IBM is making a pretty cool announcement in the morning, around a new initiative for IBMers to get involved in interesting projects in development markets.  Called the Corporate Services Corps, the initial group of 100 -- selected from over 5000 IBMers who applied -- will be headed to countries like Ghana, Vietnam, the Philippines, Romania and Tanzania.  They will live and work in these environments for a month, helping local businesses grow into global responsibilities.

From the IHT:

IBM's program, which it calls the Corporate Service Corps, stands out on several counts. It uses the volunteer ethos to throw together employees who might otherwise never meet, even as it gives International Business Machines a high profile in countries where the company does not yet have a major presence.

"As a development tool, this is a four-for-one," said Allan Cohen, dean of the Olin Graduate School at Babson College. "It's stretching to work in another culture, to work in a nonprofit where the measurement of accomplishment isn't clear, to take a sabbatical from your everyday routine, and to learn to accomplish things when you can't just bark orders." ...

The company sees the service corps as a way to learn how well employees cope. And it plans to use that knowledge to customize further development for them.
Congratulations to my colleagues who are amongst the first selected for this program.

Link: International Herald Tribune: Training meets philanthropy at IBM >

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