The highlight of being open to different cultures and diverse professions is the ability to share knowledge and experience and update your skills. You will always find yourself learning something new from someone else. Currently, I am finalizing the last phase of my full-time MBA program with a special focus on digital transformation and innovation. Learning from my qualified professors and colleagues was the juicy pulp of this learning experience. However, I was also keen on attending an array of Career Services workshops, numerous skill courses, executive talks and sometimes, my colleague’s elective courses. But why!?
Knowledge and experience help us see the bigger picture. It has a direct influence on our decisions and the daily real-life situations we live. Since knowledge is limitless, we have to be on a continuous learning mode.
Learning about the “Belbin Team Roles” granted me better understanding of team members. It has improved my skills in team building since “Belbin” describes nine roles that people can occupy in a team, depending on their personality. On the other hand, understanding “Intercultural Dimension Scale” and “Nonviolent Communication” reduces communication misunderstanding between different cultures.
I found out that learning events started assembling a challenging yet resourceful puzzle in my mind. In one of the workshops, we were given scenarios where we faced problems that seem impossible to solve at the beginning. For instance, I recall one time we were asked to design a profitable restaurant that does not serve food. We did not imagine that we would come up with a bulk of creative and innovative ideas. Then we used the same process to overcome similar challenges in another workshop called “Design Thinking”. “Design Thinking” is also a part of the greater “Lean Startup Bootcamp” module.
Who can tell us about autonomous cars better than the CEO of Vianai Systems and a member of BMW supervisory board? Who can better explain cloud computing and systems other than SAP Global CEO? Who can enlighten us on the future strategy of banking better than a divisional board member in Commerzbank? Who can further expand our knowledge on effective environmental logistic processes more than the Chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG? Just to name few great leaders that we learned from their experience and added value to my know-how and expertise.
With a fast-moving life and being busy in daily challenges, we tend to forget about skills that may help us overcome a few of those challenges. Here, some learning events play a primary essential role in refreshing our skills. It helps us perceive things from different angles. When I was working in hostile countries, I was taught to practice “Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques” in order to deal with the highly stressful situations. In one of the workshops, I was reminded that these techniques are also applicable in stable countries to reduce stress and refocus on achieving goals.
To hit the goal, one must know the goal that we are aiming for and be self-aware of our skills. The MBA career workshops organised and conducted by Career Services have also helped me in better defining my goals and competencies. Various tools and methods from the workshops as well as the “Elevator Pitch” helped me identify which future career to tackle, while “KODE” coaching revealed and clarified my soft skills and competencies.
Acquiring diversified knowledge and soft skills are key for effective management, decision making and maintaining an open mind.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Isaac Asimov