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Citius The Derdians

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  • 1. 1) Introduction of the Game One of the main concerns in the introductory part is to present this game in a way so that delegates are all excited about participating. Unfortunately, not everyone will be enthusiastic right away, especially those AIESECers who have a very quot;professionalquot; approach to doing their work in AIESEC. These people have high expectations of the training quality and might reject to play (thereby encouraging others to do the same). If you can manage to introduce the game in a way that makes it look professional, then getting these people involved should be a piece of cake. Suggestions:  Avoid the word quot;gamequot; (because this might sound childish), but instead say quot;international cooperation simulationquot; or even call it an quot;assessment centerquot;, i.e. an opportunity for delegates to assess their skills (maybe prepare a slide with a list of skills that can be tested in this game such as skills in teamworking, communication, leadership, intercultural awareness, open- mindedness, etc.)  Tell delegates that this simulation is used by professional training agencies in multinational companies to prepare expatriates for overseas projects.  When dividing the groups and looking for experts, don't say you need quot;15 expertsquot;, but quot;15 consultantsquot; or ask for volunteers with quot;international experience and interest in the management consultancy businessquot;. I can only assure you that you can easily influence all those quot;professionalquot; AIESECers by just choosing your words carefully. What to do when some delegates still not participate? This is up to you. Forcing them will hardly work, but asking for his reasons might give you leverage to persuade him. After all, we are all adults and should respect each other. 2) The General Flow of The Game After having the group of roughly 30 delegates equally divided into quot;Expertsquot; and quot;Derdiansquot;, you should separate the groups from each other. There will be at least one more facilitator to support you, so that one can stay with each group. Give them their instructions [Handout #1 (for the Derdians) and #2 (for the Experts)] and let them read it. After that answer all their questions. Experts should then make a plan of how they will approach this problem and Derdians should intensively practice their culture for the next 20 minutes. Following that, a small group of Experts (4-5) enters the Derdian culture to observe and interact with the Derdians. Subsequently they return to the other Experts and give report about the situation. Then the whole Expert group enters Derdia and has exactly 30 minutes to build the bridge. Your role should be the one of a Derdian in order to enforce the rules of the culture. Please, read both handouts before proceeding.
  • 2. 3) The Discus sion Afterwards Just a few notes for I assume that you are experienced enough to facilitate the discussion... 1. Some delegates take the game with a sense of humor but some (especially) experts will be very frustrated. Try to get everyone to talk about those frustrations (not just the ones who have a tendency to always be the ones talking). Let them describe what their impression of the other group was. Then finally give them a complete overview about the Derdian culture and the situation of the Experts. 2. *Then comes the tough part. Very basically, you need to get the point of the game across, which is the following: At NT delegates learn all these personal skills which are great for their own personal development. However, if we only strive for individual development, then what is AIESEC good for? There has to be leadership, i.e. one direction in which we go altogether. This direction is the AI Global Strategy: using eXchange to develop individuals who have an impact on society. How do you get to this basic message? I suggest the following sequence of questions. However, there are many other ways to do this and you might want to do it differently. Also, stay flexible within a certain discussion frame as delegates might not necessarily provide the answer you have been waiting for.  Who of you thinks that in his/her professional life, he or she will have to do his/her job in an international environment?  Do you think that something like this could happen to you in real life? (Note: Mediterranean people touch a lot, African countries are very proud of their culture (that is why Somalia still is in this terrible situation), Bulgarians nod their heads when they mean yes, the Dutch kiss three times, other countries twice, Germans just shake hands, China and Japan are still very patriarchal cultures, etc. The game is a real slice of life.)  Do you think that your career will move ahead without international experience?  What do you think are the skills you will need to work successfully in such an environment? (Maybe write them on a flipchart.)  Assessing your own skills, do you feel prepared for doing business on an international scale? Are you really as open-minded as you thought? (Note: the text doesn't say the Derdians are a wild, primitive tribe but most Experts will assume this and treat them like primitive people, i.e. in a way that is perceived as arrogant. Why do they do so? Because they are not aware that their subconscious mind has pictured the Derdians this way before he came to Derdia. Is that open-minded?)  Where do you learn those skills? In school? (Answer: No, but in AIESEC. You might want to share some personal experiences here.)  Stress how important those skills are by referring to the article from the International Herald Tribune.  The point is: you don't learn this in AIESEC, if you don't cooperate internationally. Organizing Career-week, Training 2000, or only doing Finance or Marketing will never get you to discover how much else there is you didn't know. Get involved into what AIESEC really stands for. Use your
