Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM
So. Jenny thank you so much for being here with us today, Thanks. It's a it's, a real honor to have you here and as, you know there's a slight interest in tech here at Stanford so a particular. Honor to have one of those powerful executives, in the industry, but, if I may I'd like to pull you back to the beginning of your career you, started off in the automobile industry what, prompted the move to tech, well. III I listen, to as John was describing that he, said how many years right. Are. Y'all looking at me thinking. And. I also we were just outside talking about this you've had Mary Barra here too right, so because, I started actually at General Motors and, so. So. How did I where did why did I move I have to tell you something and it's a it's. A kind of an interesting story. General. Motors had at the time back when I went to university and I went to Northwestern and I was putting myself through school and back. In those days GM offered me a scholarship no, strings attached nobody, does that anymore but. No. Strings attached help. Me with school if, I would just work in the summers and I. Felt a great obligation then, to, to, try and so, but, what I would always say to people would I learned it what I thought was a really young age at the time is that. I learned the importance of passion, about what you did and it, isn't and I say to Mary you, love cars you, know I like, helping you but I wasn't in love in, fact I was working on trucks and buses okay and I'm like I wasn't. In love and and, it, taught me something and I probably didn't. Crystallize, it till later in life that it was the importance of being passionate about what you do and I and I guess that's so easy to say especially. For everybody here who's you're, doing something now you like or you will do. But. Boy life, is too short and so. You've, got to keep, moving till you find what that is and I'm not even sure you I knew what it was at the time I could, only see, what it wasn't, and so, that. Was what made me move and so I cuz I said I love technology because, I was an engineer I loved, it but I wanted to apply it to do things and, and. That's, what led me then back to it and it actually wasn't much. I could tell it was a really complex, job search I, had, looked they had had a lot of job offers but, at the time I was getting married and my, husband was from the Midwest and so. I know, for all the job offers I had on the West Coast they couldn't understand why was I not leaving, the, cold the, snow of Chicago, until I finally admitted I was getting married and I was moving over here and I. Ended, up there for us. I thought a lot of I said where could I go that I could use technology in any industry and that's what let me dive yeah so. Passion. Was my first lesson at a really young age to, learn well. Passion clearly worked you are now the CEO of one of the most iconic companies, in the world, to, those of us sitting in these seats it can occasionally be daunting, to think about the journey to being CEO can. You tell us whether you were ever intentional, about taking that job and what kind of the challenges, might have been on the way well. Let me let me do a poll so this is somewhat interactive all right so how, many people think they want to be CEO of anything. Okay. So half half how. Many are not sure. The. Other half yeah okay or the other third right so to speak because. I was talking to Jordi. About this I said you know what I never that. Was never a goal it, was never ever a goal for me and I.
Think There's a lesson in that because I I think there's been a lot of people who've always said you gotta have this has got to be a mission, you've got to want to do this you, know people who want this job stake it out and go for it and I'm. Don't prescribe to that school I prescribe, to the school that. You. You. Just keep doing what it is you love to do you do it great it opens a door you do something else and. That. Sort, of led to this place right so I can't say I ever started, that way I know people want me to say that but I can't say that it that it was really that way. But. I think the other thing if I can not, that if you have it as a question or now but the, other thing I would you, made me think of though was again. If. I can share something of value on this I do think, people often say to me and John, when you introduced me you said I'd been at IBM now it's. 37. Years and that. May seem like a long well it's, obviously double most of your ages or something so. But. So. Why did I stay, right, people will say why did you stay and. In. Addition, to being passionate I mean, I feel really strongly whatever you go do do. Something with purpose, you. Can define what that means but do something with purpose and I. Always felt to this, day in different ways and I'll come back to maybe even now as CEO but, is that, IBM. Had a purpose in this world in that this world would be different if it wasn't for IBM, and it. Doesn't mean everything we do is that way and, they'll be clearly things other great companies and you'll go off and do but but, but there are so many things I can point back in time and forward, to and say wouldn't have existed without and that's this idea of purpose and so I started, you said as an inter Johnson, as an engineer, but, I've done engineering I've, done sales I've done research i've done finance, i I feel like I've had a hundred careers, I did. A consulting, company I did a technical, company you know all within one place so that. Ability. To work from anything. You can dream of and then, in those wildest, moments it, has purpose you know and I. Was. Thinking the other day a colleague, a client I had met. About. Seven, years ago we, had started some work together, you mentioned Watson and we started in healthcare Health Care's one of the most difficult and, you know any, who's in healthcare who wants to be in healthcare and some way related.
