SAP Social Sabbatical: A New Model for Leadership Development and Social Impact
In today’s global economy, the most successful leaders are those citizens who can effectively collaborate and communicate with people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
At SAP, we’re always exploring innovative ways to increase leadership development, employee engagement and impact on society through our business expertise. To that end, earlier this year we launched the application process for the SAP Social Sabbatical pilots.
The SAP Social Sabbatical is designed as a short term, exclusive development opportunity in which an international, cross-board area team of High Potential employees will build capacity and solve business challenges with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work with emerging entrepreneurs in select markets. This is just one piece of our overarching social investment portfolio to support emerging entrepreneurs in Brazil and India. South Africa will be the third pilot location for the Social Sabbatical.
This initiative was developed by SAP High Potential employees for SAP High Potential employees, as an alternative to our traditional fellowship. The Social Sabbatical will be an excellent leadership development opportunity for our High Potential employees and we expect applicants from all over the world.
In my view, it’s a win-win-win proposition:
For Participants, they can:
• Develop leadership and cross-cultural skills
• Be part of an experiential learning opportunity
• Have the chance to connect with other emerging leaders, which can lead to new ideas and business relationships that can last well beyond the assignment
For clients, they can:
• Support organizational development
• Advance service provision
• Improve staff skills
• Build capacity
• Impart the learnings and knowledge gained in conjunction with our top employees to others
For SAP, it can:
• Extend strategic social investments in key markets
• Teach us more about the needs of NGOs and emerging entrepreneurs
• Support social innovation
• Energize employees who participated in a once in a lifetime experience
As Margaret Mead so eloquently put it: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” It is my belief that the SAP Social Sabbatical can deliver on this ambition by engaging High Potentials through thoughtful and high impact assignments that leverage employee skills and expertise to help the world run better!