Corporate Social Responsibility 2.0: Integrate With Leadership Development To Build 21st Century Skills

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 12.01.09

Ask yourself: is your organization building new skill sets for the future workplace? If not, you will be interested in what Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is doing to combine corporate social responsibility with leadership development for high potentials.

Deloitte’s new program is called Deloitte21, and it refers to the concept of building 21st century skills in ethics, innovative thinking, and global awareness. While many companies may be on this track, Deloitte’s new program is especially innovative. Deloitte21 brings together 20 high potential managers for a year long program aimed at working with school age children to develop their skills in ethics, innovative thinking, and global awareness.

Here is how the program works:

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, each Deloitte manager will lead a local education project, and will work along side a non profit in their region. These participants take a monthly online course as well as attend a three-day executive education program focusing on how to work with local educators to build these 21st century skills into school programs.

This combination of corporate social responsibility with leadership development targeting high potential managers is what a growing number of other companies are as well, including IBM, Pfizer and Ernst & Young. The drivers behind this interest in building leadership development and real world issues into CSR includes the following:

  1. Millennials (those born between 1977 and 1997) say they will seek out employers who have social responsibility values that match their won, this according to a survey of over 4,000 new college hires by PwC.
  2. Employers are keenly interested in matching the long-term investments in corporate social responsibility to their strategic priorities. Hence the connection to building 21st century skills in the future workforce.
  3. Companies want to offer these type of development opportunities to high potential managers as a way to increase retention rates among this population.

A project like Deloitte12 gets the company brand out in the global marketplace as the first crop of Deloitte participants from 15 countries around the world begin to work with local school districts.

As you build to think about new initiatives for 2010, this may be one area you want to explore in greater depth. If you are doing this, please share your experience with our readers here.

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