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12 Aug, Friday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Ona day in Jyväskylä



Kirjoittanut: Kamil Wójcik - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Tiimiakatemia Jyväskylä visit.

 

During our learning journey, we visited for one day Tiimiakatemia in Jyväskylä. To be precise it was less than 6h, anyway! Teampreneurs from Jyväskylä recently moved into a new office space, to our surprise they are a bigger community than we imagined, and their new office is quickly getting too small for them. (Which seems to be a trend – underestimation of how much workspace we need). Nevertheless, despite their openness about issues related to new space, they were positive and had “good vibes” in the office. That positivity set the mood for the day and made up for the representative being late to pick us up from the original meeting place(parking lot). We got a tour around the premises and got to explore a little. For me personally was interesting to see that team companies count company visits and share them openly in their ranking. That’s great because there isn’t a better way to get feedback than from the potential customer-facing real-life situations. At Proakatemia we, of course, interact with customers, but it’s not really transparent on what scale, information is shared by the word of mouth which has its up and downsides. Another difference I noticed was “Project Tinder”, where everyone could list their projects and people who are interested to join or learning about what they do can just simply add their name to the back of the sticky note. That’s a great way to manifest transparency and share information. After all, these are teampreneurship and not individual entrepreneurship studies, right?

There have been a few goals, some official and some unspoken. Proakatemia in recent years took on the huge challenge of becoming more international, by starting an English language programme. That opens many opportunities for the community as well as any non-speaking Finnish person who wants to engage in the team learning process and experience being part of a learning organization like Proakatemia. It seems that Tiimiakatemia would like to have more international interactions too, therefore we created a joint training session where we got to discuss the opportunities and risks as well as our own experiences related to studying in an international programme. The training session was facilitated by Veikko Airas, who by the way did great work by providing fact-based background for the session and assured we do not fall into the assumptions. Official Topic: Multiculturalism in team learning. Therefore, we had the goal of bringing our experience so the host could learn about the subject.

What is cultural upbringing vs character?

We engaged in dialogue about the growing trend of sustainable development, and how we see multiculturalism in it and I noticed, that even though many of us at Proakatemia are Finnish, we have had much more intercultural/international experiences than our hosts from Tiimiakatemia. There was a clear sign that it was needed and wanted.

From there we continued to elements of multicultural teams, prejudice and communication. It’s important that we understand each other, but even before that we must understand ourselves and acknowledge what kind of mental models we have, and how they affect us and others.

There is a significant difference in resistance to change between different cultures, also empathy, the way we give feedback and how resilient we are and foremost, how to understand and build trust. All these elements determine our capacity for adaptation which is the for a multicultural team.

Most of us consider ourselves good at communicating, but reality time after time will prove us wrong. In multicultural teams’ communication can be very time consuming at first. Using a common language is not enough if we think about the English language, we learn it in different places and we might have in mind slightly different meanings of the words. It’s each team member’s responsibility to make sure that we are understood as well as we understand the other. Along with these are cultural related behaviours, which will affect others. We must realize that common sense is the least common in the team. While we assume we just make an ass out of u and me – ass-u-me. (The Futur, 2019)

We learned about our differences in how we handle finances, which I won’t open here for obvious reasons except for the impression that Proakatemia in my feeling is more focused on creating the revenue while Tiimiakatemia is on creating the value. I think both should go hand in hand, although it’s a skilful balance that we are constantly developing. Getting that impression brought important thoughts about my own values, but also the need to pay the rent if you know what I mean.

Another goal was to simply connect again. Perhaps since 2020, we did a favour to the environment by not travelling as much, although offline interactions cannot replace these in real life. We heard that people from Proakatemia would visit Tiimiakatemia and vice versa much more frequently before the pandemic. Now it was a great opportunity to continue these traditions.

Both places are kind of their own bubble and it’s good to leave them. Through this networking, we could exchange ideas, and practices and learn from each other. One more unspoken goal or rather result is that it was the most time I have spent with my team. I really had a great time and after the learning journey we are back to our own busy schedules, but the feeling of connection stayed. Team building isn’t easy, but now I can see more and more value in it. I’m looking forward to our next learning journey.

 

References:

Own training session notes and visit at Tiimiakatemia on 24.03.2022.

The Futur, How to charge for Design – Value Based Pricing Released on: 12.04.2019. Watched on 10.04.2022.

Dynamic and entrepreneurial developer of new ideas. Focus on coaching and sustainable development.

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