Peru

Meaning of FAMILY! Differences between South America and Northern Europe

Many people know that the Latinos live with their parents until they are a bit older (~35 or until they get married) and it’s normal to have grandparents or uncles and aunts living in the same house. It’s quite different when comparing it to Finland, where most of the people leave home when they are 18-19 years old. For example, I myself left home when I was 17 to study in another city. And when our parents/grandparents get old, we might put them in care homes, where someone else will look after them.

Living in Peru really helped me to understand the difference between these two cultures. It made me understand how individualistic Finnish people are. For example, when I told people in Peru about the care homes, people asked me if I didn’t love my family and how could I do something like that because to them it sounded so cruel. Whereas, in Finland, I don’t think my mum would even want to live with me when she gets old as she wouldn’t want to bother me and she would want to have her own space as well. And this definitely doesn’t mean that I love her any less.

I know there are many aspects that are influencing this, like religion, but I think one even bigger influencer is the support from the government. In Peru, people cannot move away from their parents’ place when they start their studies as it would be financially impossible, whereas in Finland the education is free and the government gives us money to pay our rent and some other living costs like food. How crazy is that? Of course, because of these schemes, we have better opportunities to leave our homes earlier. But is this a good thing?

The dark side

Recently I have a read a lot of stories about young people who are lonely. They just don’t have any friends or other social networks. We have the same problem with elderly people. It is common that elderly people don’t have people to interact with, due to their families living too far away or their busy work and life schedules. Or like many grandmothers, whos friends might have passed away it can get quite lonely. This is a huge problem for us and it creates depression and a predisposition for other mental illnesses. This problem doesn’t exist in Latin America (or at least not on the same scale). They have large social networks and always someone from the family around to talk to and to share joys and sorrows, which is quite amazing.

Independence

Moving away from your parents does make you more independent, you learn to take responsibility for your own actions, you learn how to cook, to do laundry and take care of your own finances. Whereas I noticed that this is something that Peruvians learn a bit later (depending on their background of course). I worked with students where most of them had a maid at home, which is common in Peru as it’s not expensive to have one. Sometimes the maid came around a few times a week, sometimes she lived with the family. They normally cooked, did laundry and cleaned the house. This probably allowed the kids to be kids for longer, which is a good thing, but it didn’t encourage them to be independent.

People are more social in Peru, it’s normal to talk to a stranger in the park or someone on the streets. At least to wish good morning or good afternoon. I already miss that… Now when I am walking the streets, I just want to greet people, but I know people would think I am crazy. I also have this need to give everyone kisses on the cheek. I used to hate them when I first moved to Peru, but I learned to love them and I thought it was a great way to break the ice when meeting new people and when leaving it was a warm and personal way to say goodbye. Now when I am just waving from the corned and saying goodbye, I do miss that human touch and the love I got from my Peruvian friends!

Both of these ways have their pros and cons and I am grateful that I have had an opportunity to experience them both. It’s also important to understand that there are no right or wrong ways to interact, raise your children or treat your elderly. There are just different ways to do them and we can always learn from each other and respect the differences we have.

What does family mean to you?

* These are all my own observations and they are not based on any researched data

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Peru

The concept of TIME for a Finnish girl in Peru

Time

One of the biggest challenges for me was the locals understanding of time. When I first moved to Peru I got frustrated a lot, because nothing started on time. At some point, I learned that I needed to chill out because if I was going to continue like a Finn I would just go crazy and probably make everyone else crazy as well. So, I learned that it’s normal for the classes to start 15 minutes late, or sometimes even 30 minutes. And that meant I could not plan my sessions with a tight schedule. And it’s not just the students, sometimes the experts are late too.

The cause of these delays is often the traffic, which is nonmoving at times and people tend to use this as an excuse for their tardiness, but sometimes they are late because of the “public transportation”.

Public transportation or the lack of it

Every morning I travelled to work in a combi. It’s like a small bus, but all of these combis are like small enterprises and there are no schedules for them. Every morning I went to the bus stop and waited, sometimes I waited 5 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes. So I understand that it’s difficult to plan your day when you don’t have a clue when the combis are coming or if they are coming at all.

Also, there are too many cars! More than 10 million people live in Lima and the problem is that it was not build for that many people. The middle class is growing, so more and more people have money to buy cars, which creates a challenge with the traffic. To travel even short distances can potentially take hours. I worked with some people who spent two hours in a combi to get to work and two hours to go back. So they spent four hours a day in a small combi that was probably way too full to even sit down.

