Reflections from SCC-BTV – Celebrating teaming and learning

burlingtonteam

The IBM SCC-BTV Team:
Lutt, Len, Isabelle, Christian, Gaby, Robert
photo by Karen Pike, http://www.kpikephoto.com/

We shared unforgettable experiences and learning, and made one of the best teams any one of us had ever been on.  THANK YOU, Smarter Cities Challenge – Burlington, for the opportunity!

As the assignment wrapped up, I polled the team to share more about our individual experience and the insights we were gaining from our time as a SCC-Burlington team.   Here is a fresh look at our reflections from April 2013… and I’d bet they all still hold true for us all.

PROFESSIONAL ENRICHMENT

Adding Value

  • There are many ways to make a meaningful contribution

Sharpening Skills

  • Communication skills: value and importance of being concise and to the point, for impact
  • Stakeholder Management: critical to gain buy-in, engage continuously and close the loop
  • Critical thinking: applied and increased ability for analytical thinking / system thinking
  • Industry knowledge: learned about smart grid and the Energy and Utilities industry, and what it means to deploy a full Smart Meter Infrastructure in reality, plus first hand view of a wood chip based energy production plant, and a geothermal installation
  • Public Sector client experience and learning about the complex structure a city has to deal with to manage funding and decide for projects

Wisdom

  • A real team is always “more that the sum of its parts” (Aristoteles)

    2013.04.18-19 019

    Farewell breakfast with our wonderful hosts and clients from the Office of the Mayor staff

  • Humor is not a secret ingredient for success 😉

Teaming

  • great way to allow 6 IBMers from different countries and professional background to cooperate and focus on one complex topic with many elements entirely new to all team members
  • confirmation that IBM’s talent pool is really unique – our team was, from the first hour, ready to meet every challenge and was never down.
  • fantastic (awesome!) to see how this team of six (jet-setting) experts jumped into an unfamiliar subject and accomplished such a high quality level output, in a timely manner
  • experience in high-performance team creation, especially when facing an objective with a hard stop that requires the definition of roles and responsibilities to be fast and without the chance to take long discussions and negotiations
  • outstanding support from the SCC program and local IBM staff

PERSONAL LEARNING

Cultural Awareness

  • very interesting to get a deeper insight regarding the everyday life in the US (culture, expertise, businesses) – people there are much more relaxed and friendly

    Champlain Chocolate "Thank You"

    Champlain Chocolate
    Team “Thank You”

  • learning about American culture was also really good to invite re-thinking some of native country’s behavior
  • deep insights how the society and political system works in a US state

Personal Growth

  • mindful practice of letting go for the greater good
  • hard to not serve in core capacity (the “sales guy”), but it offered the chance to sharpen skills like listening, focusing on one subject and acting as an integrator
  • how to exercise patience, humility and perseverance to achieve an objective

Network

  • meeting IBMers from all other the world, what rich personalities do IBM hire!

Fun Facts:

2013.04.18-19 096

Shelburne Espresso

  • there are various different “right” ways to make Mozarella
  • squirrels are of significant importance (inside joke)
  • if you search for it, you can find decent espresso in Burlington / Vermont
  • enjoying the beauty of the area, and lake Champlain, and the changing spring weather, which made each day so alive

SCC EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

  • unique and rich experience of being able to focus on one topic for 3 weeks
  • high positive visibility for IBM in Burlington and Vermont communities (launch event, local TV appearances: http://www.cctv.org/search/node/smarter%20cities%20challenge, press coverage)
  • extending IBM network, getting to know top IBM professionals outside my business unit
  • getting to know great people in Burlington, Vermont, and global IBM
  • participating in a challenging project where we could be the agents of changes to improve the quality of life in an entire city
  • experiencing in real life what “making a smarter planet” truly means

PASSING IT FORWARD (ways to apply program learning on the job)

  • referencing SCC experience and insights when working with Public and / or E&U Sector clients
  • sharing SCC learning experience with my team and colleagues
  • leveraging on new events where leadership and team building would be required
  • sharing the challenge of deploying a SG infrastructure as well as the transportation challenge with clients
  • helping my employees, colleagues and management to adapt key learning on our daily work:
    • act even more as ONE team
    • be focused on people
    • overcome business inhibitors through cadences & processes

For a longer stroll through MEMORY lane, check out a 7-min video we played before our presentation to share our experience:  https://ibm.biz/BdxQrk.

#smartercities Challenge

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1 Comment

Filed under Alumni reflections, Burlington VT, USA

One response to “Reflections from SCC-BTV – Celebrating teaming and learning

  1. Awesome!! Great time!