It. Is obviously. One of the most important things to change it's almost difficult things to change and it varies, around the world and what the systems are but. Anyways I've always said for IBM it was going to be one of our moon shots moon. Shots meaning I know how hard it is to change I mean it's so obvious the, problems, so, if it's so obvious why, can't it get changed, and so, there are many many reasons in anyways we started on this and I only tell you this story back to purpose was I will. Always remember going. Down the street in New York one day was, with my I was with my husband, in. Someone. She called my name out and I turned around and it. Was a client we were working on the beginnings of Watson and healthcare and I. Could always remember she, grabbed my shoulders he said you know we. Will change the face of healthcare. My. Little part, I'm under no illusions, that I will change you know my little part, those. To, me those, are the moments you live for and so that. Is why state did. You ask me that question though I felt like telling you that story I don't know why. I. Felt. It was important face time I don't know what but go ahead I. Think. What always tell it that was a thank. You. More. Interesting also than my question was okay. Why. Do you stay here sorry. No. It's. Not interactive. We're. Cutting that off I. Looked. You've got you've had a lots of different jobs already. About. Yeah several. Experiences, right. Experiences. Not, only with any purpose or I'm here. No. Do you believe about purpose though doing, something about purpose or just, more I'm just. Curious I do, now. I'm. Not trying to put you on the spot I am I am. Serious, does it seem important, now or maybe later I think. It always seems important I think any purpose is something that need a lot of people here think about a lot and it's one of the reasons why older people come to business school I mean it isn't the only reason don't so don't make it I don't mean it to be as an altruistic point, cuz I think you can you. Can do multiple you have commercial, value and, purpose, at the same time right you can learn and have purpose, at the same time and I think those are those companies, that offer that wonderful, combination and, it isn't as if it's like all you have to do every moment of every day right so that's all I just I think you. Will find many opportunities, to do both so. Throughout your career when you were faced with choices other companies trying to lure your waiver greater personal, commercial value was always that that purpose you found at IBM that kept you I think. You. Know this. Purpose is that I actually if I can this, purpose point I think is an important, point right now in this moment in time. Geordie, and I were talking about before I got out here I just came back from well feels like it was a long time ago thing was last week the World Economic Forum, and, this. Year I co-chaired. It and I co-chaired it with six other women so. Highly. Unusual and if you think about it that was decision, was made a, ago actually to have this be women, to co-chair it. But. I thought hard about you, know did I want to do it and why and it's gonna be related to the question you just ants asked me so. He. Said purpose actually, this is a really interesting moment in time for, technology. Actually, for business in total I feel, like this is this, wonderful. Wonderful. We have this opportunity, to solve so many problems many, you work on. But. With them come a set of challenges that are greater than have ever been in time before and so. The reason I had agreed to do with was, this, idea to about.
Responsible. Stewardship. Now maybe there's a better word but. I feel, Tek ourselves. As well, as even, most companies this idea that what is responsible, stewardship because. There, is no doubt these technologies. And, we will talk a little bit about it they're. Going to impact everybody they're gonna impact everybody's, job and they're gonna happen faster, then, other, series. Have happened before and. We. Have this I, think a real, issue of creating a world of haves and have-nots. Out there whether, it's businesses, whether it's people individuals. And, that. There is this idea that you've got to responsibly. Bring these technologies into the world so when you say to me what also keeps me there it is, that belief and I think this is it really this moment and maybe. We'll talk more about it but this ability to usher, them in with. Transparency. With, purpose, that word again, to. Also, live, by a set of data principles, so the whole world doesn't end up with all value, in a few hands I think that's wrong and a. Third is then a real, obligation of, business, and government, and. Society to, prepare, people. To live in this world I always think it's like you know, transforming. A company you, can see where you are and where you want to go you. Get killed in the transition, and it's, always this transition, that makes the difference and so. So. Why do I say I believe really, strongly, that we understand, that stewardship, that it is not enough to make things you have to bring them safely into the world or your job is not done. There's. A lot you can take your notes back sorry. There's. A lot there's lots of unpacking there and I think that one. Of the interesting points is is in a practical, sense how do you balance your responsibilities, to our shareholders you'll, need as a company to drive it's a real technological, leadership with, that stewardship Society how, do you do that on a day to day level what. Do you think seriously. When, you must think of this in classes right what, what what, do you think about for that I. Honestly. Have, no idea. I'm, not putting out because I think you actually probably know the answer to that to be honest with you so, to. Me. The. Answer is always been and maybe it's because of our pet you talked about our past well. First. Off if, you, don't define yourself as a product if you don't protect. Your past and. Then. If you, try. To do the right thing for the long term I think you end up in the right place if, you, do those three things and so. So. To me that balance, I always feel like many. Of us and again some of you in the places you go. We. Are allowed to operate, because. Our clients and society allow us to operate and that, is built on trust and so, you. Know in the end society, or business will decide if they trust you and so, always. With that in my mind I mean I go back in time things, like and, not not accredit any of my decisions by any stretch this, goes back decades when. Governments, had asked us in many countries we, were talking about you know today IBM's in 170, countries thirty. Five percent of our businesses from the United States so we've got quite a lot of experience everywhere else how. Many times governments had asked us for access, to technology, backdoors, into technology. And we're, the only Technic and say we said no from. The beginning of time because. Our licence to operate was, based on trust and so I think this idea if, that's, the, role you feel you play and you make that decision for the long term and a trust will matter you. Will actually make those right decisions and, I think it's true for consumer, companies I don't think it's true for just you. Know we're b2b but I think it's true for everybody. There's. A lot of rising mistrust, in technology, companies these days I think and you've seen a lot of tech.
