I’m glad to share my Global Shaper adventure. Although the face-to-face program is over, the experience is far from finished. I’ll elaborate on my motivation, key learnings and the ripple effect here.
It’s 1,5 years ago that I joined Arcadis, and since that moment I experienced tons of possibilities. I keep challenging myself and the people around to excel, to grow and to be proud. The greatest of all possibilities is definitely Global Shapers. Although a big investment in time and effort is required (especially for the application and its challenge) the actual return is awesome.
From the moment I was selected I realized that I would be faced with over 200 unknown colleagues (shapers and senior leaders) which was quite nerving. Luckily we started quite calm, the virtual phase allowed us to get to know a small group of Global Shapers quite well. When you realize after the face-to-face that the other 99 shapers are like friends, this small group is even like family. It was nice to know the Sally Spurs on beforehand and to be able to dive into the adventure together.
The first day of the face-to-face program began quite calm, but right from the start you feel the energy level rising. The principles of the open space method are explained, the workflows shown and everyone is encouraged by the Dutch GS Alumni with the words: “Don’t sleep, it’s a waste of precious time”. It has started!
At the end of the second day I sneaked away from the venue to say a last goodbye to my grandpa, to return on the evening of the third day. I realized on my way back how I had missed the other Global Shapers, and how addictive the energy-level is. After sharing my story the reactions were awesome and I was directly back on track.
The third day it came all together during the GS show in Rotterdam. It was awesome to be able to share our plans with the AGLF members, to transfer our energy and to make some useful new connections. After the intense work sessions and the late or ‘early’ social drinks, it all came together in the GS show.
I’ve never met so many people on such a short notice. The conversations with fellow Global Shapers helped to see the bigger picture of our company and to realize our potential. They also gave insight in cultural and organizational differences, an insight that helps me understand the people abroad better. Next to that the open space method made me more aware of my own responsibility in choosing what I want to do, or vice versa.
It was very difficult to leave the morning after the GS show, just because I was too tired to say goodbye. Luckily we met the day after with about 30 Global Shapers in Amsterdam. The energy level was totally back up and we had an awesome night.
Back in the office I shared my story with the possible Global Shapers of 2016, in order to boost their enthusiasm. Verali and Freek created extra boardgames to be played with our teams and we’ve had a good discussion with the management team of the Dutch mobility division about leadership and the passion of Arcadis. But this is just the beginning.