Tag Archives: #ibmcsc

The World united… or plan Meetings between 3 Continents

Part of the preparation phase is also to get to know your team mates. For that we got some exercises which should be solved in small subteams. In my point of view the challenge was however not the different professional or cultural background of the other team members or the workload… it was rather difficult to find a proper time in which IBMers from America, Europe and Asia could find a time for a meeting which is not at 3 A.M. in one time zone or 11 P.M. in another one… and also free from other tasks.

A bit of help was The World Clock Meeting Planner, but it still required many mails and replannings. Doodle supports meetings in different time zones to a certain degree… but I haven’t used it before and didn’t want to send invitation suggestions for midnight to my new colleagues. ;-)

World Clock Meeting Scheduler

We managed it at the end, and I now also have an AT&T TeleConference account. Nevertheless, collaboration will be much easier when we are all in Casablanca. :-)

#ibmcsc morocco

Country Navigator – or why I could be Swede

Country Navigator Top 10We have a well-structured 3-months learning plan as preparation to our on-site assignment. The good thing is, many exercises are also fun. Part of the cultural awareness sessions was to complete our personal profile in Country Navigator. Try it out for yourself, it’s free and interesting!

By indicating how to act, think and communicate in several situations the system creates a visual profile which can then be compared with your friend’s profiles… or with a specific country. As it turned out, Switzerland was not within the top 10 matching countries to my profile – closest match was Sweden! :-)

What to do with it? In my point of view such results can never be 100% accurate – but that’s also not the aim. It helps however to reflect about your way of collaboration and where you might be careful in another cultural environment.

Country Navigator - my profile vs. Morocco

#ibmcsc morocco

Admin Stuff

The expectations for a CSC project team are high. Logically this requires an intense preparation and some inevitable admin stuff. It has been a long time since I created a new CV, for example. Also, a cover letter (with as less IBM jargon as possible) was required, in order that the local partner in Morocco could start the project matching process (our team would be split up onto several different projects / customers). At least I already have a valid passport (no Visa required for Morocco – at least not for most of us). Also, I skipped the vaccination part – think it should be still up to date since my India assignment… .

Iberia & British AirwaysLast but not least the flight to Casablanca has to be organized. It’s not world’s end, but from Zurich there are just a few direct flights (not every day), so a short detour via Madrid was inevitable. I usually check and apply for the frequent flyer profiles for each new airline I use; I’m not a big mile collector, but I feel a bit safer during online check-in when the airline has my profile. Never flew with Iberia before, but as I got to know, British Airways and Iberia merged in 2010… which would confuse me several months later when receiving an unexpected “Your departure” mail from BA.com. ;-)

#ibmcsc morocco

An international Team

Today Jamie sent the official welcome message and announced the other team members. 15 Ladies and Gents will form the Morocco 5 team. Amazing!

Ana Paula Brazil
Brittany USA
Cathy USA
Dany Canada
Duki Slovakia
Gerry Switzerland
Grant USA
Lauren Puerto Rico
Laurie USA
Michael Israel
Patrick France
Prashant India
Ram India
Sayoko Japan
Susan USA

(I don’t want to give too much personal details here, but I can link to their blogs and galleries later on.)

#ibmcsc morocco

Quick decision required

2013 passed without much news… I just knew that I should get informed about my assignment at least 3 months in advance for all preparations. One afternoon, I got the exciting news:

Congratulations for Morocco 5

But this also required quick actions on my side: get the approval from the project management, thinking about deputies during my absence, checking private plans for this time… . At the end I could reply with a positive answer, luckily.

#ibmcsc morocco

Accepted!

The following mail made me to shout a loud “YES!!!”:

Accepted!

Now, a time of waiting and uncertainty will start. When will I go on assignment? And even more thrilling: Where? Participants cannot chose their preferred assignment country, but I could mention the region of preference. I gave “Middle East and Africa” the highest priority, as I have already been in Asia (10 months in India) and for South America I felt that the missing language Skills in Spanish or Portuguese would be a drawback. But maybe a French speaking African country? Let’s see… .

#ibmcsc morocco