The combis are cheap though, so that’s great. I only paid 1 Sol to go to work, which is equivalent to 25 cents, pretty much nothing. But as I mentioned earlier they are often too full and that makes them quite unsafe. I do hope that Lima will get proper public transportation at some point so that people can travel faster and more safely.

Back to the Time

The concept of time at work is one thing and time in a social situation is another. If a party starts at 6 pm, Finnish people try to be there at 6pm, British people arrive a bit later, maybe 6:30 pm, but Peruvians would arrive probably around 8-9 pm. And again, that’s absolutely normal for them. So it’s all about understanding the culture and accepting that people have a different understanding of time.

The funny thing is that now I am used to the more “relaxed” way of looking at it after living for almost two years in Peru, but now I am back in Europe so I need to get myself back to a more disciplined way of living. So when I am in Finland I need to arrive at the meetings a few minutes early and in the UK, I need to be there dead on.

The Concept of time

 

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6 steps for creating a High-Performance Team

“A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable

The world is changing from hierarchical towards a flatter organisational structure. More and more companies are trying it out and making people work in teams.  High-performance teams can really make a difference, but only, if it’s done right!

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

I have been working with different kind of teams for over 10 years, some in sports and some in business and in education. And the funny thing is, that they are not that different from each other. You can easily create groups or even teams, but to make them perform well is a lot harder. Here are some tips for building high-performance teams. The text has been inspired by Katzenbach & Smith – and by their book: Wisdom of Teams – Creating the High-Performance Organization. 

To have a high-performing team, you need to have relatively small number of people, complementary skills, common purpose and specific performance goals, commonly agreed upon working approach and the people to be mutually accountable.

1. Small number (less than 12)

Teams can vary from 2 to 25. But the most productive teams are under 12, some researchers have even said that the most ideal team size is 4.6. When a team is too big, it will be a lot harder for them to develop a common purpose, goals and to be accountable to each other. In these situations, it might be a good idea to create smaller sub-teams to tackle performance goals. Most importantly though, the ideal team size changes depending on the task and team’s purpose.

“Even small groups of people fail to become teams on teamwork values alone.”

2. Complementary skills 

When building a team, it’s important to think what kind of technical, functional and soft skills the team needs and build it based on those. Too often we build teams on personal compatibility or on their position at the organisation. The truth is that we are all different with a different set of skills, and the more diverse the team is, the better chance it has to come up with creative solutions.

If the team has been already created, it’s important that you identify what kind of skills the people have (my favourite tool for this is Belbin Team Roles) and then analyse what your team is missing. You can then either recruit other people with complementary skills or help the current members to develop skills that the team is lacking.

3. Common purpose

Common purpose is one of the most important elements for a high-performing team. By having a common meaningful purpose the team will have clear direction, motivation and commitment towards the goals.

Often people have misunderstood that the management team cannot take part in the process when shaping a common purpose, but this is not absolutely true. Managment can give out some guidelines, but they need to be flexible enough that the team can set their own specific goals, timing and approach. In the more entrepreneurial situation, the team can create their purpose entirely on their own.

“Groups that fail to become teams rarely develop a common purpose that they own and can translate into specific and accountable goals.”

4. Common set of specific performance goals

Having specific goals helps teams to get results. One simple way to create goals is to make them SMART. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By following these rules the team have a much better chance of reaching them.

Importantly, the team’s performance goals need to be related to its purpose, as otherwise, the team members will be confused and they will fall apart and they won’t work towards the same aims.

“Ten years ago, few understood that performance challenge creates teams, not the desire to be a team.” 

5. Commonly agreed upon working approach

How often should you meet? How will you communicate about the progress?

To build a high-performing team you need to be clear about the working approach. Regular team meetings are in the core, depending on the project/goals, the teams should meet between once a week to once a month. Between the meetings, it’s important to communicate about everything going on in the project. An example of a good tool for that is Trello. Trello is a task management tool that allows teams to plan and follow up the projects, and it’s also super easy and fun tool to use.

6. Mutually accountable

When the teams’ members are all committed to the goals and to the purpose, the environment will become more performance-driven. This creates mutual trust between the members, and because of this trust, people feel that they can challenge themselves more. They feel that they are mutually accountable to each other, so they want to learn more and deliver better results as they don’t want to let the others down.

