Two years of working together have passed as if it were only one day! ETTA Global Leadership Consulting has just finished the international project “Managing diversity on the example of Age Management” in the frame of the European Union programme called “Leonardo da Vinci”.
In the presented interview, Monika Chutnik, Managing Director of ETTA, talks about where the idea of taking part in the project comes from and what are the results of the cooperation. Modules that have been created during the project meetings enrich ETTA’s portfolio in the area of managing age diversity. We can’t wait to leading trainings based on our new programme.
Where did the idea for international cooperation in the framework of Leonardo come from?
Monika Chutnik: We were invited to the project by Sylwia Chałupka-Dunse from Culture Communication in Germany. Her company had already had extensive experience in the projects using Leonardo framework. She has had good experiences with Leonardo and wanted to work in a new partnership – with us. We were both interested to raise the issue of diversity and cooperate with partners from abroad. Soon, other people representing other countries and organizations also joined the project, and Culture Communication has become a leader to coordinate all needed activities.
Why did you pick the area of age management?
Monika: From the beginning, it was clear that diversity management was the area which we wanted to explore. The first dilemma was whether the selected topic should be handled in a broader sense or if we should rather focus on one specific aspect of diversity. While discussing these options in the preparation phase, we decided that it would be easier for us to work together if we focus on a specified, particular dimension of diversity.
There are many different aspects of diversity: gender, LGBT, disability, age, culture, religion, and others. We decided to select only one from all of those areas and it was diversity of age. What surely had an impact was the fact that understanding and dialogue between different generations was among the priorities for the year when we applied for the EU program. That fact might have increased our chances to obtain the grant.
ETTA had already been well-represented on the consulting and training market in the area of age management. Our knowledge and experience had already been quite impressive and we were ready to share it with the other partners, which was a positive motivator to start the cooperation.
How will the project results be used by all the partners?
Monika: Both the final product and the project itself exceeded our expectations in a certain sense. Initially when applying for a joint project, we imagined that a training on managing age diversity could be delivered along a single, comprehensive program. However, as we were exploring the problem of age management more and more in-depth, we realized that organizations and their needs in the field of age management can actually be so different that creating a single, universal template would simply be impractical for them – and for us as a consulting body.
As a result, we created something that can be compared to a buffet lunch – modules that trainers are able to use to tailor their own specific trainings. Each of these modules can be used separately, but even better, they can be combined together in order to plan a training which is fully customized to the needs of a particular organization.
This specific set-up strengthened ETTA’s portfolio and enriched our know-how. Our project partners had the opportunity to verify all prepared content and we all made necessary adjustments based on their feedback. As a company, we will continue our consulting and training activities in managing age diversity and inter-generational projects with this additional experience from our cooperation with Leonardo .
What was your personal role in the project?
Monika: My role was to give the right support. ETTA was mostly represented by our consultants: Michalina Konkel and Katarzyna Chrulska. I provided them with all ETTA materials from the area of age management and shared my own and the company experiences from past projects so that they could share it with the international partners. Such a contribution was valuable in the beginning the project. In the next stages of cooperation, our trainers took the lead role by preparing specific developmental ideas and designing solutions. Of course if at any of those stages my support was needed, I was there for them.
What are your personal impressions and feelings about the project?
Monika: First of all, great relationships – we got to know each other much better which built long-term capital in the context of cooperation in the future. The knowledge gathered in the age management area was also invaluable and developmental.
There are also many benefits for the organization – at ETTA, we found out how to learn together, what cooperating in international partnerships means, and what kind of consequences and risks it carries. If we apply for similar projects in the future, we will know what to pay attention to, how to take care of the development, and which components require particular protection. Therefore, this project has been very important to us in terms of development.
Can you summarize the whole Leonardo project using only one word or phrase?
Monika: I wish ETTA more great experiences of this kind!
The project was realized within the framework of the program ” Lifelong Learning – Leonardo da Vinci” co-founded by the European Commission. The publisher bears the sole responsibility for the content of this publication. The European Commission is in no way responsible for using this information.