NGO Pacific Leadership and Management Training Workshop 1 held during July in Suva
Rupeti Vafoou's Reflective Journal
I was totally lost during the first session but I eventually caught up. I believe my key learning today is the major strength and major challenges that my organization faces whilst carrying out our mission in mobilizing our communities on the Island of Rotuma to sustain our natural resources. I was very interested during discussion's because a few other non-governmental organization's share similar strengths and challengers that we Laje Rotuma Initiative face for example, finance (finding donors to fund our projects) and Transportation (because Rotuma is isolated), the boat schedules are irregular so this disrupts our work shop dates set. We may need facilitators from the main land (Fiji) and of course they would want a promised date of return. A few of the strengths are that my community is very supportive during our programs, Laje Rotuma Initiative gets to be the voice of the community in voicing issues and solutions also our volunteers are very passionate in what they do which I believe is all that matters. I will share this information with my workmates when I return back as I believe this is something that will motivate us to continue and do the work that we do.
Well, today went well. I enjoyed learning the four different organization cultures, a club culture, a role culture, a task culture and a star culture. At first, I did not realise there was more than one organization culture types but I got to identify which culture my organization belongs to. I believe my organization is task cultured because we (Laje Rotuma Initiative) are project focused and we have a coordinator to look after the organization. Not only that, our coordinator also helps out in facilitating work shops and helping out in any way she can in the organization so we are flat structured. I know this will be a very important piece of information I must share with my work colleagues as this helps them to identify other non-governmental organisations and how to approach them when the need arises.
An activity that I participated today and believe that I have learnt a lot from is getting a group of people, communities or an organization to be consensus. There were three different groups that was highlighted today when the activity ended, the councillors which take very little time to be consensus, the second one is the analysts which takes their time analysing every opinion of its members before they get a consensus and of course there is the traditional group which will discuss the issue and even take weeks discussing until they get a consensus. I learnt that the size of a group a group is very important, because the smaller the group the easier it is for them to get a consensus. I find this activity interesting because getting a group to be consensus can be very challenging but eventually they all have to be for a decision to be finalised. I will strongly advice my organisation (Laje Rotuma Initiative) to apply this method as it really helps with the decision making of the organisation.
One activity that I learnt a lot from and enjoyed participating is the organisation metaphors. I was told to draw anything that I believe best describes my organisation. I drew a family model, a child laughing, a mother smiling and of course there is a frowning father. I believe the mother is our organization trying to educate and work with the community on the Island of Rotuma that is represented by the laughing child and of course there is the frowning father who represents our donors or funders who expects us to submit reports on time and not understanding cultural values. I strongly agree that the organisation is always trying to meet western values of our donors but at the same time cope with our communities traditional values so that every one is happy and the massage or mission of the organization is accomplished I now realise that our donors must be educated on the traditional values because the mission of the organisation can easily be accomplished if the community is happy to participate and again in traditional values. This is a very good activity I can use on my co-workers as it helps them understand where we stand and how hard we work to get things done on time.
One activity that I took part today and believe it is one of my important learning experiences is the leadership adaptability and style inventory. I was given twelve situations where I carefully read through and try and sole using four alternative actions that was given for each. Then I was told to fill in results in to a table provided then work out if I am a 'Lead Self 'or 'Lead others ' kind of person. I totally enjoyed this activity because being placed in four different categories i.e. telling, selling participating and delegating, I got to realise my weakness and my strength's and how to improve my weaknesses when leading others in my organization. For example I was more in to selling (acknowledging staff when work is well done) but I needed to work on my delegating skills (instruct and leave because this helps the staff feel good that he/she can handle a situation with out my help) I know this will be a good activity to share with my staff as it helps them know and understand where they stand in our organization also which leadership profile they fir in and how to improve their style profile. What I learnt is know your staff well, know where they sit and know how to manage in this different situation.