Conclusion

What really distinguish normal teams from the high-performing ones are the shared leadership, personal commitment to another’s growth and successes, deeper sense of purpose and more ambitious performance goals. It might not be easy to establish, but it will definitely be worth it.

I hope these 6 steps will help you to create high-performing teams in your organisation! And please feel free to comment your thoughts or ask if you have any questions in relation to this topic.

 

 

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Three tips for HAPPY life

“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

I love this quote, and it also crystallises my thoughts from this documentary I watched last night. I really enjoy watching documentaries and yesterday I watched one called “I Am Not Your Guru” from Netflix, it’s about “Date with Destiny” seminars run by Tony Robbins. I really admire Tony and I think he is very inspirational, so I was really looking forward to this. When I started the film I was a bit sceptical, as it had lots of American hype (which doesn’t go down that well with a Finnish audience) so I wasn’t sure if it would be too much, and another thing that annoyed me a bit was his language. Why so much swearing? But to be honest, when the film started, I forgot about it quickly and in the end, it was a really powerful film and I would recommend it to you all.

The film aroused a lot of thoughts but also many questions. The most important question was about happiness. So what really makes us happy?

1. Design your own life

I believe there are still lots of people who are just taking it how it comes and not really designing their lives. Brian Tracy actually believes that only 3% have made a written plan about their lives. It might be because people have never tried it or maybe they just don’t believe that it could work.

But why not to give it a try? As there is nothing to lose. At least for me it works, so why not write down your clear goals (where do you want to get to) and how you could get there, could reading books help, maybe finding a mentor who has already achieved those things, just write them down, so simple. Some people are more visual and prefer vision boards, so printing out pictures of the things you would like to achieve and then hanging them somewhere where you can see them on a daily basis.

But it’s important to remember that it does not happen overnight. Your mind is like a muscle, you need to train it everyday. By doing these things your mind will start unconsciously working towards your goals and soon you will start noticing all the small opportunities around you that will create the steps you need to execute your plans. When you are living the life you have planned and that you have dreamed about, there is definitely a bigger chance for you to be happy.

2. How to turn your biggest challenges into superpowers?

What things have you gone through? What challenges have you experienced? How can you turn those into superpowers?

For example, I have dyslexia, which is really annoying as it slows me down when I need to read, write or for example learn a language. But that has allowed me to learn how to be more creative, like how can I learn in a different way. This has also helped me to understand that we are all different, we all have our own challenges and we just need to find a way that suits for us. I also believe that this realisation is one of the reasons I have discovered my passion towards changing the world of education.

Without the problems and challenges we have experienced we wouldn’t be who we are today. We wouldn’t be as strong or as clear about the direction we have chosen. So let’s be grateful for all those things as those problems have helped us to create superpowers that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

3. Be grateful

We all have lots of things we should be grateful for, but we don’t often think about those things. There are many ways do this,  some people have gratitude rocks, they carry a small rock with them and every time they touch it, they will think about something they are grateful for. Personally, before I go to sleep I always think about three things that I am grateful for, it just makes me so calm and happy, a perfect way to put you in the right mood before falling asleep.

Or why not to write them down? Like I have done.

I am so grateful…

  • for having parents and a family that have always loved and cared for me unconditionally no matter what
  • to have an amazing boyfriend who teaches me everyday how to love and be loved
  • for having friends who I have always been able to share my wildest dreams, friends who have believed in me and supported me in achieving those dreams
  • for all the opportunities I have got in my life that has allowed me to grow and to shape me into who I am today and to people who have seen potential in me and supported me along the way

After thinking about all these amazing things that I am grateful for, how couldn’t I be happy? Please give them a try and let me know how they work out for you!

So what really-2

United Kingdom

Can dyslexic action learner study a Master’s degree?

Am I academic enough? How about my dyslexia, will that effect? English is not even my first language. Will I have enough time and energy to do it part-time, alongside my full-time job?

There were many questions in my head when I started the Master’s course two and half years go. I knew I wasn’t really good ‘student’ as I don’t like sitting down, listening and remembering stuff for exams. I prefer action, learning-by-doing and experiential stuff. Could a girl with these characteristics do a Master’s degree?

My family is not academic and I haven’t had many academic role models either. The reason I studied my undergraduate course was probably because my friends went to University and because I found this entrepreneurship course that was actually for people like me (Tiimiakatemia/Team Academy), so it was all about running your own business and learning through the experience. Getting a BBA was a huge thing for me already, so I never even dreamed about doing a Masters degree.

