreme challenges at the workplace. Attracting competent employees is becoming difficult due to the competition in the labor market (Jenkins, 2012). This affects small organizations more since their pay-out is not very competitive.  Resistance to change has become common among employees due to the fear of the unknown. Sometimes it is coupled with lack of a unified vision within the organization.

External challenges include technological advancements, globalization, generational differences, regulation and information overload. Technological advancements require a lot of innovation. This becomes a challenge to the organization if the workforce is not up to the task. Globalization comes with competition, which is usually a headache to many leaders. Diverse strategies are required in order to pull through.  Generational differences become a challenge since leaders need to change their systems in order to keep up with the current trends in the market (Remmé, 2008). It becomes costly in the long-run. Increased regulations are also increasing operational costs since most of them regard environmental preservation. The amount information of available is becoming extreme, and this is giving organizations a challenge more so when it comes to processing the information.

IBM Leadership Audit

IBM is a multinational American company that concentrates on software and hardware, offers hosting, consulting services and infrastructure. The company has several management positions. They are divided according to the departments within the organization. These departments are not fixed since they tend to change with time. The current working environment is becoming dynamic hence the need for these changes. The aspect of innovation has been the key contributory since it affects several departments including the supply chain. IBM has adopted both a charismatic and democratic leadership style (Jenkins, 2012). Under the democratic aspect, leaders are usually involved in making the final decision. However, they involve all the relevant parties in the decision making process. This helps in encouraging creativity among the employees since they are heavily involved. Charismatic leadership on the other hand, surfaces on how the leaders inspire enthusiasm among the employees. They try to encourage them to move forward hence creating excitement and commitment, which serves as a huge benefit.

The current human resource policies in the organization include listening to employees, stimulating and encouraging creativity, promoting intelligence democratic leadership style, soliciting employees to take risks and developing employees’ skills among others. All this are aimed at making the workplace environment a better working place for every stakeholder. It gives employees a sense of belonging hence boosts their efforts, and increases productivity in the long-run. The organizational culture is trying to bring favorable working relations between the employees and the company’s leadership team.

Strategic priorities in the organization include making every stakeholder comfortable in every position that he or she is holding. There is a notion that a motivated workforce is vital to realizing greater success. For the STEP analysis, heavy taxation in some countries of operation weakens the price factor on premium price products on political factors. On economic factors, the company’s strong GDP provides a healthy economic environment. The number of individuals adopting the usage of internet is increasing significantly hence improving the social factors (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2010). Technological aspects on the other hand, are providing several challenges based on the systems that the company has to put in place in order to keep up with the advancements.

Challenges facing the company recently include increased competition, government regulation and diversity. Current government regulations have forced the company to adopt the sustainability system, which tends to be costly in the short-run. Diversity in the workplace is a major challenge based on the leadership style adopted in the organization.

Future Leadership Requirements

Based on the above information, there are some requirements that IBM’s leadership team need to incorporate for future success. Among them is putting more efforts on the sustainability form of business model. This will see the company tackle some of its current challenges.  Through sustainability, the company will have the ability of embracing green economy and exercising corporate social responsibility. A green economy has been the talk of the day from many government departments. IBM would achieve this by reducing the level of green house gases emitted by their products.  This can be achieved by reducing the size of the products or using less toxic raw materials. Going with this perspective, the company will be on the safe side of government regulations. The government has put forward the carbon footprint levels that a company should not exceed. Such an approach will help IBM to remain in the required range (Sanghani & Curran, 2010). Forming favorable relations with the authority will be vital for successful operations in the future. Corporate social responsibility will also help in maintaining consumer loyalty. This helps in neutralizing competition present in the industry.

Another requirement from the leaders is developing a program that will help in containing diversity in the workplace. The democratic leadership style adopted by the organization is prone to diversity negativities. When employees are at free-will in executing their duties, some individuals tend to think that the system is favoring some people compared to others. This is based on the strategies and stipulations put forward. The leaders should develop systems that make every employee feel like a member of the team. The first step to take is trying to understand the nature of diversity in the organization. This will require research from the side of the leaders. If leaders identify the strengths and weaknesses of the employees, they will be able to put them in positions that suit them best (Iqbal, 2011). An employee becomes more motivated when he or she is doing what he is best suited at. Every employee will be happy, and diversity will not be a challenge to the organization any more.

IBM leaders should also adopt a mechanism that brings out a shared vision among all the stakeholders of the company. This is due to the systems adopted by the company. Sometimes when employees have more freedom, they tend to experiment on some aspects that are not in line with the company’s vision. This can derail the company’s long and short term objectives. Everyone needs to be reading from the same book for sustainable success to be attained.

The company should invest more on research and development. It is the duty of the leaders to see that innovation is given the first priority when it comes to execution of operations. This industry is very dynamic, and failure to adopt an innovation platform would be detrimental for future operations (Phillips & Gully2012). Having a favorable platform will help the company in solving current technological challenges being faced. They will be at par with anything new being introduced hence creating a competitive advantage.

Putting up appropriate performance appraisal in the organization will also help in the long-run. Employees are usually motivated if there is something extra going to be gained from their hard work. They work with an objective, and not just for the sake of working. This will propel the company to greater heights and aid in the attainment of its goals.

In conclusion, the strategic priorities at IBM include employee satisfaction and adhering to government regulations. Employee satisfaction is viewed as a vital ingredient in attaining favorable results. Adhering to regulations is evident on current sustainability aspects being adopted in the organization. The STEP analysis seems to be favorable since the economic environment is flourishing based on the company’s GDP, there is increase in internet and related products usage and the company seems to be adhering to stipulated government regulations. If the company invested more in research and development, the technological aspect will also be positive. Specific challenges facing the company include diversity, government regulation and competition. If effective strategies and structures are adopted, these challenges can be curbed.



Iqbal, T. (2011). The impact of leadership styles on organizational effectiveness: Analytical             study of selected organizations in IT sector in Karachi. Munich: Grin Verlag.

Phillips, J., & Gully, S. M. (2012). Organizational behavior: tools for success. Mason, OH:            South-Western Cengage Learning.

Remmé, J. (2008). Leadership, change and responsibility. Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Media.

Sanghani, A., & Curran, T. (2010). IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio cookbook over 80 great recipes   for taking control of Cognos 8 Report Studio. Birmingham, U.K.: Packt Enterprise.

Jenkins, J. (2012). The IBM style guide: conventions for writers and editors. Upper Saddle River, NJ: IBM Press.

Wagner, J. A., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2010). Organizational behavior: securing competitive             advantage. New York: Routledge.