It’s been years since we learned that the world is “flat” and that all enterprises – whether commercial, governmental or non-profit – are globally connected. But what we’re still learning in this era of global integration is how to prepare the next generation of leaders to realize what we characterize as the triple benefit – developing their skills while solving communities’ problems and opening new markets. This isn’t just a “business” problem.
It’s an issue that impacts – and will shape the future of – almost every human endeavor
on the planet.
Running our cities, educating our children, protecting our health and sustaining our environment are just some of the world’s critical challenges that no single company or economic sector can address or solve alone. Mastering the world’s challenges requires the world’s collective intelligence and expertise and true collaboration. That’s why legacy models of top-down corporate philanthropy have become obsolete. In their place have arisen innovative approaches to transforming the ways we interact, learn and lead. At IBM, these approaches involve maximizing the value of our most important assets – the time and talent of our employees – versus merely donating our excess cash.
Leaders collaborate, and the first stage of that process involves enabling others to contribute. Working with governments and NGOs to make markets by building infrastructure and protecting public health is part of the integrated business and citizenship strategy behind IBM Corporate Service Corps. Using data analytics, cloud computing and mobile computing technologies to re-imagine, revive and re-energize cities is the mission of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge. Responding to data with proactive and innovative designs to reinvent American education is the essence of IBM’s P-TECH schools. Through these and other initiatives, IBM and IBMers are re-defining what it means to contribute and to lead.
At PYXERA Global’s 5th Annual International Corporate Volunteerism (ICV) Conference,
I had a chance to hear and discuss some of the latest thinking on driving growth in emerging markets, and developing the next generation of global leaders. In parallel with these discussions, I shared my perspective on IBM’s role in reinventing global leadership in an article for The New Global Citizen. Please read and share this information along with your thoughts on the new dimension of leadership.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.