Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Weekly Prep Meetings

Probably the most important pre-assignment preparation activity has been the weekly call. Once a week all the team gets together on a one hour phone call. On these calls we've heard about the CSC program and been guided on what tasks we need to complete. This has included getting immunizations, passports, visa's and making sure we're all on track on our education. We've also heard from the organisation we'll be working with and the been given advice about what to expect and what to be aware of when we get into India.

The calls have been led by Flavio who was part of the CSC India 19 team. India 19 was working in Kalkutta earlier this year. Having someone who's completed an assignment in India and been able to give some direct insight into what we might encounter has been invaluable.

As the team is from all round the world it has to be held at a time that works for reasonably well for everyone. Unfortunately for me, the time that works best for everyone is 11pm on Friday night. Keith, who's in Canada, does the call at 6am Friday. Whereas most of the team get the call during working hours. Whilst 11pm isn't the most social of times, it does mean the call doesn't clash with work meetings, and the family has all gone to bed which means I don't get any background noise. The time hasn't been as bad as it first seemed it might be. But I'll be glad when they are done.

And done they soon will be. There's only one more in the program before we head off. Yipee.

#ibmcsc india

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Pre Assignment Training

As part of the preparation for my assignment to Jamnagar I've had to complete 24 hours of formal education. I've had three months to work through it, so 8 hours a month. My first thoughts were "That doesn't sound too hard". What I hadn't counted on was an exceptionally busy work schedule that meant some very long weeks and little time for anything else. The result was a couple of times where I've realised that I've been quite a bit behind where I wanted to be, so a couple of Saturday and Sunday mornings of study was needed to get back on track

The education included a crash course consulting. Exercises in building a greater understand in cultural differences between team members and the cultural of India. There been modules focused on community service and social responsibility, including reading white papers on some of the approaches taken and the success, or lack of success, of these. I've completed some media training, including what should or should not be included in social media. Including twitter facebook and this blog. And last, but certainly not least, a fair amount of material on what logistics preparation was needed to ensure that I'd be able to actually get to India and be ready to work from day one.

When I first looked at what was needed to be completed and the time frame I thought it'd be pretty easy to knock over. About two months in I was finding that it was more involved than I'd expected. At the same time I've found it to be informative and I think worthwhile. So much so that I think that there's a reasonable amount I expect I'll be referring back to in the first couple of weeks. Especially the consulting modules.

Hopefully it completing this will have helped prepare the team and I. If nothing else it's made me feel a little more comfortable about the task ahead.

#ibmcsc india

Sunday, 21 July 2013

First Post

I've created this blog to track my journey with IBM's Corporate Service Corp or CSC program. The CSC is part of IBM's Global Citizen's Portfolio. 

The Corporate Service Corps aims to train a new generation of truly global leaders by exposing them to diverse cultures, policy environments and different societal expectations, because this is the 21st centuries context for business.

IBM sees the Corporate Service Corps as providing a triple benefit.  IBM gains leaders with a broader range of skills that can function in a global context. As a participant, I get a unique set of leadership opportunities and development experiences. And the communities that we work with get IBM’s best problem solving skills.

I feel very privileged to be selected as a participant in the program. I’ve been assigned to team that will be based in Jamnagar, in India. I head off on Friday August the 9th, which is just under three weeks from now. Over the next few weeks I plan to post some blog entries about the preparation for the assignment and what I’m expecting to see and do whilst I’m away. I wonder if the assignment will be anything like my expectations. I guess we’ll see.

#ibmcsc india