Leaders Go to Washington, publicly. Apologizing, how. How do you think the tech industry as a whole needs to rebrand. Itself or re-evaluate, its image is all all part of this communication. Is it is it being demonstrative, how does that work hmm I was gonna ask you what you think but I won't do that okay, so, so. Next, week you'll just be me up here. Seems. A little Y better you, are doing good yours well prepared, and so that's in, fairness. So. So. Let's just talk a little bit about that right I let. Me just pack it in small I really, believe this is a moment in time for all of us and I say this to all my clients right this, is our moment for this kind of stewardship. You, know really, principled, stewardship, stewardship. You know about how, to bring all this technology and so I think when you do that you recognize, what you are and what you're not and or, what you've become and so, as an example we'll probably talk a little bit about AI and in. Na I as an example is one of the many technologies, but I feel this way about others too when. I say what, do you have to do to, build trust well, you, have to bring it into the world and be clear about its purpose its, transparency. And it's explained ability, so, purpose meaning tell, people this is to augment, what man does honestly I wish I wasn't AI specialist. Like 30 years ago. We, should have been called augmented intelligence. I've been saying this for a decade because, I do really, see that will solve so many great problems, but this will be a world of man and machine and so they're gonna have to work together and that is gonna mean a lot of change and so if. You are clear that your purpose though is to work with not, to replace, and. I'm not Pollyanna, there are things that will be replaced but, then you'll help people do their job even better and I see this in I can give you tons of examples of it so, purpose. Then, transparency. You, need to I think I, need, to tell you when I'm using these technologies and, then, I need to tell you how they were trained I need, to tell you what data got used I need to tell you where it came from you know it's one thing if you're asking, simple, questions about weather and if we. Own the weather company so that okay no problem you probably you. Assume how weather got there the favorite song but. When you're asking, about health care you're asking, about a regulation you're, asking, about the right treatment for cancer you, care who trained it and so. Then, the, other thing I tell you we've learned over the mistakes, we have made is you, don't have to be able to explain your answers because, if, I'm a professional, using, a I do. I want a black box how many of you would like to work with a black box gives, you an answer you don't you, want something to say this is why this is the background this is how it came up and it took us down different, paths of how to build this kind of technology because you have to be able to explain it so to, me when you said how do you build that trust in this, moment I don't think it's about just words I think it is about real actions, you. You, clear, on your purpose you'd be clear a transparency, you be clear on explain, ability, and then, you have to live by things like you. Own your data I don't own your data data. Can freely flow governments, can't have access here's. How I secure, it and then. You help with skills so, I know that's a lot but I honestly think that's what we got to do at, this moment in time that, is such a special moment to get this off on the right foot, does.
That Make sense to you it doesn't make sense I could ask you everyone but you're right next to me so. It. Does make some sense to me and I guess one. Of the fears they might have is a someone, learning a very traditional set of skills at business school is how, how, am I gonna or, meant what I do with with AI is, this something that you think is really gonna be truly practical in every industry that, we're all denoted ists are we gonna be replaced, by the machine inside you. Don't I hope nobody how many people believe you're replaced. By machines seriously, I mean the way I ask to them it doesn't make you want to answer my question but, two. Brave souls are they're. Counting on that I cannot see that fire at this point so I. We. Just finished another study there been many studies I read three more on my way out Thursday, I'm going to be at a big group of my colleagues on this topic about. The future of work and. They're. All over the board right but. I believe, a couple things and then I'll answer your question about that so first off if you, and, you guys study technology better, than most in the world. What. Different about I think the moment we're in right now is that, it has a chance to have an exponential, impact not, linear most of time when things change its linear improvement. Improvement you know goes like this line. Through it if, you go back in time Moore's, law with processors, doubled, every 18 months that would be more exponential, if you, would go back then in time the, social media networking, where. It. Later became known as Metcalfe's, law that, the value would be the square of the nodes in a network so, yeah the network effect, so. Everybody. Talks endlessly about the amount of data it's, not the amount it's, if you could really get learning, to happen exponentially. Off that I mean off of that data you would have another exponential, curve caused by learning that's. What I think's in front of us so, if that's, true, this third kind of big exponential, curve in life then.
You'd Say does, it replace everything, I don't, think it replaces everything it does change everything, so we've done all these studies it could be five percent of jobs tempers, I don't think it matters I think it's a hundred percent change, so, you prepare for that world and I was, my. Own so. Two, ends of a spectrum and, one, of the very earliest things we did was healthcare and started in oncology. Extremely. Difficult and, and. It's been an interesting road and an interesting learning so, first off time, does matter with some of these technologies to get started, so, you, may think of Watson for Jeopardy but much. Much much as transpired, since that time in fact. November/december, the, oncologist, which is the most trusted, sort of peer reviewed, Journal. Of oncology put. Out a study on Watson, a thousand. Patients tumor, board and we, were able to find, 30%, more than 30% of the cases new things that should have been followed than what a doctor could find. That's. Not an insult to doctors but there's a learning here right because how many professionals, ever want to be told they missed something or they got something wrong it's. Very, difficult and so, there's. A whole change management, side to what's gonna really happen here and. But. I then, take, that same situation and, we're, now up to a hundred thousand patients in oncology, treatment in India and China, see because there there's only one oncologist, for 1600 patients here there's one for a hundred it's, a very different world and so, that sort of idea that motherhood's, how does that saying go, necessity. Is the mother hood of invention of ever, it's. Gonna leapfrog, I think in driven by perhaps other parts of the world for different reasons unless specialization. So, they're. There, the doctors are learning and saying oh my god I can't do this job by myself I mean it's, impossible for almost any professional, right to do this so, I learned, this lesson with, that and the technologies continued, to learn faster, and faster I remember, the very first cancers, took 9 to 12 months to teach now, 30 to 30 days a new cancer 30 days a new cancer so, this. Idea will your job change I think everybody's, will in professionals. At. One, end of a spectrum and I said there's another end of a spectrum just, to give you a feel for why I say, this my own HR, I actually, think I you, know most people anybody want to be an HR professional. One. Okay, see there, we go now, it, is most, people would is a it's a difficult job be there's a lot of administration. That people think continue, you know typically, associated, with it. I've, got a fantastic leader who spent four years I think making it the most AI cognitive. Profession, in the world now, it's changed everybody's, job, but, it has got, everything to do with how recruitment. Is done proactive. Retention, compensation. So there's no bias in it as an example. Everything. To do with not, only answering, your questions helping your career what should you learn and that, is applied everywhere. Along the way and that to me is like a really normal good example, of how life changes, for all of those jobs and they all changed, it does, make a difference in that you have people with less training and skill able to do jobs and it puts a premium on being an expert on the other side because, they things, go very quick from beginning to, expert, you almost skip. Right over those does that make does that that's, kind of world I think will be in definitely, and to. Go kind, of away, from AI but still the future of work something, that really struck me as I was researching for this interview was IBM's pathways, to technology, schools as, already tell us a little more about and the mission and how you think a future. High school is well we'll go through the education well how many of you how many people think that kids coming out of school have the right. Skills to be successful broadly. Speaking not your neighbors. Okay. It is it was the neighbor part that des stopped you or the you're. Like oh my neighbor's kids forget it no. This. We. This can i I want to this is something, I would like to either get some opinion we're gonna have some lunch afterwards, some input from folks this, started with I believe, back, to this point with this moment of technology, changing, everything that. The. Skills issue is a really big issue around the world and I don't look at it just in a zip code in an estate in one, place in this country I. Believe it's what's giving rise to all of the political. Upheaval we've seen there, are people that don't view they have a better future in front of them there is a world of haves and have-nots, and that. To me is a very dangerous place to go in for, any economy and so.
