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A Rookie’s Journal (part 2): In the Groove

Scott McBride, CESO Volunteer Advisor (Vietnam) July 21, 2016 Image: Vietnam at Night by Scott McBride

Week two. In the groove, or is it a rut???

Monday December 7th

Image: Food in Vietnam by CESO VA Scott McBrideAll good things – like weekends – must end. My client and my translator were too good to me; I saw nearby sites with expert local accompaniment and enjoyed great food and local beer. This morning I facilitate the first group meeting with senior management, using my bilingual slides, and two white-boards. I have engineered the opening of the meeting to have a stern talk from the chief accountant about financial issues. Some techniques work across all cultures! Overall, the meeting goes well and I’m hopeful that the group can get into the strategic planning ‘groove’ and have some ‘aha!’ moments. Confession: This optimism rides a roller-coaster over the remainder of the assignment. It is a constant topic among the VAs whether we are able to make a difference. Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion to this journal.

Tuesday – Friday, December 8th – 11th

Image: CESO VA Scott McBride meets with clientsMeetings, meetings, meetings. We are uncovering lots of issues for resolution in a Plan. The work is relentless but rewarding. Insights come from so many places. From a delivery manager whose local knowledge vastly exceeds Google Maps to a price competition that sounds like a knife-fight. The trick is to bring this massive collage together into something orderly by the end of next week. And so much of the work is in translation. Phuong is amazing – thinking in two languages all day long. I’ll bet she’s pretty tired by the end. And she continues to get us to great lunch spots.

Doing anything for the first time can be nerve-wracking. In this three-part series, Scott McBride describes his experiences while conducting his first-ever CESO assignment, almost halfway around the world. Find out how Scott’s journey as a first-time VA in the field ends, on the next installation of “A Rookie’s Journal”

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