What lovely days…
“What lovely days we had, walking to school, chatting with classmates every morning in Lausanne!” said Peter. I didn’t think about that until he said so, but yes, I also feel a little homesick. We are now in Abu Dhabi and commute by car from our hotel to the office because it is still too hot and sticky here to walk outside, even in October. Maybe that’s the reason we miss our beautiful walk to IMD.
Our team is in the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) for the full seven weeks of our International Consulting Project (ICP), engaging in retail strategy in a financial industry. The ICP is comprehensive learning opportunity where we leverage what we have learned over the year to contribute to the client project.
Structured Thinking helped us to analyze the company issues using a logic tree, taking care of MECEness: what was the issue, why we needed to think of it, how we would solve it, etc.
Change Management, taught us how to transform an organization. Of particular help, was the simulation exercise we did, where we had to recognise the different perspectives of each stakeholder in the company. We’ve had a lot of interviews with internal stakeholders to map the current situation: heads of each product, Relationship Management, and functional teams such as Marketing or Digital. Once we could see the situation objectively, we followed the Scope of Work and listened to the opinion of the project owner, so that we could suggest a tangible plan for the final presentation.
High Performance Teams, classes that fell under the Leadership stream, helped our team to work collaboratively and deliver an innovative result from the multiple perspectives.
Our team is diverse team of five: a South African from a start-up, a Polish from a consulting firm, a Portuguese from an investment bank, a Russian from a private equity fund, and a Japanese from a trading and investing company. Each colleague has different viewpoint, so every moment we discuss takes a certain amount of time and patience, before the long but constructive discussions help us to reach the best joint idea.
I need to add one more comment. We have also been enjoying some sight-seeing such as Louvre museum, Grand mosque, Burj Khalifa, etc. and playing squash with our teammates! I truly appreciate this precious experience and chance to learn more about the cultural difference and team dynamics. If I had not had this opportunity, I might not have had the chance to come to the Middle East. In the future, I’ll be thinking “What lovely days we had working in the UAE” …