Skills-Based Volunteering, Part 1: Key Components of Learning Development

Skills-Based Volunteering, Part 1: Key Components of Learning Development

3rd Annual International Corporate Volunteer Conference Preview
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Check out part 1 of Matthew Farmer's blog series previewing his keynote speech for the upcoming ICV Conference! #CSR
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 5:45pm

This guest blog article by Matthew Farmer, keynote speaker at CDC Development Solutions’ 3rd Annual International Corporate Volunteerism Conference  and Managing Director of Emerging World, is the first in a three-part series. Emerging World works with global corporations to design and manage learning experiences across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

I‘m really looking forward to taking part in CDC Development Solutions’ International Corporate Volunteerism Conference.  At the conference, I’ll be outlining 6 steps towards achieving impactful learning from an International Corporate Volunteer program, based on our experience with clients such as Microsoft and Ernst & Young. One step is the importance of matching people with the right projects. Rather than placing people based on their skillset, or even leaving them free to choose, we find that you can achieve greater (and often transformative) personal development impact by carefully matching individuals to a project based on his or her development needs and personality, as well as their skills.

One example that springs to mind is that of a bank employee.  While this volunteer has a risk background, he was instead asked to develop a strategic plan for an Indian eye hospital – rather than a financial or risk oriented project. The idea was to stretch and test the employee to take on a challenge he didn’t think he himself capable of. 

The eye hospital was delighted with the outcome – highly appreciative of the perspective that an intelligent mind from a different culture and structure can give. The employee came back armed with a self-awareness and self-confidence that left him able to embrace new and exciting challenges.

But what happened after his time abroad? Well, he promptly secured a job move to a different division dealing within governance and has since taken on increasingly senior roles in business intelligence and operations.

I look forward to sharing Emerging World’s five remaining secrets when we meet on April 12...

Matthew Farmer
Managing Director, Emerging World