4 Month ago I joined Knowmads, full of questions. Now in four weeks, we will have 22 potential Tribe 6 Knowmads here for their application workshops. Here are your questions and our answers – hopefully satisfying.
First (because not-so secretly it is my favorite question):
1. Do dutch people really eat toast bread with colorful chocolate sprinkles? (Lasse)
Yes, they do! Though often it is chocolate-colored chocolate sprinkles. It is called Hagelslag and if you want local credibility as a dutchie I guess you have to eat it too – at least once one Monday Morning Breakfast. Or you opt for local credibility as an expat (then you don´t have to make Toast+Hagelslag your number one meal).
I actually wondered whether the first question should go into this section – diversity. There were a lot of questions relating to diversity, different cultural backgrounds and how we work with that at Knowmads:
2. We are from many different places and probably we expect different things form Knowmads (although there is for sure common things). How do you manage this at Knowmads? (Nuno)
Diversity is a value we believe in and the Knowmads program is based on it. It is proven that the more diverse a group is, the greater is its potential to create innovation. We are here to learn from different backgrounds, perspectives and voices.
Having different expectations within a tribe is therefore not really an obstacle. Our tool to manage this is communication. We meet on a regular basis – we have a “green zone” every week where we talk about how things go, what challenges we encounter in our work, what we want to learn etc. Our program is flexible and adaptable to the most different needs. We create it together. So, if you want to have a particular workshop, your can get it in.
3. Will there be an individualized plan for each one, so that all take advantage of it? (Nuno)
Yes and No. No – because there won´t be a plan. We don´t believe that you can plan a year at Knowmads, because everything that happens here – working with new people, with changing and challenging assignments and getting to know new working philosophies would destroy every plan made in advance. (Of course we make our schedule a bit in advance and plan long-term projects with enough time).
Yes – because at every time, you are free to choose what you want to do, which workshops you want to attend, which assignments you want to work on, what you want to learn and with whom you want to work.
You can get a coach from our network who will look together with you at the process you´re in, and there is of course the council and the other students that you can always talk to if you are not sure about anything.
4. Do we have to attend the same workshops/activities? (Nuno)
No, we don´t have to.
5. Can there be difficulties because of cultural differences? Do you have experience with that? (Gowoon Lim)
Well, I think that is another question where the answer can be both a Yes and a No. At Knowmads, different backgrounds and perspectives come together and there can be a clash. But from my experience, these clashes are mostly about how people want to work, how much structure they want and need, how much they want to rely on what an authority – or client – says, whether they want to get things done instantly or are deadline junkies. Some people find it really easy to make decisions independently, some find it harder to rely on their intuition, some need the feeling of being in control, some don´t like it at all and think it destroys all creativity.
But even though I think that it is more about our ways of working I don´t think we can entirely separate this from ones cultural background, because that is an influence to some degree. I never thought I was actually german in my way of working but by working here I discovered some traits in it that I can sort of trace back to german clichés and experiences I have from there. That is actually quite fun…
But it is not so much about what happens than about how you deal with it. There might be a difficult moment in a team – I have had it and many others to – but it provides great learning and feed forward.
I just decided to split these posts into probably three parts, so you can pick and choose which ones to read.- Otherwise we would have one gigantic post, a meter in length.
There is a comment section for add-ons! You are welcome ;)