  • 3. skills to help promote the true idea of AIESEC. No matter what responsibility you have in AIESEC. If you are in Finance, then budget more money into int'l cooperation and less into fancy office material (for example). If you do Marketing, the promote AIESEC in an int'l context. Tell students what we really stand for. If you do Training 2000, why not organize a training on cross-cultural communication skills? There are tons of more examples... [I used this game in an ITEP selling training to draw the following conclusions: 1. As the globalization process moves on, doing business internationally is not any longer a matter of the seize of the company. Almost everyone is doing business abroad in one way or the other. It is not always successful though and sometimes costs companies a lot of money. Just read the article that is enclosed in the end („Why Culture Shock Is Such An Expensive Business“, International Herald Tribune). In the field of cross-cultural relations AIESEC can be a real partner. I am cautious with this because in some LCs the eXchange- process (preparation, reception, re-integration) is not a primary focus. 2. A lot of companies don’t cooperate with AIESEC even though they have international trainees. But what if the trainee is experiencing culture shock? If he is not with AIESEC, then he is neither prepared for this, nor does he have anybody to help him. In AIESEC, that’s the reason why we have preparation and reception. A trainee with culture shock is not a fully functioning trainee and thus of no value to the company. Reason enough to take an AIESEC trainee. 3. The development of your country’s economy as a whole will largely depend on international trade. The more of your fellow countrymen are able to do business internationally (i.e. know how to deal with other cultures), the better for your economy. If a company from your country is giving you a traineeship, that means that a student from your country can go abroad as well and make valuable international experiences. This argument might not sound „down-to-earth“ but it proves to have quite an effect if the person you are dealing with has a broader perspective on business and economics.] 4) Critical Succe s s Factors A few factors can be singled out as extraordinarily important for a successful outcome of the game:  The Derdians culture: in order for the Experts to succeed, they need to recognize a pattern in the behavior of the Derdians. If not all Derdians stick to the rules and just geek off, then this is impossible. Practice the rules intensively, take your time. During the game you better be one of the Derdians and encourage delegates to follow your behavior.  Stress on the Experts: the Experts have to be under pressure when building the bridge. Don't make it too easy for them. Mention the time they have left. If necessary, tell them to have a meeting and discuss their further procedure (that is when they absolutely don't get along with the Dedians' culture).  The discussion: let everyone talk and don't interrupt, BUT: if we don't give them a clear message that they a) understand easily and b) can relate to for their future work in AIESEC, then this game didn't achieve any results. Deal convincingly with critical opinions, don't let people talk over you. That will only work if you are convinced by the message of the game. Are you..? GOOD LUCK....and let's kick butts! Instructions for the Derdians
  • 4. Handout #1 Flow of the Game First, you have 20 minutes to read the instructions and learn and practice your specific behavior. Make sure that you are fully aware of your cultural behavior. This is a crucial point. After 20 minutes a few members of the expert team will visit you for some minutes. During this time you have to use your specific cultural behavior (but do not talk about it as long as the experts are in the room). After this preparation time, the experts are coming in again and they have 30 minutes time to finish the project with your help. You are an inhabitant of the country Derdia. You are awaiting the arrival of an expert team, which shall teach you to build a bridge over a nearby river. The bridge has been destroyed by a recent earthquake. *The people in your country are very well educated in liberal arts and are also very successful business people. Unfortunately, there is no real engineering education in your country and this has to be changed. That is why you want the Experts to teach you in this field. You want to have the bridge being built because then you can go easier and quicker across the bay, where all the nice restaurants are. The bridge will by symbolized by a bridge made with paper. You do know the instruments (scissors, paper, glue, ruler, pen) but you do not know the construction techniques. Rules for the Social Behavior of the Derdians  Touching Derdians use to touch each other: When they talk with each other or even when they pass each other. Not touching each other means: I don’t like you!  Greeting* The traditional greeting procedure is a kiss on the shoulder: The person, who starts the greeting ceremony, kisses the other on his shoulder. After this he will be kissed on his shoulder. Ever other form of kissing will be an insult! If a Derdian is insulted he starts complaining very loud about it. To give a Derdian the hand for greeting is also be understood as an insult.  Yes/No A Derdian never uses the word „No“. He always says yes, even if he means no. When a Derdian means no, he still says yes and shakes strongly his head (this you have to practice very much, because it might be very difficult to remember during the construction time).  Work behavior There is a specific gender-separation in using tools: scissors are male tools, but pens and rulers are female. The glue is neutral. Reason for this is a „taboo“: men would never, never touch a pen or a ruler and woman would never touch scissors.  Behavior with foreigners Derdians are always nice to foreigners. But the Derdians are very proud about themselves and their culture. They know, that they cannot build the bridge without the help of the foreign experts. But they do not see the culture of the foreigners as superior. They expect from the foreigners, that they adopt to the „Derdian way of living“. Because they see their own behavior as a natural one, the Derdians can’t explain it to the experts (this is a very important rule!) A man from Derdia will never agree to talk with a foreign man, except this foreigner is introduced to him by a woman. It doesn’t matter if this woman is from Derdia or a foreigner.
  • 5. Handout #2 Instructions for the Experts Flow of the Game First, you have 20 minutes in order to read the instructions and think carefully about the procedure of building the bridge. After 20 minutes, 4-5 members of your group are allowed to visit the Derdians for 5 minutes. After this, you have another few minutes to analyze this experience and then the building of the bridge starts for which you have no more than 30 minutes. The Setting Your group is a team of international experts, which has to build a bridge, which was destroyed in an earthquake in Derdia, a small country you have never been to before. The bridge will be symbolized by a paper bridge. The bridge is very important as the Derdians' access to food is cut off without it*. Since the Derdians are not well educated in engineering, they now have to learn how to build bridges on their own. Your future career with your company will largely depend on the successful outcome of this project. Construction of the bridge You are allowed to use the following materials:  paper  ruler  scissors  glue  pencil The bridge has to be very stable. At the end of the game, the bridge has to fit between the two tables. For this, the bridge must be able to carry at least the weight of the ruler. The bridge is made by pieces of paper* and should resemble an authentic bridge as much in detail as possible. Each sheet has to be drawn first with pencil and ruler, after that it has to be cut with scissors. The construction time in Derdia is 30 minutes. During this time, the bridge has to be finished.