Things changed when I started working at Northumbria University, in the North East of UK. I was suddenly surrounded by academics and pretty much everyone was studying too (most of them for doctorates though). Soon I was offered to study masters, which felt like an amazing opportunity even though I didn’t have a clue if I would be actually capable of doing it.

I was happy to hear that this course, MSc in Leadership and Management wouldn’t be the most traditional one. First of all, you could only do it part-time and everyone in the course had to be working for an organisation so that they could immediately apply the learned knowledge into practice. Then I was like YAY, that suits for me! And it did, all the modules and assignments were connected to you as a leader, you developing the organisation, researching it challenges and creating strategies to solve them.

During the course, I learned to like reading academic articles, even though it takes me twice as long (thanks dyslexia) and most of the times I fall asleep after few pages, I don’t know why, but that just happens. And I also created an interest in research, which I thought would never happen, I even wrote an academic article with my colleague, can you imagine that?

The last two and half years has been exciting, I have learned so many new things, but I must say that it hasn’t been easy, but then again life doesn’t need to be easy all the time.

So yesterday I did my final presentation, the final dissertation was already handed in a month ago. Now I just need to wait, few more weeks and I will know if I have done it. If I have been able to overcome all my fears and do the ‘impossible’…

If there are others like me, who think they don’t fit the normal University system but want to develop themselves further, don’t give up as there are programmes and courses that suit for us too, we can all do it if we really want to, if we just believe in ourselves and if we don’t give up!

 

United Kingdom

Entrepreneurs by degree

Originally published in BQlive magazine and website on 9/3/2016 http://www.bqlive.co.uk/2016/03/09/entrepreneurs-by-degree/

An entrepreneurial degree achieved without teacher, classroom or exams sounds questionable but Nina Jussila is helping that to come about in North East academia. Brian Nicholls looks into it.

Nina-01

Once you meet Nina Jussila it shouldn’t surprise you that aspiring entrepreneurs from Newcastle Business School have given Northumbria University the distinction of winning a national contest to find successful start-ups.

A learning support officer, Nina is also a key personality behind the launch of a new entrepreneurial business management degree course, which Northumbria to its credit has been the first of four UK universities to introduce. If the course proves as successful as early results suggest, we shall be justified in asking why UK universities haven’t tried it out long before, since it has been turning out successful entrepreneurs in Finland for around two decades now.

Nina herself is a product, and today is an educational entrepreneur. Jyväskylä University, Finland’s second largest university – in terms of masters degrees conferred, and the birthplace of education in the Finnish language (from 1863)  – has gained Jyväskylä (population 135,591) the soubriquet Athens of Finland, precisely for its contribution to education.

Jyväskylä, though the largest city of central Finland is a much smaller host to academia than Oxford, Edinburgh, and certainly Newcastle, Sunderland or Teesside. Yet its innovative programme for entrepreneurs started easily enough. A lecturer there, wishing to try something different, displayed a poster. “Do you want to travel around the world and learn some marketing?” it asked. The first team of students, on graduating, went on the road with the money they had made.

Newcastle Business School’s course has been developed with what’s called the Team Academy in the Jyväskylä Institute of Science and Technology. A 10-year check of the programme in Finland showed the percentage of Team Academy graduates there starting new businesses was five to 10 times higher than in traditional higher education institutions. One out of every three of the Finnish graduates start a business straight after finishing their studies.

To anyone wavering about a university Nina-02_268x179education the course towards an entrepreneurial business management degree sounds tempting: no teachers, no exams, no classrooms. But there’s always a day of reckoning, and for these students there are still assignments to be done, presentations to be made and reflections expressed – all fully connected with their chosen business.

From the start they’re doing business with real money, cultivating real customers. They’re pushed into the field to talk to people and make contracts. “Everything is real,” Nina points out. She heard about the course when considering her future and thought: “That’s something I’d definitely like to do. It’s made such a huge impact on me. I was able to do things no-one would ever expect me to do,” she recalls.

After graduating at 23 and taking a gap year, she started her own company as an educational coach and working on other projects also. “So many young people feel they don’t fit in the normal model of learning,” she observes. “I wondered how I could help others like that to succeed as well. Afterwards I didn’t want to stay in Finland. I thought Spain could be interesting but decided England’s business culture was closer to Finland’s, and it’s a nice place with the opportunity I was looking for.”

