24 October 2008

EuroCom meets in the Netherlands

This week Martial has returned to Cape Town from Kigali, where he was teaching on the School of Communication Foundations ... more from him in a little while. In the meantime, Miranda has been attending meetings at YWAM Heidebeek in the Netherlands. People from the International Communication Network have come over from the States to be with YWAM communicators from all over Europe to discuss the ongoing development of EuroCom, the communication team for YWAM Europe. She writes:

EuroCom came together 3 years ago, starting from a very different point to the one AfriCom experienced 3 years before that. Whereas we started with a core team in one location and now have the challenge of building the network around the continent, they started with a group of communicators located in different parts of Europe and now need to create a core team that can coordinate a common communication strategy for the whole field. This week's meetings have been crucial because Jeff Fountain, the Field Director for this part of the world, is transitioning out of his role in the next 12 months and we want to have EuroCom in a solid place before the next director is in post.

The discussions started out a little 'murky', as is often the case in situations where a number of different players with different perspectives first come together. But as we worked through the agenda we found some clarity. One of our main goals was to develop greater understanding between the communicators and the leadership and in this it was very helpful to have those from ICN bring their perspective and paint the bigger picture of YWAM's communication strategy. It helped for me to describe the journey AfriCom has been on since 2002 and to highlight the main lessons we can draw from the way our Com Team has developed. Our other main goal for these meetings was to identify a core team coordinator for EuroCom and to describe the structure of the network across Europe. This we also succeeded in doing, identifying Rodney Blevins here at Heidebeek as the coordinator. The strength of having him in this role is the good working relatonship he already has established with Jeff.

There were a number of very techie people at these meetings. This is a great strength of the particular group of communicators we have in Europe and there is potential for them to help enormously in finding technical solutions to some of the communication challenges we have in other parts of the world. For a big picture person like me I tend to find the tangents of detailed discussion surrounding IT solutions a little tedious; I like to keep everyone focused on why we do what we do. But hey, we need both and we had a very talented group together for these meetings ... I for one am inspired to keep plugging away at helping YWAM to communicate more effectively!

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