Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

 

Please find below suggestions on how to develop and implement successful global projects.

For a printed version press here.

1. Suggested time line 2017-2019

Year 1, 2017:

Stage I – Recruitment and preparation for the World Conference, January- October, 2017

  • Evaluate readiness of the JCC
  • Buy- in process towards guidelines and other underlying assumptions
  • Secure professional and financial commitment
  • Delineate expectations
  • Together with local JCC leadership identify the areas that the JCC would like to develop in the future
  • Read the profiles of participating JCCs and study suggested Jewish Peoplehood model programs in advance of the conference

Stage II – November 5-9, 2017- World Conference

  • A first meeting of the participating JCCs, establishing an egalitarian dialogue – the readiness to engage in an honest and equal dialogue amongst the partners; based on the recognition of the distinctive added value and uniqueness of each.
  • Through a guided process, JCCs find 2-3 partners from different countries and 2-3 global projects to consider (see below suggested programs)
  • Fellows gather as much information as possible on the characteristics, perceptions, needs, organizational structure, organizational biography, cultural codes and differences, decision making processes as well as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of their partner JCCs.
  • Global project JCC partners jointly articulate overall goals and measurable benchmarks.
  • Fellows develop a preliminary work plan, general budget, and communication guidelines.

Stage III – December 2017- Global projects begin

  • Fellows return to respective communities and debrief staff and local leadership.
  • Local staff person assigned to lead the global project.
  • World Conference documents are reviewed and updated based on the realities of each JCC.
  • First hour long video conference among the JCC partners takes place in order to bring local staff on board and reiterate goals, benchmarks, and communication guidelines.

Year 2, 2018:

Stage I – January – June, 2018, First stages of implementing global project

  • Global project JCC partners designate a representative of the cluster to be the first year’s coordinator and as a liaison with JCC Global.
  • Monthly hour-long video conference calls take place among the partners.
  • Bi-monthly hour long calls of cluster representative and JCC Global take place
  • Additional calls with mentors, program providers and other experts take place from time to time as needed.
  • A face to face meeting among the key staff members from each JCC takes place in one of the partnering JCCs. Holding it in early 2018 is highly recommended. In this meeting, the details of the project are outlined, agreement on budget, and timeline are reviewed.
  • In addition to the global project, JCCs try to add ways in which the JCC can be engaged globally (see examples below.)
  • Recruitment of JCC members for the joint project begins

Stage II – July – December, 2018 implementing global project

  • Monthly hour-long video conference calls among the partners continue.
  • Bi monthly hour long calls of cluster representative and JCC Global continue.
  • Additional calls with mentors, project providers, and other experts take place upon request.
  • JCC members join the global project and implementation begins.
  • 1-2 global video meetings among the members take place.
  • Partners explore the possibility of face to face encounters among the participating members.
  • Year 2 goals and benchmarks are evaluated and a work plan for year three is articulated.

Year 3, 2019:

Stage I – January – June, 2019, Implementing of global projects continues

  • Global project JCC partners designate a new representative of the cluster as a coordinator and as a liaison with JCC Global.
  • The monthly video calls among JCC partners continue.
  • Bi monthly hour long calls of cluster representative and JCC Global continue.
  • Additional calls with mentors, program providers, and other experts take place upon request.
  • The implementation of the global project continues.
  • 1-2 global video meetings among the members take place.

Stage II – July- December, 2019, Projects continue, 10th World Conference of JCCs in Israel and end of official program

  • The implementation of the global project continues.
  • Fellows gather for the 10th World Conference of JCCs in Israel- November 17-19, 2019. In this gathering, global projects are presented; evaluated, and best practices are shared.
  • Fellows will evaluate the project and design an exit strategy and timeline
  • All participating JCC members are invited to gather in Israel for a member focused program by cohort November 19-21, 2019.
  • Final evaluation of entire program takes place.

 

2. Budget

Budget is a key element to a successful global project. JCCs come to a global joint project with different fiscal capabilities and varied organizational cultures on how things work. Many tensions among participating JCCs are due to budget and hence it is crucial for all partners to be on the same page. Global project partners should decide in advance what is the scope of the budget, what amounts are out of pocket and what is in kind, how and by who things are paid for, and what financial help may be provided for JCCs in need. It is crucial to outline expectations vis a vis budget and have them in writing.

From our experience, there are two budget systems that work best for a joint project. In the first, all participating JCCs agree on the same amount of money that goes into one pool and is spent collectively. The second, only a few things are part of the collective budget and then each JCC is responsible for local costs.

Please click here for two options for a budget template:

 

3. Communication

Perhaps the most important factor for a successful global joint project is communication. It is crucial that project partners agree and adhere to ongoing and open communication. With geographical distances, barriers of language, different time zones, different calendars, and different cultures, communication is challenging. We suggest using the questionnaire below when you first meet and then agree on what will be the communication patterns. Having said that, we urge participating JCCs to report to JCC Global on any communication hurdles and obstacles. Sometimes outside intervention is needed.

In order to ensure smooth communication, here are some recommended tools:

Suggested outline of call (60-90 minutes)

  • Important to send agenda in advance and relevant documents.
  • Decide who is writing summary notes for distribution.
  • Open with a few minutes of greetings, finding out how everyone is doing, short updates on special events, things that happened in the respective countries. (While this may not be related to practical issues, it what makes the relationship special, don’t skip it.)
  • Update on progress from each partner.
  • Discuss the specific agenda.
  • Conclude with concrete action items and review date and time of next call.
  • Summary notes are sent to all, including people who might not have participated, and a copy is sent to JCC Global as well.