Newcastle and Bristol were the first cities to test the course. “I had the opportunity to come to Newcastle for a few months to help out, and here I am after just over two years involved in running the course,” says Nina, who is 26. Northumbria’s course is going well, she feels, as the success in the competition seems to have borne out. “The first year is always hard for students,” she elaborates. “They have no role models. But some people are passionate about a particular interest and think how to build a business out of it. Many come in with no idea at all. They simply feel that running their own business is how they want to do things.”

By the second of the three years’ study they understand the culture more and can see others who started their business. It’s all about learning by doing. Aspirants are not told what they should do. “When they first come in we lend them £10,” Nina explains. “They must make as much with that £10 as possible. They’re a bit shocked at first but that’s the whole ethos.  That’s their seed fund. They bring in some money with the start of their business and invest that for the next project. It works.”

They obviously have to decide how to learn about marketing. They have to find books, find people who already knowledgeable about marketing, and adapt as necessary to plan their project and improve their concept.

Nina-03_540x361

“It’s just-in-time learning,” Nina explains. “We don’t tell them ‘you must learn all this now’ because they won’t need it all now and may soon forget it. So it’s learning through need. Once you need that information you have to learn it.” Also the students are based in a business rather than a traditional environment of academia, so they can be surrounded by actual entrepreneurs. That’s why the Newcastle course is run at the Northern Design Centre at Gateshead, rather than in Northumbria University itself. They don’t have a work placement because, as Nina puts it, their own company is their work placement.

Around 65 students – team entrepreneurs, they are called – are on the Northumbria course, making up six teams in total. Each team company has one coach – “our academic staff coach rather than teach,” Nina stresses. “I’m not academically inclined and don’t have my own team. But I’m part of every team, running everything other than the academic side.”

When Nina and her team colleagues graduated they closed the company they had been building. But four different companies, which had already been started during the course, continued. “On graduating, you can decide whether you want still to be with the company you have worked on. Our third year students here are now deciding whether to incorporate their businesses,” Nina says.

So what of her own entrepreneurial future? “I’d love to stay a few more years in England, then who knows?” she wonders. “I have a passion about considering how to change education. I’m doing my masters now and it could help me get credibility for a future company. People will listen to me more. But I don’t see myself as a lecturer. Bouncing ideas off other people is what gives me energy.”

Meanwhile her existing endeavours draw appreciation. An associate says: “She’s a lovely, vibrant young woman – a huge support and font of knowledge for the students already firming up their business plans for the future.”

You can also find the article from their North East & Cumbria: Spring 2016 Magazine (pp.64-67):

 

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Cultural Intelligence on leading a multicultural team

In November 2015 we organised an International Team Learning event on behalf of Team4Learning association. I was leading the project but I had an amazing project team with me who were all from different cultures, one was from Finland, another from Spain and third from UK. So what did I learn from leading a multicultural team?

Cultural Intelligence

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a capability to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures. People with CQ have confidence, motivation, interest and drive to adapt cross-culturally, they also understands intercultural issues and differences. They  make sense of culturally diverse experiences and they are good at planning accordingly, bu also good at changing verbal and nonverbal actions appropriately when interacting cross-culturally.

But it’s important to keep in mind that there is a risk if you try to adapt the culture too strongly. You might lose your authenticity, which again is a key for forging relationships in any culture. Like some people find it awkward, inauthentic or even resentful when trying to adapt behaviour overseas. And when you have such strong internal reactions to adapting cultural behaviour, your external performance can suffer. The negative feelings can leak into your performance and make you look awkward or unnatural and that’s something you don’t want to happen.

“Leaders who behave consistently with their own cultural values will engender more positive ratings of effectiveness than leaders who behave inconsistently with their own cultural values”

And it’s important to understand your own limits and how much you are willing to adapt, as example I am more than happy change the way I dress or how I speak, but I wouldn’t be comfortable in the situations where I would be really unequal with man just because I am a woman. As a conclusion you’ll have to break out of your comfort zone to some degree, but make sure you still retain who you are.

How far you would be comfortable to go?

My biggest learnings

I wanted to learn more about my Cultural Intelligence, so I did a Self-Assessment Questionnaire and that revealed some good development points for me, like the importance of planning and preparing on international interactions as at the moment I might be a bit too spontaneous on those situations.

