Sam Palmisano, CGE Chairman, and Michael Spence, CGE Board Member, prepare for a class lecture at NYU Stern School of Management

Sam Palmisano, former Chairman and CEO of IBM, spoke to a class of New York University Stern business school students today about his new book Re-Think: A Path to the Future and the research projects underway at The Center for Global Enterprise (CGE). The class is taught by Nobel Laureate Michael Spence, professor of Economics. Mr. Palmisano was the guest speaker in Professor Spence’s class.


The class opened with discussion surrounding the concept of the Globally Integrated Enterprise (GIE) and it’s role in today’s business world. Mr. Palmisano explained to the class that unlike the “multinational” business model, traditionally taught by business schools, the GIE is a concept that is constantly evolving and shaping how companies do business. By applying local needs at a global level, the GIE may take on various forms depending on the industry and speed and scale of the company. Intellectually, GIE transformation should be easy enough, but the question remains, why do so many businesses face such dramatic challenges with global integration? This question is at the forefront of the Center’s mission and was largely the focus of Professor Spence’s class.


Mr. Palmisano, now three years retired from IBM, spoke about lessons he learned on the job as CEO while warmly welcoming questions and open discussion during the class. The students were curious about how he handled management that clings to the past, what will the new “manufacturing equivalent” of jobs be in the technology industry and the future? And, which companies are good examples of GIEs? Platform companies, one of the four core areas of CGE research, were also a hot-button topic. What is their value proposition? “How do platform companies with already built-in infrastructures like AirBnB and Uber fair against independent platforms?” one student asked.


The questions facing businesses today are undoubtedly complex and difficult to dismantle. The Center for Global Enterprise is committed to reaching future leaders in collaboration with institutions like NYU’s Stern Business School and others worldwide to open up the conversation and to determine how the future of the enterprise can be a constructive contributor to a thriving global society and world.





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