FIR Interview: Susanne Dirks, IBM, on the 2008 Global CEO Study

In May 2008, IBM published the 2008 Global CEO Study, the largest study of chief executives ever conducted. Based on face-to-face interviews with over 1,100 CEOs from 40 countries across 32 industries, the study is designed to capture insights on how the challenges CEOs face today will impact the future of business.

The study, titled “The Enterprise of the Future,” was conducted by IBM Global Business Services in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is the third biennial CEO study that IBM has carried out.

In this FIR Interview, Neville Hobson joined in conversation with Susanne Dirks, Manager, Centre for Economic Development Research at IBM’s Institute for Business Value in Ireland, to discuss the Global CEO Study in the broad context of what the study means for communicators, in particular relating to two of the core findings: Organizations are bombarded by change, and many are struggling to keep up; and CEOs regard more demanding customers not as a threat, but as an opportunity to differentiate.

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About our Conversation Partner

Susanne DirksSusanne Dirks is manager of the newly-established Global Centre for Economic Development of the IBM Institute for Business Value. This centre, which she established in Ireland in early 2007, acts as global centre of competence for economic development and questions and publishes Thought Leadership on its research into economic development and the relationship between economic development and information communications technology.

In addition to defining and executing the strategy and research agenda of the centre, Susanne is actively involved in the research work done by the centre and presents and discusses its Thought Leadership work at large conferences, panel meetings, executive client meetings, and in interviews with the international press. Publications of the centre that Susanne has led include the annual e-readiness Rankings, completed in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the centre’s recent study titled Economic development in a Rubik’s Cube world: How to turn global trends into local prosperity.

During her thirteen years at IBM, Susanne, who is a senior managing consultant, has held several management and consulting roles in Software Group, Sales & Distribution, and Global Business Services, some at national level, others working across EMEA or internationally.

Prior to IBM, Susanne worked for a Siemens subsidiary in Ireland. Prior to that, Susanne spent some years working for herself and running her own business in the United Kingdom.

Susanne, who is also a certified translator/interpreter (Universitaet Erlangen, Germany), holds a First Class B.Sc. Honours Degree in Information Technology and Science, Technology and Society Studies and a Master of Science in Knowledge Based Systems from Edinburgh University.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.