I Think, the route when you track back on all of this is skills, and so, Geordi, asked me about this thing called pathway, to technology, that we started so, this. Is a wonderful, University but. I don't believe in the whole globe you can say to people you only have a future if you have a stem degree or, you have a university, degree I believe. Strongly in those I mean that doesn't mean I don't believe in those but. For the billions of people on this earth that is not going to be the future and so, how, do you therefore back to man and machine and how, can, people have a really productive future. Make, a good income in, have, skills relevant and so, I think there'll be three things you have to do one, of them is for the youth coming through we, came up with this idea called pathway to technologies, there's. A hundred thousand kids in these schools now so you may say a hundred thousand is a drop in the bucket for billions of people on the earth but it's, not it's a reasonable. Start a hundred thousand and it, was the idea could you take a high school everybody. And we're, now in six. Countries, take. A high school in some. Countries, would call it different things but a community college nearby, think. Of it as a six year high school and could, you come out with skills that, would be employable in. In, a tech world, and we've. Proven that it is pretty true do, double, the median income and we, picked the worst kids, in the worst schools everywhere. In the world that we could find to start with we did not cherry-pick anything, and it. Is heartwarming. I mean every, parent wants for their child a, better future, I don't care where you are from or what country you are from and. Every. Kid if given the opportunity so, a we help them with curriculum B we give them mentors and see, if. We have jobs we give them a chance and and. I got 300, other companies, like ours did you go in on this everybody, and everybody's. Happy to mentor, a kid there isn't I've never met someone who wouldn't do it yet and. This. Idea, I think is becoming a bit viral I'm gonna do all the governors of this country I guess. It's February this month already get, every state going so there's about ten states that it's already going kind of viral in and I think this is gonna be something that every back to like social responsibility, every, company can do something here every, company it's gonna have to be a public-private. Partnership to address the skills issue in this planet and and. Many, of my colleagues have different ways or something like it but. It, will take that and then there'll be the section of retraining, which is only is also one of the hardest again. Back to this this. Dislocation, here. So. Whether we, do a lot of retraining, and others do and then I think it leads to something else which is gonna be society. In government's coming. Up with ways that say you know what this idea that you like go to school until. The University, and you're done this. Is not going to work out so well we're gonna have to do something with lifelong learning and those of you that look at social systems that, do some encouragement, that people continually, go back and do. That so what. Do you think of that idea. Pretty. Cool pretty cool okay, it's. Heartwarming I mean the only thing I did not count on is that some of these kids this has really been an interesting thing for me the kids they, have, their. Kids so it's okay to call them kids they. Have you give them this chance so, six, years which by the way you, guys would never know this the typical community college in this country it takes, seven years to graduate from a two-year school and even at that like 7% of kids I mean it's ridiculous, and partly, it's cuz the curriculum they don't teach anything employable, and and, that's how they're funded so we've been working with the government to get them to change that to say you can't just give schools, funding they got to teach an employable, skill and that's not just a vocation, so, but, but the funny starting to tell you is what, we had learned so to. Get going we've, got kids graduating. In four years with an. Associate, degree in three years also with an associate degree so. When we offered him jobs, back. To my HR they came back to like hey you realize these kids are not like eighteen yet I'm, like oh that's a problem isn't it so. They're like we got a like pay for their mother to come with them too you know and so they got a live somewhere so for, their internships, but anyways we've we've managed, through all that and it's, to, me it's it's it's very heartwarming, I mean in many of them by the way go on to four-year universities that, never ever ever would have anyways, so it's both ways right because.
