Our first work day

So, day 1 is behind us, I am writing this at 4am today, I guess I might be sleeping through by the time we leave to return to our various homes!

The days proceedings yesterday were very formal, and went very well indeed, Mayor Chu opened the proceedings with some remarks, even though we had simultaneous translation he spoke in English for our benefit. Jennifer Hwang, the GM of IBM Taiwan made a few remarks and then Avril spoke on behalf of our team, Avril did an outstanding job and we were all subject of thousands of photographs from both New Taipei City, IBM and press photographers, felt a bit like movies stars there for a while. After the project kickoff Chet was the team representative in a short TV interview which also went very well, all in all a good start.

While we cant talk much about the specific work we are undertaking here we will try to make some observations that we hope will be helpful to others, both in future projects of this nature and generally to people working outside their home countries.  Today I want to say a very few brief words about culture, while we all strive to do our best, ask informed questions to get to the answers we need to make meaningful recommendations, how you ask and how you make those observations and recommendations is many times at least as important as the content of the recommendations themselves.  We are very lucky to have a number of local advisers with us, and yesterday afternoon after our first working session we gathered to debrief and discuss what we heard and where we had further questions, once we had that sorted out we heard from our advisers who had been listening to our discussion about how best to approach the questions we have etc.  It was very enlightening, the subtleties of the culture are very difficult to pick up without this kind of input and it is a really good idea to have this kind of advice available, thank you Shaun!

You may have noticed I didn’t mention food, not even the wonderful buffet the NTPD laid on, as Avril says I think we will need to dedicate an entire blog just to that subject so look forward to that in a future post! Now, off to the gym to try and work up some energy for the start of day 2.

#ibmcsc Taiwan #smartercities challenge


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