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FAO celebrates Staff Day

Few weeks ago we have celebrated Staff Day at FAO. It follows the Vision Day, we had last November 2009.

This event provoked a great mix of reactions, inside and outside the building. Personally, I’m totally in favour of such an event, in particular if aimed at highlighting the greatest resource that an organization as FAO has: its staff. Sometimes this seems to be underestimated or forgotten just as if the organization could work as an automated company or a bureaucratic place.

People, and not activities or projects, are key and they always have to keep it in mind. This is particularly true, when the organization is a “knowledge organization” as FAO is.

FAO Staff Day photogallery

Some notes:

  • First clarification: when I talk about staff, I include everyone serving the agency and not just one or more categories of workers.
  • Second: I consider human beings, their abilities, their behaviour, their minds, the greatest resource for the agency and, as consequence, any prodding and stimulation that can revive our objectives are always welcome.


The importance of an OPEN MIND

Interesting discussion with Mario Gastaldi on change in organizations, yesterday afternoon here at FAO.

Kept in my mind two main inputs:

the doubts on the value of


the importance of

In particular, I keep on reflecting and elaborating the second point. To me, an OPEN MIND is :

– the ability to listen to people in every occasion,
– the unconscious feeling of being able to go to a meeting ready to let ideas from the others coming to you,
– the desire to focus not only on what you want to express,
– the capacity to have an “empty” mind, ready to be filled by external inputs,
– the willingness to let the positive feelings from outside affect on your mood,
– the positiveness towards the others’ notes,
– the sensitivity to the others’ remarks and needs,

How many other ways come to you to describe the state of a mind when it’s open?

As Mario was saying yesterday, it doesn’t mean to let the others do whatever they like. The point is to be convinced of what you believe but let ALWAYS place for doubts.

So, we need to find a deep balance inside ourselves to be able to manage certainties and uncertainties at the same time: to become open minded, we need a sort of Japanese Dō (). I think being OPEN is a really difficult state of the MIND,  but we can focus on it and try everyday to make it a more common habit.