I Don't want you to say I'm down on I'm not it's. To me about giving people a chance right. That. Really is heartwarming and these, initiatives are fascinating. But I would like to change tack slightly to talk bit more about IBM. It's. A company as the Dean said that's transformed, itself several times you're, taking it through another transition, right now I think, we'd all be interested to know a little bit more about what transformational, leadership, means to you and how it's become so deeply embedded within IBM's. DNA yeah so. So. IBM, a hundred and seven, years old right only. Tech still, here three generation after generation only, one and and, maybe, it's because we've had a few near-death, experiences, that teaches you forever to be humble and forever, to realize you have to reinvent yourself and. So. As, I suddenly started like don't my, learnings, of my from my predecessors, don't. Protect your path don't, define yourself as a product and then, do, the right thing for the long term no matter how strong. The short-term, wins are in your face, which. Is what we have done John. You mentioned were 46%, new products and services in the last several years so, in. A word what, we reinvented, IBM around maybe I can convince some of you to come come, work for us, I'll. I'll. Hold that as my grade of whether I did a good job today. Maybe. In. A word it was the word data you're probably not surprised at that right it, was an honest. I had sort of come up with this I thought it was corny at the time a decade ago a saying, that said data. Would be the world's next natural resource, because, I thought the analogy, was really good that like oil there. Are very poor countries with oil so, you can have a lot of data doesn't, mean you get any wealth from it or any value from it and, but. Those. Who did in the technologies, were happening could, make a difference, you marry that with we, had done all this work on just. Forget. The background a two trillion dollar market to make better decisions, I'm. Like what we all probably think we all don't make great decisions all of the time so, better. Make in any profession, that would be out there and. So that's what we started and set out to do and that is what has been really at the root of this so it meant having to transition. To the cloud transition. To Big Data to transition, to AI, but. I would be the first to tell you guys we do it in a business context, and there is a difference and so, just. Like when I think about artificial, intelligence for consumers, versus, for professionals. I see. A very strong difference, as an, example what. We've had to build for is things like it. Has to learn domain. Data so, you have to learn regulatory. Environments, I talked about medicine, you have to learn HR, you have and that means you have to learn off of very small amounts of data that's a different kind of AI you, don't have billions of records to look at you, might feel like there's billions of regulations, but they're not I mean so you, have to learn off of very small amounts, that's point one second. To second, part we felt like you know what. 80%. Of the data is not searchable in the world it belongs to our clients, I better. Protect it for them and I, better not just protect the data I got, to build this in a way that the insights, because that's actually it's more valuable, stays. With them and doesn't, train something, for, the competitor. That. Is a very, different kind of AI that's not an AI that came from a search engine so. Because. I've got to protect those insights for. The and I'll come back to why that is meaningful, it, also means in this kind world you, would have to. You. Would have to be able to explain like I was talking about earlier you have to be able to explain, where the answers came from in consumer, not so much required, but, definitely, required, when it's a professional, that you're dealing with so.
Those. Are some of the differences and so. We've been remaking both our AI all. Of our cloud systems, all of our expertise, and then you got to put it in workflow because this again was my biggest learning I'm telling, you the technology alone in a business environment does not matter you, have got to be able to change and reimagine. The process, of work so. We had to build all those capabilities in, there and always, underpinned, by security, and then. This won't be the end I mean blockchain. Quantum, are. All things we've been heavily heavily invested, in and if I can humbly, say I believe, in quantum I know I'm, out and I know where I'm at I do know where I am but I believe we're number one and and. Blockchain, even, - for, for business reasons, blockchain. I didn't say Bitcoin and so, I know you had Jamie out here, I've. Had endless discussions with, him on that so, so. Today, that's what IBM is I mean it is we've always lived uniquely, at this innovative technology, industry. Expertise, trust and security intersection. Always. Reinvented, for this next moment and so I want my. Again. I'm gonna be with my colleagues in another day I am. Very optimistic I, know many of you want to do startups and you will do and. Do great things I'm equally, optimistic, about. Current. Companies that are out there because. As. I say to all of them I feel like this is the moment for the incumbent, disruptor. And, why. Do I feel this this is the moment for the incumbent disruptor, if you believe it's a future differentiated. By data and knowledge and you own 80% of it if you can do something with it, this. Is your moment now to, take it in as I've said it just may be better to have had a past than not to have had a past and so, I see, this in their actions, in many companies right now you see it in Walmart coming back you see it and it's this, is now their moment they've actually got, something that, if they're able to harness it and do something with it can differentiate, them, and they build a platform, on there, expertise and so, I think it really those of you that work on business models. It. Is a time of soul-searching for lots of companies on what's their business model they're saying to themselves you know am I a car. Rental company or. You. Know actually what I know how to do is fleet management I'm moving cars around all the time and in the world of autonomous, cars fleet. Management might be a pretty good thing to know how to do so. I mean I think everybody's, going through that about what, it is they can do with all that data and what they their knowledge is and so, that's, what IBM has become it's the platform for, that and.
You, You brought it up so I'll I'll ask there, are lots of students here considering, offers from Google and Facebook and the likes why should they go to the IBM instead I convinced, you yet. Okay. Let me ask you more questions okay. No chests, so. Look. I think it goes back to where you and I started and they will do some Q&A, here I would. Come to IBM for three reasons a you. Got to be passionate, about the impact technology can have in the world B. You. Got to want to change the way the world works I mean we do work on serious, stuff that changes the way the world works it doesn't mean we work on everything so other people will do other pieces but. There, isn't a bank that we don't run, and help reinvent, there is not a credit card transaction, there's not a railroad, car that runs and. These. Are serious, obligations. About how that happens safely, and how it then at the same time reinvents, itself so, this, idea that to help change some of what not everything, but to change part of how the world works is more. Let's. Just say it. Is certainly what we aspire to every day okay I mean only the world can determine whether you do or don't and so. I'd. Come for that purpose I'd. Come for that strong. Strong. Passion, about the technology, in the. Third it's. Something you know what it's something I actually took for granted to the last couple years it. Is a strong, environment, of inclusion I have, never never. In my world I was. Interviewed not very long ago after. Many. Of the incidents of this past here about. Inclusion and I said you're not gonna be honest with you. I've. Never felt. That way and, III in you, might find that so hard to believe are there isolated, incidences I have 380,000, employees of course, of my scale in the in the world but. I said I have never I have never felt, anything any. Limit, on myself, I put. There it. Was never put on me by IBM, and I, said that, I think that is such a deep root it, goes back to having hired, the first disabled, person in 1914. The, first woman executive. Is, 1943. I mean. This is I look. Now and I think others, you've got to be kidding me I've taken, all this for granted and I no longer take it for granted right, and I'm, proud of the the culture I didn't, build it I have only had to carry it on right and be sure it got even, more and. I use the word inclusion, not diversity, on purpose to. Me inclusion, is about sexual, orientation gender religion. Country ethnicity. I don't care what it is right that you feel comfortable this, is why we have fought you know and I can't fight every battle we, have fought so hard for the dreamers we have fought so hard around, these bathroom, bills these crazy things but, they were so symbolic. About people, feeling welcome, in their workplace in those states I happen to be a big employer in Texas and North Carolina too, so that, was but, and we, got those stopped and, but, is it because of just that one thing it could you can't fight everything you, know it was because that was very symbolic to me about inclusion, and so.
