CSR strategy and prioritized city initiatives.
I was invited to be a part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps’ second team to visit the United Arab Emirates. Our client, Al Ain Municipality, wanted my subteam to develop a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, priorities and initiatives during an intense month of in-country consulting.
The Corporate Service Corps was IBM’s premier global leadership training program. My team consisted of 11 IBMers from Canada, Colombia, India, Germany, Japan and the United States.
The team began to formulate Al Ain’s CSR strategy by first researching what other cities that had developed future-focused, leading approaches to corporate social and environmental sustainability. We identified the pillars of leadership represented by these cities located around the world and applied them to the current state of Al Ain.
UAE Team 2 presented 36 prioritized initiatives that would advance Al Ain to its desired global leadership role in 3 years.
From there, we identified strategic areas that would advance Al Ain to a global leadership role within the subsequent 3 year period. For each area, we created 36 prioritized initiatives that would provide needed support for city needs. The project culminated in a presentation of the team’s findings to the city leadership council.
In addition to the project itself, the CSC experience was an exercise in learning to adapt to a new environment, collaborate effectively with colleagues from around the world, learn about multiple cultures and work under significant stress.