Before I welcome you to the new site, I must say
Goodbye! Au Revoir! Adios! বিদায়!さようなら! Selamat Tinggal!

rawn-swordAt the end of June 2013, I voluntarily left my role at IBM as strategist, program manager, internal consultant, mentor, and collaboration conspirator, after 13 years with this global family. This has given me the chance to explore new options as well as formally rekindle my role as an advisor to other organizations.

I would like to thank all the folks I’ve worked with over the years at IBM. It is still a great place for experience, global perspectives and the on-goings and needed perspectives of a truly global, not just multinational, corporation. While my job had always been in IBM Software group, I have worked with great people in almost every business unit on a meaningful level at some point or another. It has afforded me interesting opportunities over the years. There are simply too many to name, and many with whom I will continue to stay connected.

I received first hand experience along with questions and conundrums that often emerge with early experimentation and advising other organizations that others often do not encounter until some years of maturity. I’d advise the company to stay the course for transforming itself into a social business and to hold onto its remaining experts directly working on these challenges first hand.

There have been many such moves of thought leaders in Social Business across the industry in the past year, particularly between companies or becoming independent leaders of their own:

  1. Susan Scrupski lead for the Social Business Adoption Council at Dachis left to form a new group, Change Agents Worldwide
  2. Sameer Patel joined SAP and is now Global Vice President and GM of Enterprise Social and Collaboration Software.
  3. Dave Gray moved on from his SVP Strategy role at Dachis Group to focus on his speaking, and book
  4. Peter Kim left his Managing Director role at agency R/GA to rejoin Dachis Group as Chief Solutions Architect
  5. Kat Mandelstein left her Director of Marketing role at IBM to join Ant’s Eye View later acquired by PwC Consulting.
  6. Chris Carfi left Ant’s Eye View to join startup Swipp as VP of Platform Products.
  7. Jackie Huba left Ant’s Eye View to pursue success with her new book, Monster Loyalty.
  8. Richard Rasthy moved from the enterprise life at Schneider Electric to join technology-consulting firm, Infosys.
  9. Claire Flanagan moved from her Director position at CSC to join software vendor Jive as Director of Business Value Strategy
  10. Simon Scullion has moved from his Collaboration Lifeguard role at CSC to form Social Edge Consulting in Spain.
  11. Greg Lowe has moved from Yammer to join social and compliance software vendor Actiance as a Social Business expert
  12. Maria Ogneva moved from her role at Yammer, about a year after their acquisition by Microsoft, to join Salesforce.
  13. Emanuele Quintarelli moved from Italian consultancy, Open Knowledge to lead the Digital Transformation practice over at Ernst & Young
  14. Jamie Punishill left his role as Global Head of Content & Digital Distribution at Thomson Reuters, and is “looking for the next big thing”.
  15. Chris Heuer left Deloitte Consulting to formally re-launch consulting network, Adhocnium
  16. Eugene Lee left as CEO of SocialText and now serves on a number of boards
  17. Michael Idinopulos moved from GM of SocialText to become CMO at PeopleLinx
  18. Mike Gotta returned to his roots at Gartner as Research VP
  19. Jamie Pappas joined Akamai Technologies as Director of Corporate Communications & Social Marketing
  20. Mitch Lieberman formerly VP Marketing of Sword Ciboodle joined DRI as Managing Partner
  21. Trisha Liu moved from her Enterprise Community Manager role at HP to join software vendor, FactorLab
  22. Gautam Ghosh has joined Philips as GM of HR Strategy & Projects in India
  23. David Meiselman moved from his Director of Digital/Web Strategy to VP of Digital Marketing at Actifio
  24. Liz Philips has moved from her role as Social Media Manager for TaylorMade-adidas Golf to join Qualcomm
  25. Ranjun Chauhan left his role in Corporate Social Intelligence Strategy at IBM to join HootSuite
  26. Luis Suarez from my former team for enterprise adoption has made a move inside IBM to join the CIO organization.

There are certainly many more names I did not include here. Please feel free to point out other moves recently. These some of the brightest folks in the industry and I’m glad to have met them all and wish them luck. Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter keeps an active record of people on the move in the industry, if you are further interested.

Where am I heading?

I will continue my blogging on Forbes, hopefully with more regularity. I will look closer at many organizations and vendors involved in Social Business focused on my key interests: work ethos, collective collaboration, leadership values, process transformation, enterprise adoption, and social analytics.

I will also continue to speak at leading industry events in the US and externally. My new blog & web site www.rawnshah.com will provide a unifying narrative to the work and interests I focus on, and soon, the services that I offer.

I will be making appearances at various events that should appear on the calendar for the site. If you would like to discuss the social business industry, work factors and the evolving nature of business, please feel free to contact me.

I will soon be committing to a new stealth mode startup with other noteworthy industry experts to solve a crucial but long-persistent challenge that still exists while working at and managing an organization. My first startup, RTD Systems & Networking, was back in the early and mid-1990s, when the Web was young. It gave me the experience to later help with the success of magazines like JavaWorld and LinuxWorld, and launched my writing career.  

As a former editor/journalist friend once blessed upon me: 

 He’s one of those lucky few who can see what’s possible to accomplish with emerging technologies AND can figure out ways to make them happen … I’ve learned that when Rawn starts raving about something new, I need to pay attention to it. 

So, I hope a new startup will create more serendipity to greater things. For July, a pleasant vacation in Florida, Barcelona and Italy awaits. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s about all I got to say bout that” (for now).