Have you seen this inspiring animated cartoon Minuscule Valley Of The Lost Ants, about the battle between two tribes of ants and the friendship of two completely different species – a black ant Mandible and a bold young ladybug? Do you know what happened? A wonderful adventure began!
Our adventure, an exciting and delightful journey, began one beautiful warm afternoon late spring. Facilitating the lab on contemporary art for personal and organizational transformation was the first event where we worked together, two of us, coming up with all the ideas how to organize a platform where people would feel comfortable and relaxed to learn something different but meaningful.
We brainstormed all the aspects (even how to invite people to the event), identified areas we needed to work on, shared responsibilities, and trusted each other to be accountable enough to deliver on time and as agreed. It was our first joint experience. It was fulfilling and rewarding. It was then when we learned how much we like working together. It was then when we both felt that we had created a whole that is greater than the simple sum of the two of us. The synergy was amazing.
We were hooked. After this experience we looked for new opportunities to use our creativity, intensify the team spirit and enjoy the results of joint work: infographics Citizens Budget of Republic of Slovenia*, CEF photo guide How to take and make a good photo, internal knowledge session on photo production with a professional photographer, change project Upgrading CEF digital learning space*, this blog, and more.
As ladybug unexpectedly met ant Mandible in the middle of a forest (imagine the size), we found the creative spirit and harmony in each other. We found the strength in working together, and among all started to appreciate the feedback we shared. Of course, we got to the point where we had different opinions and views, but we dared to speak about it, appreciated each other’s perspective, and found the best way that would benefit the CEF, but mostly the people for whom the learning event, product or other outcome was intended for.
While talking about our involvement, we realized how much we learned from each other and also got to know one other better [Ivana joined the CEF in March 2017]. We grew personally, became even more self-confident in what we do individually, and through this also helped the CEF to achieve its organizational goal, which is to support capacity development trough learning.
When an organization encourages individuals to work together as a team (not as a group), and its staff internalizes working together (accepting all responsibilities and accountabilities of each individual), this builds a foundation for better strategic planning, improved performance, and easier identification of conflicts and dynamics that need to be resolved or guided. After all, it creates a positive work environment, sense of community and stronger relationships. It allows us to speak with one voice and share the same values and prepares us to face the challenges in the world of uncertainties. The feeling that even if you fall down, there will be a hand to help you stand up again is truly priceless.
We watched this fantastic story about the young ladybug who helps Mandible save the anthill from the assault of the terrible red ant warriors and try to achieve the impossible. Did they succeed? What do you think?
* Projects were delivered together with some other partners and colleagues.