I love Tuesdays. For the next several months, I’m engaged in a project that is a lot of fun for me because it taps into some of my favorite skills.
I often tell people that being an Emergency Manager is very similar to being an Event Planner, just under crisis with few friends and deadlines that have already passed on by. So, when I get to plan an event that is not in the midst of a disaster, I can be organized, plan for contingencies and engage lots of people with a smile on my face.
This current project, however, is unique because I am working with a community with which I am less familiar. Culturally, it is a group that generates wonderful ideas, is very creative, and produces solutions to a number of issues but that might not be quite as neurotically organized as my profession might be.
How do I know this? Because the members of my planning team from this community are also willing to share how foreign my processes, language and systems are to them.
I’ve often heard “when in Rome, act like the Romans,” but when cultures have entirely different styles of organization, should a person or group truly change the way that they engage with others?
It is important to understand that the methods & practices that we use, even to organize events and meetings, communicates a lot about our willingness to listen and learn from the experiences of others. And for those of us who are particularly linear, we must realize that differences are positive and expand our capability to consider creative ways to solve problems.
We may be different from each other, but if we’re both willing to listen and share, the engagement can be pretty awesome.