I Feel, that environment. Then and it's what we do even now you know whether it's women I am, very proud guys we will have won this thing called the catalyst or door the only tech company and the only company, on earth to have won at four times about, inclusion. And women in the workforce so. That would, be my third reason it would be passion purpose and inclusion yeah. Well. I finally. Said something that made sense. Perhaps, he's almost right that perhaps a fourth, reason could be we've. Got a lot of crypto, investors. Out here we can be talking about more about blockchain and your what. IBM is doing there and maybe right from the inclusion to blockchain, yeah. Excellent. Segue here. How. Many okay. Who's. It who's a blockchain lover. Okay. Baby I think a small group on some meet later not a big group about how about bitcoin lover Oh. Subset. Okay so can, I just say the. Reason I those of you didn't raise your hand if I could encourage you to go. Look into black chain is a you think why am i bringing this up as a technology, I honestly. Think the future on blockchain, I. Have. A little saying, blockchain. Will do for trusted transactions. What, the internet did for information, and I. Believe this very very. Strongly. Its. Ability, to trade transactions. Between people, who don't necessarily know. Each other not necessarily trust, each other in a, way to remove friction and the movement of about anything I think is quite high and what makes it so possible. To really get some traction is, it. You don't have to rip out the guts and rewrite everything if you're a company to be able to use it so, the, movement to it is not that difficult and so. You, had Doug McMillon here from Walmart so Doug and I started a project on food safety. You. Would be shocked, at the number of people who died from, food and how much food is wasted at, food outbreaks. So. How on earth could we get every competitor, of his and every food company in the world to join onto this their competitors, and they're gonna share, all the information about what kind of food avocados, spinach, um right but the spinach breakout what happened all that spinach wasted, and in, it typically we did we've done the tests on many things now but mangoes seven, days to trace where our mango come came from we do it in two seconds now so.
This. Idea of solving. That, problem we're doing a big joint venture with the largest shipping company in the world Maersk, we've already the, paperwork, that accompanies, a big cargo, container, exceeds. The value of the. Contents of the cargo came often so, there, is so much opportunity. Now. I said, all that it, is, not about Bitcoin there's something under it called blockchain, and it, does matter how, you implement. It and you. Have to have it be permissioned, some, of what's out there is opaque, I don't believe those will be what will take off you, can't have people that will in fact, some of I, won't use their names other companies, that have stuff out there it is, a little bit an artist and you know it will allow, crime to go on quite freely that, is not what we're talking about we're talking about where permission, means I know, who's on the network I can, tell the Loom that Professor here can only see three things you can see five I know, who, governs, this thing I mean who do you think governs the internet right there is a governing body it's not two people so, there's. A big. Open, we're a big fans of open source there's a big it's the fastest growing open, source hyper ledger is the name of it community, there's been in time out in the Linux Foundation and so, it's, governed by 200 companies now that's a good thing you, have to have it be immutable anyways I won't give you a lecture on blockchain but I'm so I'm, so optimistic about. The. Things that it can do on the positive like food safety in the inefficiencies, it, can take out to go to better things on the other side it's, the fundamental technology, not. A comment about crypto currencies that's kind of different but but I guarantee you whatever you do without having government's have an ability to see some of the money transfers, you're. Not gonna be able to take off so. You're. Gonna go into that now, no. I'll stay I'll stay clear that okay and want, one last question before we turn to turn, to audience Q&A I've. Been struck by the number of times you mentioned that the healthcare industry and cancer in particular and, I know you're you're on the board of Moral sloan-kettering is, there a reason why this is such a way. This is a mission that's very personal to you or is it just that you see this is the area of the biggest improvement. To. Me it is the biggest use of our GDP, and it's the biggest inefficiency, with the lowest return and it's, true in, a developed, country like ours guys but. You I mean I've spent so much time in Africa. India, China. These. Are unsolvable. Problems, in these places these. People have never ever have a chance to get health care of the quality you and I experience it. If, any of us have cancer, we will be seen by a Cancer Center. Odds. Of that happening outside, this country are like zero I mean in the other outside of developed country and so, that, does not have to be that way and this is this is to me I mean I guess I did call it a moonshot right and lot to be learned from that but. I think all, of us in our companies get a chance to work on some of those right so it. Was health care but go, back on the other side I'm a biggest fan of trying to help reg reg, tech and I really. Basic things as well right improve, on. The other side but to me us, in, what we've done is started in healthcare is very sim it was very, symbolic and, important, and I think it's a really hard journey but, it, is a deadly, disease with, many variants, and it's impossible. We started with cancer so we started in the hardest spot is it's. An impossible, to do without the assistance of these kind of technologies. Thank. You so much any before you have time to ask me any more questions then turn over to the audience maybe. You'd like to ask him a question. Michael. Okay. Anyone. Hi. There my name's Catherine I'm an MBA - my. Question is related to your time chairing, the World Economic Forum, I think. The World Economic Forum is one of the coolest ways that private and public leaders can work together to, solve problems in a top-down way, but. As the world becomes increasingly, decentralized. How, should the World Economic Forum, change and adapt to better, address these problems that's. Oh it is it is a good tops. Down but I think what happens when you leave the, World Economic Forum, it, becomes a Bottoms Up effort.
