Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Week 3 - Play Like Steph Curry

Teamwork with a view. Our regular morning meeting.
Wow, we are in our third week already. Only five working days left before we give our final presentations on the project! It's hard to believe. Like a colleague of mine says when he's off to play basketball with friends, it's time to "regulate" (i.e., kick some a#$).

Each day we spend completely focused and immersed in our projects. It's a luxury in some ways, as it is not often at my real job that I can focus on one strategy or project. Here, we focus on a single the goal---many deliverables, but all centered on that single goal.  We're working at a fast pace. Everyday we accomplish a little more. We're getting there.

I love the teamwork --- working side by side with Van and Richard, two techies and me, the marketing gal. We didn't know each other three weeks ago. Now we rely on each other for support. We respect each other. We joke and rib each other for comic relief. All in good fun.

We don't talk over each other or assume one of us knows more than the others. We listen with openness to ideas and consider them fully. Sure, we get frustrated and don't always agree. And I suppose if we were here more than a month things might be different. But here and now, there are no politics. No jockeying for position. I like it.

Being here in Kigali, discovering new information though meetings with Ministries, CEOs, the young talents at kLab, and our ICT Chamber staff has been the key to getting what we need. We are surrounded by sharp minds and a willingness to help.

Running a brainstorming session to find a name for our site.

On the other hand, we must deal with communication styles that are different from ours. Learn to "work on Rwanda time." Being patient with the slower pace here, while still trying to produce results quickly, aka US/UK/Germany speed---has also been an opportunity for, shall I say, "personal development." 

My favorite part of the day is returning to the hotel, sitting outside with our gang of twelve, recounting the day, bouncing off

ideas, having some laughs. Taking our group walks to the grocery store. Occasionally out for a nice dinner, or here at the hotel. We're in it together and we've made progress on all fronts.

So the pressure is on! We have made much progress, and as long as we stay focused and work hard, we will meet our requirements. My biggest personal goals:

    Van and Richard working with the kids at kLab on SQL database stuff.
  • Give ICT Chamber a plan that CAN and WILL be carried forward - our contribution to the country's economic goals
  • Leave young people at kLab and ICT Chamber with new skills and knowledge they didn't have before
My new friend Ruti at kLab stopped me at the coffee bar this morning to say hi and ask me how it's going. He is a Steph Curry/Golden State Warrior fan. Recently he bought a Curry jersey to wear when he plays basketball with friends. First time he wore it he was so excited, hoped maybe it would bring him good luck. But, he couldn't score a 3-pointer to save his life and his friends got a laugh. 

Anyway, I thanked him for taking part in our branding brainstorming session last week. He said it was ok, he and the others did it for themselves in a way. He said, "No, we thank you, for coming here and helping us."  It made me feel like what we are doing is worthwhile. I am terrible at hoops as they call it. But right then, I felt like I'd just scored my own 3-pointer.

That's is for now...I have a marketing plan, a business presentation and branding guidelines to complete. Gotta go regulate.