Friday, August 30, 2013

IBM and the Corporate Service Corps

IBM - my employer - has been a pioneer for over a century. IBM's history is peppered with many notable landmarks. Technical breakthroughs like Watson and Deep Blue are well-known.  But, perhaps more significantly, IBM's record of championing workplace policies that are decades ahead of their time has had a  bigger and broader influence on the general business landscape.

In a letter dated September 21, 1953, IBM's then CEO, Thomas Watson Jr. wrote to his managers, “It is the policy of this organization to hire people who have the personality, talent and background necessary to fill a given job, regardless of race, color or creed.” The memo predated the passage of the US Civil Rights Act by 11 years.

This aspect of IBM's impact on the world is under-appreciated. As I begin to tell you my story of corporate do-gooding, I thought it appropriate to start by acknowledging and thanking my employer, for giving me the chance to spend 4 weeks in Brazil, working with small community organizations and the people they help and empower, as part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

IBM's Corporate Service Corps (CSC for short), started in 2008, has already sent over a thousand IBMers to more than 30 developing countries, to work on community development projects. I am part of CSC team "Brazil 14" and will head out on my deployment to Brazil next week (Sep 5th).

More about the CSC program and my experiences in the posts to follow...

#ibmcsc brazil

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