Of. What people can do and I will tell you this year a majority. Of it a lot of it was on skills, issues and how, do how everybody, can work in partnership with, that so, I think what, it can do, don't. Try to put more into it than it's capable of right so it isn't as if it's a standing, body it is a standing body but an organization that can actually, have, rules, or committees standards. And it's, more about I, think. Putting. Standards, out there that can be followed in the rest of the world this. Is a really critical time you, know as different, countries move more inward with each other it's a dangerous moment you know right now Europe is setting many many standards, around data, honestly. America. Should be in there because. They're gonna end up sending setting, the de facto standards, here so you probably, regulations. Like GDP, are global. Data protection it's, gonna end up being a global standard right and and we're not at the table as much as we should be I know every time I'm in Europe and in Brussels, the it's a you know they're dying, for companies to come fill, a void that may be a scene is avoid by governments, right now and so, I think what, can happen on when you said what happens next I do think, companies can help in, this in this time particularly. Where you might want to call it more and more countries. Look. Out for themselves are more nationalistic. Whatever words you would like to put around it I think, it it calls, for those of us going back particularly, around things like you. Know modernization. Of trade skills. In the world and we, didn't talk much about cybersecurity, right, and in in cyber, in that impact because cyber, is the one thing that will will, stop all the it'll. Take three. Steps forward and five steps back right with cyber here with what happens so I think that's what we can all go back and do I am, I always. Remember a meeting years. Ago that I'd had with Shimon Perez late in his life and, I remember a quote he he had said to me I don't know why it's always stuck with me but maybe it's cuz I I feel it's true he. Said companies. Can do more to help countries, and governments because they know no boundary, and. It's. True if, you those, of you that were you know, you. Don't I don't really don't really see boundaries, that way and so, I think it's an important that's the important follow-on is what this public-private partnership, becomes. Thank. You very much for your time my name is Yahya I'm from Saudi Arabia I'm a joint degree candidate here doing MBA M master's in electrical engineering, so. My question to you was, how. Can a I help businesses that are outside the US or Europe where, the infrastructure, that allows AI to let these businesses flourish like. Intelligent. Investors, or, talent. Like. Data scientists, or something are not available in these countries or locations, yeah. I look, I think first. Off many. Of what we offer is a platform, that is available in any country it may not run in the country but it's running somewhere else as a platform and I. Was telling John. Ahead of time about one of your one of your colleagues here. Joshua, Browder who, is. One of your colleagues I mean I met him only because why would I ever meet him other.
Than He found, Watson, and he, then built a business called do not pay for, people who. Shouldn't pay parking tickets that they got wrongly, and I. Think he's handled, by 200,000 parking tickets those of you that know the story 11. Million dollars but he's working on Syrian, refugees, now and how to get them the right paperwork to stay in different countries and so, I think this is more accessible. You, know when we do work in Saudi Arabia as well this, is more accessible, than you think and so. To me I think this is a wonderful technology. To. Allow entrepreneurs, as. Well, as big as, them coming together actually, see a lot for the coming together between those two constituents. And, if you think of it as a platform it's more accessible than not accessible. Albeit. Some, issues in certain countries but still accessible. The. Back I'm, Ching hall from the MSX program, IBM. Is a company, of global giant with a storied, history I'm, wondering, how you keep the IBM family nimble, creative. And innovative is it more of a top-down or bottom-up approach, or just, here view what's your perception I. Think. It has to be so yeah I think it has to be both myself, I'm from the Air Force is a big organization, anytime you want to get something going you want to start small you want to create, space for people by the same time you need some top-down, direction to say this division, I'm just wondering if you have a slightly, different take on it I I do, I mean not that this. Has been one of my biggest learnings, perhaps one of my biggest mistakes as well. So. Big. You, know Geordi asked me this so IBM is today an 80 billion dollar company, in 170. Countries we talked about 46 percent of it new lots. Of new entrants obviously, into this technology, field and. So. How do you get changed to happen fast so I tell you my quick like I'll try to make a very quick story but what my learning was so, probably my first two years of CEO, I would. Say to the group because it's true the world is moving so fast come on faster, faster, faster you, got to work it I mean I think if anyone would have said what does she talk about they would decisions and to go faster go faster and go faster go faster go faster at, costly and I, thought about after tiers what did I do I exhausted. Them that's about what I got done, until. It dawned on me that I. Have. To check it's my job and we, got to change how work is done and I'll tell you so while much will ever be written about the portfolio, and how it's changed, I think, them far, more what one day you. Know revisionist, history one, day when we're distanced, enough we, will look back in the far more interesting, story will be how, work gets done in what. Happened to the people and to their skills and I'm, the how what. We had to learn was we were a b2b company so, the shortcut of this is it, meant you. Can be big and be fast but you do have to re-architect, work and that, means a lot of things like even. In b2b hey, they expect everything to be as simple as the consumer, world we all live in everyday, that means design, thinking that, means we hired ten thousand, of the best designers from around the world brought back that culture that had once existed by the way in IBM, everything. Is done with empathy from the end end-user. In and not from an engineering culture out which is what a lot of tech companies are engineering, out and so, it started, with that then it started with really, agile, easy. Buzzword, really, hard to change the way you do work unless you truly embrace it so we probably now. 200,000. Agile experts, trained. Black, belts, it means small, multidisciplinary. Co-located. Minimum Viable products. And think, about Minimum Viable products. I mean when, you think of big things we do like run Airlines banks, you think of these big complex, things, going. Fast doesn't mean like make. That big ugly thing faster, it, means no but, it means start with something little get it right make it bigger make it bigger make it bigger that's, way different on the way you build things so we, had to change what agile put that in what did it mean then, we had a co-locate. You know talk to me about a billion, dollars later, in real estate you know renovations. And all that kind of thing around the world and so, it's, been you. Know we, had to change the performance management system we had to move to Net Promoter Score, I mean sorry there's like heavy work underneath real transformations. And that's. What had to do to happen to make you work fast so is, that top and that's bottom. On top it's both but. I tell you until, until.
