Thursday, 10 December 2009

My window to the world

7:13 am, Sinaia, Romania. My third day in Sinaia. The travel from Penang was pleasant and uneventful. The overnight stay in Zurich at the Hotel Apart (operated by Hilton) was nice. Three star, nice simple deco, very nice staff. And marvellous croissant for breakfast. Zurich airport was impressive. Whether you travel by business or economy, you check-in at the kiosk. Excellent technology. All done in about 30 seconds or so, including printing your baggage tag. And then you just drop off the bag at the counter. Hhm, perhaps one day, that also will be unnecessary. At the departure gate, I saw a guy putting his handphone on the 3-D barcode scanner. Wow, impressive. He downloaded his boarding pass on his handphone and then used that for boarding. Ah, but the technology did want to talk to each other, so they had to print a hardcopy boarding pass for him.

Coming from Otopeni Airport to Sinaia was in style. They sent a professional driver with a spanking new Mercedes. Young guy, a little too hard on the gas pedal but quite competent.

 Looking out my window on the 4th floor of Hotel Sinaia. It's freezing cold outside but as you can see, no snow, yet. Let it snow, let snow, let it snow.  Before I go home.

There's about 70 or 80 participants at the workshop here. Some very high level people including 3 or 4 ex-ministers. I anchored a panel on university and human capital. Being the constructivist that I am, and try to be, I offered them choices. Do you want to use this method or that method? Do you want me to present my slides on you want to talk? Well, they wanted me to choose, 'cause they say they don't know anything about the methods. Fine. They wanted to talk, fine. The local participants are very opinionated and protective of their turf. Nothing new. We just deal with it. Throughout yesterday, I heard words like "push the button", "they need to be more creative". So, there's lot of pressure. A lot is at stake. But people can't just suddenly be creative. It needs time. Push the wrong button or push it at the wrong time, everyone just shuts down. So, I looked at the work yesterday and I am pretty happy with the outcome. Talking about outcomes, same problem the world over (?). "Give us a sample", "tell us what it looks like". OK, here's some example. Hopefully, it doesn't kill creativity. So, we continue to learn by copying.

But today, I will push some buttons. Shake them up a little. Will they abandon their hardwork and move into unfamiliar territory? We'll see.

There are four panel facilitators (for four panels) and two roaming facilitators (so far, they sit and listen; but we have been warned they will be coming to interrupt today; let's see where it goes). All the facilitators are not from Romania. Some people questioned why? The answer is so that there is no baggage. We international facilitators don't bother too much whether the participant is who's who in Romania. If they talk too much, we pull them back.

At my panel. Note the translation booth on the left. Most of the time the local participants prefer to discuss in Romanian.
Introducing the facilitators. I am behind the camera lah.

Campbell telling people to dress-down ... and get to work. I am sure they all still be in suit and tie today.
The man, the driving force behind the foresight project in Romania. A very "people person", high on interpersonal intelligence.

Meeting to talk about individual approaches. We were pretty much given the licence to do it our way. In the hope that we come out with outside the box ideas or surprises.

p.s. the uploading of photos to the blog is like "zip", done.

1 comment:

Rochell McWhorter said...

I enjoyed your comments on this blog about Scenario Planning, especially how you brought in your constructivist perspective to the project.

I hope to hear more about the outcome of this important intervention as it moves forward.