My town of residence is twinned with a German city of Baden Würtenberg and an Italian city of Lombardy. The past 4days weekend of the Ascension was the 10th anniversary of this “trinning” with various festivities in my town. I have set up a sport tournament around a common passion, football, with 12 to 15years old soccer teams from these cities.
My goal was twofold: to re-energize our Twinning Association with the involvement of young generations and offer a sport and human exchange towards our children.
The result is very positive: each of some 50 participants have found motivation to participate in this event: in addition to my above-mentioned , we can add for italian coaches the international sports competition , and to capture our differences school football practices among educators for the German coaches. The team cohesion and inclusion are very natural and an easy process for teenagers and the language barrier is quite quickly overcome by the common hobby and shared values (fair play). An awards ceremony and communal meal allowed everyone to know themselves better, to host families to discover their house and environments, their habits and their generosity and also practice a foreign language. Many of us made some very relevant proposal to continue and improve our partnership.
I take this very positive experience to draw my “recipe” that can quite simple in my opinion be transferred to our world of business and teams in general:
1- find a common interest, a passion
2- practice inclusion and accept differences
3- to add few control
4- recognize (merely) the collective and individual achievments
5- be open to proposals to change and improve the relationships with target to continue the teamwork
As a summary, we can find the Human Element, simple and timeless but so effective, confirming that it is in the “old” pots that best soup is made.
Richard Pailleux, Monday, May 10