I’ve safely returned to France from Sao Paolo. Here come my conclusions about my, Henna’s and Valtteri’s experience. Our clients were Banco Santander (Santander merged recently with Banco Real) and university SENAC Sao Paolo. During two first days we gave a global view about Team Academy by sharing some basic facts, our learning stories and different learning tools. We had prepared a visualization exercise where participants were asked to close their eyes and through story telling imagine as if they were entrepreneurs inside their organizations. Another exercise we had was Entrepart's Zombie exercise which I already explained in earlier article. It was really powerful and everybody had so much fun. Santander had also organized a choir exercise which was conducted by energetic Andrea. Santander uses choir exercises in leadership and team building seminars. It was little bit challenging for me and Henna because everybody sang in Portuguese, but Valtteri who’s been living in Brazil seemed to enjoy!
After two days participants (about 30 people) chose themes for workshops which were 1) Innovation & Knowledge Management, 2) Learning & Learning Tools, 3)Leadership in flat organizations and among friends - how to help all employees to practice leadership?, 4) How to implement Team Academy model to different culture & what is team coaching?, 5) Individual Learning and how to develop protagonists inside organizations?, 6) Leading Thoughts – how to take values off the wall and put them into practice?, 7) Dialogue, 8) Community Learning – in Brazil learning concentrates more on individuals.
During workshops we went through what these themes mean in Team Academy, did different exercises, shared our own stories, shared some theories, worked on concrete customer cases and had some deep dialogue and a lot of action. One important tool we used was cross fertilization. During cross fertilization participants were sharing their learnings with others after each workshop in order to guarantee flow of knowledge. It was also a way for them to crystallize their own learnings. Another important tool we used was “birth giving”. The purpose is to display competency of a team/group and it may focus on solving problems, presenting things learnt in a project or generating new ideas. During a “birth giving” knowledge is both shared and created, it is not a mere presentation, but an interactive learning situation for everybody. The length of “birth giving” varies according to needs. Usually they last four hours but in some cases they may last only 30 minutes. The longest “birth giving” lasts 24 hours. With Santander and SENAC we experienced several 30 minutes “birth givings” and one 4 hour “birth giving”. In “birth giving” presentation is also important and it should a) involve the audience b) be simple c) surprise people d) have belief. One of the questions in Santander’s and SENAC’s “birth giving was “What can you do for the structures/control & command system that blocks protagonism?”
During our first week we had a possibility to visit the Hub Sao Paolo. There are several Hubs all over the world. Hubs are global communities of social entrepreneurs from different professions, backgrounds and cultures working at 'new frontiers' to attack the world's most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. We also visited SENAC campus which was pretty amazing. It’s one of the most modern campuses in Brazil, might be even the most modern.
Last Friday we participated to an event which was organized in co-operation with SENAC, the Hub and SoL Brazil. There were 70 participants from different organizations. Our presentation was a short version from our opening seminars for Santander and SENAC, we shared our stories, shared some learning tools and Cristina D’Arce from SoL Brazil animated World Cafés. Event was a success, people learned a lot, many contacts were exchanged and connections done.
We experienced Brazilian culture through samba, salsa, traditional Brazilian food and old traditional country songs which were translated to us in English. It’s amazing how in a city where income differences are enormous everybody were so happy. I think many European countries should benchmark Brazilian people! Experience was great and we all learnt a lot!