Yesterday I was scrolling through my blog posts and realized that the curtain needs to be brought down for my Atlas Corps-IBM San Francisco episode. So, here we go with the concluding week activities of my amazing IBM CSC fellows; Sharon, Benedicte, Susanne and Ricardo as well as the outcome of Atlas Corps-IBM partnership for United Way (UWBA).
I resumed office after Global Leadership Lab (GLL) Immersion week and it was time to sweat a little harder to catch up. Our team orchestrated a Value Stream Model based on our earlier discussions on business engagement. After some deliberation, we all reached on a conclusion and made headway towards data analysis. It was a relatively sedentary week at office due to the Dreamforce event, which was happening a few blocks from office.
It was a celebratory week for us as UWBA and Dreamforce joined hands for Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud. Philanthropy Cloud is a new era of giving. It provides a connectivity platform to employees and organizations so that they can enhance their philanthropic engagements while efficaciously investing in causes they believe in to build better communities. It is an innovative alliance of the digital age; a pioneer in workplace giving forged partnership to integrate world-class technology in the businesses with an aim to enhance social outreach, volunteerism and altruism for poverty alleviation. It is a new world with endless possibilities for socio-economic development. UWBA was among key note speakers at the event and trust me the buzz created a stir as we are getting a lot of requests lately from corporate sector for joining the cavalcade.
Anyhow, moving back to IBM CSC journey, the puzzle pieces started revealing the picture. The data eventually started making sense and we contemplated on data projection templates. The data was still pouring in from all directions, even in the third week. There was still a lot to digest but we finally opened our score card for analysis. It was decided to divide the work so that by the start of next week, we will be ready with our final outcomes; a report, a presentation for the concluding ceremony and a presentation at UWBA. IBM team was given a Cloud Room at UWBA and we all started stashing the walls with hypothesis, rubrics, data analytic assumptions, techniques and data presentation models. Finally, everything started taking a shape and we all took a sigh of relief!
The week concluded with a visit to two Spark Point Centers, institutionalized by UWBA as one stop service center for struggling youth and adults. We visited a stand-alone center in Richmond and a center established in elementary school in NAPA. I always enjoy visiting these centers and aim to replicate them once head home after my fellowship.
The week concluded with visiting vineyards and famous wineries of NAPA and that surely alleviate the stress of the week.
I suck at farewells and my gut wrenching was an indication that the time to say good-bye to four amazing people is fast approaching. They have taught me sooo much in this short span of time as a team and even in their individual capacities. I will always be grateful to Atlas Corps and IBM for giving me this opportunity. Monday was the day to wrap up our work and so the team was busy with finalizing the report and presentations. We have gone through the master-sheet and rectify glitches before presenting it to UWBA. I was really excited about the master-sheet as it encapsulated the information exactly the way we wanted. I will refine it a little more but for now it was AWESOME. It was supposed to be an overt operation but I could not contain it to myself so I blabbered about it with my supervisor and to my astonishment, she called everyone in to see the amazing work and there were actually tears of joy at UWBA.
As a capacity building intervention, we scheduled an all staff Design Thinking workshop where IBM CSC fellows capacitated UWBA staff including me on this creative human-centric framework for efficacious problem solving, irrespective of the magnitude. I have added another feather in my cap and will surely use the framework for innovative yet quick and attainable solutions.
Next milestone of this Atlas Corps-IBM association was all staff presentation at UWBA. It was time to show UWBA the final outcome of one month’s sweat and tears. The team gave an all-staff presentation with a set of recommendations for improvement. The team’s work was widely lauded and it was assured that UWBA will collectively work together to implement the recommendations particularly with regards to business process transformation.
Final chapter of this partnership was a concluding ceremony at IBM office where the host organizations, Atlas Corps staff, Atlas Corps Fellows, IBM staff, IBM CSC alumni and our IBM CSC teams gathered to recognize the work of IBM team in their respective host organizations. MEDA presented their HR process development project followed by WAKE organization’s strategy. UWBA CSC team presented their project at the end and I will be biased but surely think that it was the best for last. They nailed it!!
Last day was a volunteer day for our IBM CSC team. They wanted to give it back and I don’t want to miss any opportunity of giving back so we all participated in a Career Prep Day organized by UWBA, Ernst & Young (EY) and Skyline College, San Bruno to prepare the youth for the competitive job market. Our very own IBM CSC team along with EY volunteers reviewed the resume, conducted some mock interviews and extended some expert advice to the youth with regards to their career concerns. It was a real success as we facilitated around 80 young individuals with their career exploration, resume improvement, strategies for enhancing employment prospects and pertinent strategies. The day ended with so many good-byes as our very own IBM team was officially ending their US journey, heading back to their respective countries and one of my lovely co-worker at UWBA was also bidding farewell – heading to a new start. For me, it was pretty emotional and I am surely going to miss all these amazing people. A big thank you to IBM, UWBA and Atlas Corps for giving me an opportunity of meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and learn and grow my professional and personal attributes.