Opening strategy through 'Jamming': exploring the process

2015-12-03T11:04:07Z (GMT) by Josh Morton Alex Wilson Louise Cooke
Jamming is a term which is increasingly common in case studies and literature, both academic and nonacademic, especially where topics such as social technology, collaboration and innovation are a predominant focus. An IBM expression which represents their use of social technologies to connect actors to collaborate in an ‘online conference’ environment, these ‘Jams’ are usually focused, time-limited events surrounding a particular theme or set of topics. Jamming has also become an almost customary example presented in literature on the topic of ‘open strategy’, especially the IBM ‘InnovationJams’, which in the past have opened strategic conversation to actors across the entire organisation. Open strategy itself arises from increasing interest in the phenomenon of openness in strategy research and practice, and how this represents a paradigm shift from the more traditional, top-down role of strategic planning. In light of these developments, this short paper offers a brief overview of the Jamming concept, particularly in the context of a case study into its use in a collaborative open strategy initiative, involving IBM and a public defence organisation. It concludes with a selection of questions which could direct future research.