We As leaders help. People change how they could do their work that. Wasn't going to happen and so, that, to me and then the people on skills the skills part for, anybody, train you know changing. A company. Like. Actually I'm gonna talk about this again tomorrow, a thing I have to do. We. Are all gonna have to change the skills of everybody in our company I mean, I lectured, for the, first Friday of every month for, four years, I taught, a class for, four years, a MOOC. And. It was about what the future was what it would be had clients, on over and over and so you paint the, sure of the world that you are building then. You, have to say to people okay now I need to make it so you can change your skills and then, I'm going to pay you for changing them meaning, I'm gonna put, compensation. For those that then go ahead and change skills and then, the third thing you have to do after you've done that kind of reinforcement. Of it then, you've got to say okay now I'm gonna make this transparent, it's gonna be obvious we're gonna post who's got that skill who doesn't have that skill and that's. The world of transparency, we live in stale, hot, and, you'd be surprised people will move there's, nothing, to do with age this is nothing to do with age and. That's why it's changed, the way I even, think about hiring. We. Were talking about what do you you know what school is it better to hire an MBA or and there's. Room for everybody I think the most distinguishing. Characteristic. Is your curiosity, if you, are a lifelong, learner I would. Like you you. You that. Because that's, what's in front of us and it doesn't matter to me what school you came out of because that's got to do with passion you know it's, this lifelong, learning so those. The, thing about the skills. And the people and then changing how work gets done to, me that was that will, one day be the real sets, of learning that, comes out of how, do companies reinvent. Themselves in, this day and age. This. Must be the last question is. It a good one a lot. Of pressure or will be the second time. I'll. Try, so. Thanks so much for coming in my, name's Stephanie young I'm an MBA 3 we, exist, is. That a good thing it's. On, the MBA 3 okay, I'm. Doing a joint program and. My, question for you was you, talked about companies. Potentially. Crossing, borders, that governments, couldn't, cross I was, curious for you personally with, IBM, how, you see IBM's, role, in government in the US and globally, and. Conversely. Flip that and think, about what you think government needs to be doing to make it effective to make, them effective working with companies like IBM yeah, look. This this is a good question cuz I you can imagine even earlier in the year I got asked this question many many times. And in, with my whole workforce actually, to explain, and. Re explain. To them what. Is our role and I. Feel, every, every IBM CEO has, worked, with every United States president, as an example since, Woodrow Wilson, and as. I. Said to my workforce and my teams I say guys this is it not about politics, it is about policies. In. Fact we're the only we are the only tech. I know of that makes no, contributions. Zero always. Had a position about it zero zero zero everywhere. Zero, by. The way when your answer is like no it's easy to be consistent no, and, so don't. Start. And, so but, it does give you a freedom to, then you. Then debate policies. And, so, it's policy it's not politics, and so. That, is what I have firmly, stuck. On is to, what my issues I don't care in every country we have to deal with because mind you you, know whether, it was you know I was with Prima. Modi last week this. Week I'll do, Prime, Minister Trudeau in Canada, or whether it is you. Know, shi, Shan ping it doesn't matter in each country and I've never met a country that didn't want you to increase your workforce they're never labor. Is the currency jobs is currency I don't. Care who you are that is true for, as long as I can remember so, I think what we can do is each of us so you adapt the things that are important to you right so, what's important to us is education, in every country that we work on what's, important, to us is inclusion and diversity, and, this, ability. And why you. Want it for innovation, I mean it's not just for an altruistic, reason, you want it for innovation, so we're, very strong supporters, of open innovation very, strong supporters, of Education, and very. Strong supporter of free trade I mean, I worked really hard on things like TPP. Because. I think, they're not only good for business they were good for those countries too, it held them to a level in a standard, not. To steal IP to let data flow freely to have wages, be a certain way I mean there were lots of good things and they were modernized, for the digital era by the way which most print agreements are not modernized.
For So. Those. Are some of the main issues we have really devoted, ourselves to and of course in the u.s. we've wanted a competitive, tax system, right and so because. Otherwise it, allows other countries, to buy companies here, in. All for those kinds of reasons not for the right reasons so. That's, to me what we should do and in return what do you want government to do well, you want them not to heavily, regulate you I've, never met a place that regulation, was a really great thing but. There, is you. Do want them to create in every country a level, playing field so that's what I want out of most governments and. Of course the treatment, of people and the focus on education but that level, playing field, and that's what we work on in almost every country which is about how to be sure there's a level playing field that people, can move freely ideas, can move freely right I love that old saying you know I just, is true like good. Ideas have no Passport right and so, that is, what you want to be able to have happen and I and I'm sure it's why we fought so hard around immigration too right so that, regardless. Of country that there should be good, and done, a lot of work on the immigration as well so. That. Would be my take away be it's always about policies, not politics, and if. You focus on that my. View is you can change the world you can change the world, well. Journey as an international student struggling to get a job I hugely appreciate that and, also. Want to say believe me you answer my questions a lot better than I could have done so thank, you very very much for coming ladies engineering.