 

4. Addressing cross cultural divides

Dealing with colleagues from different cultures and countries can prove to be a challenging task. With differences that are obvious such as language barriers , or more subtle differences such as what a gesture indicates, the more you know about the culture of your team mates, the better your chances are of navigating through them successfully. Below are factors that could help you work in a more efficient way with your international colleagues.

Influence:

  • The team must be ready to accept that sometimes the decisions being made will happen in a different place.
  • Invest enough time in the needs of the other members of your team. This will be an even harder task given that there is a difference in time and minimum face to face interaction; this means that you must invest even more energy in communication with your team.

Cultural differences and patience:

  • People hold biases in one way or another, even if not intentionally. It’s important to let these biases go before you start to work with your international colleagues.
  • Different phrases may have different meanings to different people. It is important to be aware of your words and actions. What could seem appropriate to you could be offensive to someone from another culture.
  • Be aware and sensitive to certain body language differences, a certain hand gesture or body language could be appropriate to you and could be something vulgar or inappropriate for the workplace for your colleague.
  • Practice patience. Getting used to working with people from different cultures doesn’t happen overnight and can take a little time. Not to worry, it’s normal.
  • Try not to get irritated if the communication with your group members takes a little more effort than you originally thought it would. You may be working with someone who doesn’t have the same first language as you.
  • Instead of getting impatient if they don’t understand your point, try to treat it as a learning experience. Try saying, “Ok, I can see I’m not making myself clear. How can I help us get on the same page?”
  • Be patient with yourself, too. It’s perfectly fine if it takes you some time to adjust to working with your new co-workers.

Humor:

  • A new work environment can prove to be intimidating for someone from a different culture, whether in person or in a conference call. Don’t be afraid to lighten the mood to make yourself and your colleagues feel relaxed.
  • Humor is a great way to ease tensions when working with people you don’t know so well. It can serve as a way to make people feel comfortable and more connected to each other.
  • However, before making a joke, keep in mind that people from different cultures might find it offensive, if you have a doubt that it may offend your colleague, its best you don’t say anything.
  • Common courtesy goes a long way. It is important to start off work sessions, both in person and online with asking how your group members are doing, what’s new at their JCCs, etc. This way a personal relationship is being formed parallel to the work relationship.

An open mind:

  • Remember that one of the biggest challenges as well as the biggest benefits is working with someone who thinks differently than you do. Difference in perspective is common when working with someone from a different culture of different country.
  • Clarify what important terms mean to each individual. For example, in a meeting you could ask, “What does efficiency mean to you?”
  • It’s possible that you might think you’re working with the same goals in mind, but that you have a different understanding of the process or outcomes. A simple question can help resolve any issues.
  • Accepting differences is key to working with an international team. If you go into a situation with the mindset that people have different customs than you, you will find it easier to be accepting.
  • Be aware that the differences will also reflect themselves in the forms of communication styles. (For example, in some cultures the word “yes” means, “Certainly, I’m in agreement.” To others, the word “yes” can mean, “I heard you.”) It can also mean one party responds to emails in a timelier manner, where the other can read and not respond unless they see it as being something of an urgent matter.
  • Accept that there might be differences in addressing conflict. In some cultures, a face to face conversation might be the norm. For other people, written communication might be more appropriate.
  • When you encounter differences, be willing to be adaptable. You might need to alter some of your habits in order to make the work relationship more constructive.

Overcoming language barriers:

  • Language differences can make communication difficult but there are ways you can communicate effectively!
  • Talking slow and clearly. It may sound simple but don’t shout at people when they don’t understand what you are saying. Restate the statement in a way that is more clearly or more slowly. When speaking, avoid using slang and common idioms. Idioms, such as “in the long run,” “no kidding,” or “barking up the wrong tree,” can cause confusion for non-native English speakers. Also, explain common camp phrases to staff members. Most probably won’t be familiar with phrases you use every day.

 

5. Guidelines for developing a joint project

Our goal is to strengthen Jewish Peoplehood and create meaningful connections among JCCs globally.

  • Ideally, in each global project, there should be at least 3 JCCs from 3 different countries, preferably a minimum of one from North America, one from Israel, and one from another country. If there is a need to change this format, JCC Global will assist you in the process.
  • The project should engage all fellows and have a designated local team, led by a staff member.
  • The project should have a profound impact on JCC members. While a face to face component is highly recommended as the best way to develop partnerships, in Amitim 2.0- Fellows, we open up possibilities for online programs that rely on virtual platforms.
  • The goal is to impact specific membership cohort groups who are actual members of the JCC/community. In addition to staff members and lay leaders, we hope that through a ripple effect additional JCC members and the community at large will become involved as well.
  • The intensity of impact may vary. For example:
    High intensity impact will be achieved when exchange visits take place between targeted cohort groups who are hosted by local host families.
    A low intensity impact may take place during a community wide event featuring the partnership where members participate for one evening. Or family and friends of host families who get to meet the visitors during Shabbat dinner.
  • Needless to say, those projects can and should be augmented by ongoing communication using all tools possible- calls, webinars, internet, social media etc.

6. Joint seminar/s

We encourage JCCs to implement a joint seminar for the members who are participating in the program. This is an opportunity for JCC members to meet face to face and experience world Jewry first hand. We encourage JCCs to provide home hospitality so that more people get to meet the out of town participants.

Click here for a sample itinerary

 

7. Evaluation

Evaluation is key for the success of any program. JCC Global developed several tools for evaluation and encourages the local JCCs to survey and receive feedback from their members. For sample evaluation survey, please contact the JCC Global office.