The partnership between Eindhoven News and the Grooa Leadership Academy opens up exciting opportunities for international professionals and their spouses in the North Brabant region. By design, every Grooa program must have a highly diverse group of participants and Eindhoven News will help keep the international community well informed about it.
When Norwegian–based Grooa decided to open a center for leadership workshops and retreats in the idyllic North Brabant countryside, the news did not make any big headlines. Yet, since the Grooa Inspiria Learning Center’s inauguration on May 26 last year, positive echoes have started to resonate in international circles; a diverse mix of participants attending their programs have been singing their praise since.
At an early stage Eindhoven News and Groaa got introduced to each other and possible cooperation was brought to the table. Irene Martens (Manager Eindhoven News): “I was intrigued about this small foreign company investing in our area and I wanted to better understand what they were offering. Some of our volunteers had the chance to attended one of their programs.” Beena Arunraj: “I discovered that we share many of the same interests and values, especially around the importance and richness of diversity.”
Also a serial expatriate who moved her family around the world, the founder of Grooa, Laura Lozza, knows the challenges of internationals in a new country and fully appreciates the opportunities offered by diversity of ideas. “The biggest learning from my globetrotter years was how to feel good in my skin, so that I do not need to focus on my self-doubts and can rather focus on being curious about others. Most people, especially in a multicultural context, tend to push for their ideas without really listening to different views, or they listen to accommodate and end up abandoning or discounting their own ideas. The real beauty is when we are able to do both, offer our ideas with passion and listen to other perspectives, so that we can co-create a better outcome”.
This sounds straightforward enough, but it is obviously not easy to put in practice. That is why, after a successful executive business career, together with a pool of like minded internationals, Laura has created a boutique consultancy firm with the goal of providing training and coaching on the influential power of productive disagreements.
“At any given Grooa event it is not unusual to meet entrepreneurs, politicians and business executives along with students and unemployed professionals; some are local Dutch, some locally based internationals and several are internationals travelling from abroad to attend a retreat,’ tells us Elena Digirolamo of Grooa. “For example, in the next retreat in June, we will have some delegates fly in from Austria and Germany to join a pool of local participants that includes Dutch professionals, an American mum and an Indian executive. Working with diverse groups is always fun, exciting and incredibly rich. The learning is exponential and participants always leave with a clear personal purpose, strategy and plan on how to practice their new skills. We also offer a few scholarships to internationals in transition to help them accelerate integration (applications can be sent to email@example.com).”
The partnership entails that Grooa will share useful ideas and tips in regular articles and Eindhoven News will keep the readers posted on leadership training opportunities.
“The world is changing fast and the word Leadership has a completely new meaning today”, explains Laura: “Anyone in a position to mobilise, engage, inspire and influence another person, is a leader and needs leadership skills. In my view, the first one is self-confidence, the second is the courage to be curious and the third is the ability to have fun and enjoy learning from mistakes; that is why we always make our programs thought-provoking, safe and fun; and that is why our motto is Leading with a Smile”
“By working together, we are providing helpful and interesting articles to our readers, our volunteers have development opportunities and at the same this will help Grooa to expose their offer” wraps up Irene with a smile.