One the biggest learnings for me in this project was when the Spanish member from my team told me how I could have been tougher and more demanding on my leadership. That was interesting as in North European countries like United Kingdom and Finland prefers coaching leaders and when compared to preferences from South European countries like Spain, they prefer directing leaders. I also know that my leading style is quite coaching and participative, and I involve others in decision-making, however this style is viewed as a weakness in many other countries. This is important learning for me, as when leading people from different countries I have to research for what kind of leadership they are used to and then use my cultural intelligence to find the best way to adapt to the situation.

As mentioned earlier, I could be better on strategy and planning and maybe that is some of yours challenge as well. That’s why I want to share these four questions with you, which at least I am definitely going to use when leading an international projects in future:

  • Drive: What’s your motivation for engaging with the cultural dimensions of this project?
  • Knowledge: What cultural differences will most influence this project?
  • Strategy: How will you plan in light of the cultural differences?
  • Action: How do you need to adapt your behaviour to function effectively on this project?

It’s important to remember that everyone will make mistakes when experimenting with cultural adaptation and you shouldn’t punish yourself for them. You can go long way by just signalling to others that you’re trying to learn their cultural rules and that you actually care and respect their traditions, even though you haven’t mastered them yet.

Here a little video of our International Team Learning Event:

 

References:

  • Livermore, D., Van Dyne, L., and Ang, S. (2012). Cultural Intelligence: Why every leader needs it. Intercultural Management Quarterly, 12, (2), 18-21.
  • Livermore, D. A., Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2015). Leading with cultural intelligence: The Real Secret to Success. New York: AMACOM American Management Association.
  • Molinsky, A. (2013). When Crossing Cultures, Use Global Dexterity. Harvard Business Review.
Tiimiakatemia

Taster of the Learning Revolution in Tanzania

I am so honoured that I got invited to coach few training sessions in Team Academy Iringa in Tanzania. I just got back from that trip and I am still so excited of everything that happened in there.

First when I got that invitation I was a bit scared as I didn’t know what they would need and if my coaching would be any beneficial for them. But after contacting them,  finding out what is the situation at the moment and getting their feedback for my ideas I felt a bit more confident.

This had been their first year to run the Team Academy, so the teampreneurs had started just eight months ago, but even in that short time, they had been able to create a real Team Academy atmosphere in there and the place felt so homely right away. That is so weird feeling when you travel to the other side of the world, but when there is something like Team Academy which connects you so strongly it feels like you almost know the people already.

International Challenge

I have been always really passionate about the international network, -collaboration and about the opportunities those can bring, so I decided to run my sessions mostly around them, as I had understood the teampreneurs hadn’t had that much interaction with the other Team Academies in the past year. After I told my story and about my passions and goals I told them about the Global Team Academy network and a little bit about each unit in it, showed them some channels they could use to get in touch with them and then I gave them a challenge. They would have 24h to get in touch with the other teampreneurs from the network, and on the next day they would have to present what they had found out. First we started to think what they would like to ask from them and then it was time to put the plans in to action. You could really feel the excitement from them, but it was still so difficult to know if they would be able to reach the other teampreneurs as it was such a short time, but now we just had to hope the best.

Results from the challenge

I was so excited to hear the results on the next day, everyone was in a good mood which even raised my excitement. We decided to give them 20min to create the presentations about their findings by using 5E (most people know it as 4E: Entertainment, Education, Escapism and Esthetics, but we also have our own eSpirit of Team Academy in there). First they seemed a bit lost, looked like they didn’t know where to start with it, but by the end of planning the room was on “fire” and I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts. They were ready, so it was time for the presentations.

The presentations were all so different, one team was pretend to be a football team, one was travelling on space, one was a group of people who inspired them most and the last one was a group of pop starts, so the presentation were definitely very entertaining. But the most exciting thing was that all the teams had been able to get in touch with the teampreneurs, which was just amazing. They had been asking them about their projects, about what motivates them and what kind of goals they had, but also about potential future collaboration. They had learned that the others are facing exactly same challenges as them and what really warmed my heart was when they told that now they really feel like they are part of the big family, part of the Team Academy family. Also my favourite quote from the presentations was “If all TA’s could work together, we could do a real revolution”. That was so powerful and that is so true!

I was so pleased to hear all the results and to see the energy they got out of that exercise in such a short time and most importantly I hope this really helped to open the doors to keep the communication going on from both side of the network. As even we are physically far away from each other, that doesn’t mean anything anymore in this world as we can so easily keep in touch. This challenge also proved that correct.

