Corporate Volunteering Delivers Leadership Development - Report
17 April 2013 at 10:50 am
The major benefit for participating companies in International Corporate Volunteerism (ICV) is skills and leadership development, an international conference on volunteering has been told.
The 2013 ICV Benchmarking Report was released at the 4th Annual International Corporate Volunteerism Conference in Washington D.C – an annual forum that brings together thought-leaders, and professionals from across the business, social and public spectrums, including Fortune 500 companies, NGO leaders, corporate responsibility and international development experts on the topic of International Corporate Volunteerism (ICV).
According to the Benchmarking Report, in 2012, two dozen major companies sent more than 1700 volunteers abroad to volunteer compared to six companies in 2008.
According to conference organisers, short term ICV assignments build leadership and global management skills such as international teamwork, diversity sensitivity and fast-paced decision making, while increasing employees’ ability to navigate institutional and cultural realities in emerging markets.
The conference featured individual talks from corporate and social impact pioneers, live interactive “global pro bono” sessions in which attendees experienced an ICV project, as well as conversations with IBM, Google and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
PepsiCo’s Vice President, Global Citizenship & Sustainability and Keynote Speaker, Sue Tsokris, spoke on the evolution of leadership and how PepsiCo’s ‘PepsiCorps’ program aims to build skills for a new generation of leaders.
She said in the past leadership was often based on criteria as simple as length of tenure, most senior title, or most vocal opinions. But as organisations evolve to manage new global dynamics she said that models of leadership are also changing.
“Successful leaders will need skills such as the ability to influence more diverse teams over whom they may not have direct authority, the flexibility to succeed with limited resources and the adaptability to deal with fast changing work environments,” she said.
“PepsiCo’s PepsiCorps program is a one-month assignment designed to use employees’ skills and expertise to tackle global challenges such as water scarcity and access to affordable nutrition. But the program also serves another purpose for each individual and the organisation by putting employees in unique environments that help them develop important new leadership skills.”