Check-out

In the end we were checking out and one teampreneur suggested that in our check-out round we should tell a one thing what others can’t do, but what in TA you can. It was so empowering to hear all the things they confidently said aloud, I also checked out: “Others follow the paths which already exist, but teampreneurs know how to create their own paths.”

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Tiimiakatemia, United Kingdom

Can travelling help you to become a better entrepreneur?

I was 15 when I did my first proper trip abroad, we went to Ireland for one week, but even though I didn’t speak any english at that time I was already hooked. Since that I have travelled to 25 different countries, learned to speak english while living in States, worked in 5 different countries and that way learned a lot about communicating with people from different backgrounds and even with people who I don’t share a common language.

So what else can you learn from travelling?

When travelling everything doesn’t always go like planned, flights might be delayed, bags get lost and suddenly you have to adapt the new situation and find ways to continue your journey. It will really develop your ability to adapt, which is also a key skill when working as an entrepreneur. To try to prevent these situations you will learn a lot about time management, as you don’t wanna miss your flight or in short time you are able to plan how to see all the best sites from the city.

It will also raise your cultural awareness, nowadays world is so international anyways, so even small start-ups are expected to interact with foreign cultures. When travelling you will learn about other cultures and differences we have with each other and that is really powerful competence to have when you are an entrepreneur. You will also meet a lot new people and build relationships with people around the world, which can be handy when starting a business, but it also helps you to strengthen your networking skills as you probably have been in situations where you had to interact with people you otherwise wouldn’t.

That is why travelling is one of Tiimiakatemia // Team Academies core values. Sometimes you just have to go far to see near and by travelling we will also learn more and faster. (see the whole global network map from here)

I am also so proud of our Team Academy Newcastle as this is the first year when all our team companies has or will do learning journeys to Amsterdam, Hungary (Budapest & Debrecen), Barcelona and Finland (Tampere & Jyväskylä). So excited to see what kind of learnings we will get from these trips!

So what do you think, can travelling help you to become a better entrepreneur?

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Tiimiakatemia, United Kingdom

Importance of having a clear vision!

In Team Academy Newcastle the November is now Movember, so the month of Personal Growth. We have encouraged everyone to update their learning contracts (read my earlier blog text about How to set effective goals) and really think what are their goals and visions for the future. To follow this theme I have also took some time to think about my goals and how they have affected my life.

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I really enjoy working as an entrepreneur, you never know what will happen in the future. But in other hand the vision and goals about your future might be a lot more clearer when you are an entrepreneur rather than if you would be working for someone else.

New challenges

I started working full time around three months ago and it did kind of “scare” me a little bit first, I would have strict working hours, a certain amount of holidays, I would live at least two years in Newcastle, UK. I know that most of the people would be super happy about those things and that’s what they are aiming for to have a balance in their life and certainty about the future. And to be honest I really love it too, learning about new country, organization, meeting new people and being able to work on something I am really passionate about. Even though I think in some point I might continue as a entrepreneur but who knows.

Powerful vision

I am quite clear about my vision and I want to become a master in team learning and team coaching. Also want to make it possible for everyone around the world to learn by doing, spiced up with team work and by running a real company. To be able to reach that goal I need a lot more experience and knowledge about Team Coaching and about how to establish Team Academies in new countries and Universities. That way I can also raise my credibility on eyes of higher education.

So where I am at the moment with my goal? I would say I am definitely on the right path as I am so happy with my role at Northumbria University at the moment as I am able to train my coaching skills and also learn what does it mean to put Team Academy methods into practise in new envoirement.

Next Steps

Few years ago I trained to become Team Coach in this Team Mastery training program, but to get the Tiimiakatemia® Team Coach certification I also need at least 1,5 years team coaching experience. So now I have got it I am able to apply for the certificate, so let’s cross the fingers I will get it as that would be great proof about my knowledge and experience as a  Team Coach.

Second big step for me is the Leadership and Management MSc course which I started few weeks ago, I am so excited to learn more about myself and develop my leadership skills. This journey will take around two and half years, but I could not be more excited about it. Our first module is about leader identity and leadership so really discovering who we are and how does that effect on me as a leader.

So at the moment there is a lot happening, but when you love what you do and you have a clear vision in your mind nothing can slow you down! But we also have remeber to enjoy the journey and not only reach into the destination!