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Global SKILLs midweek Connect: 9/2/20 ~ Something really BIG!

Greetings late on this Wednesday evening!

I like to get this Connect moment out earlier in the day...but this week has been quite a challenge and my ‘moment’ has ended up being just now.

I choose for our topic this week “Something really BIG”, partially as a follow-up on last week’s Connect about BIG friendships (see that posted in my blog: and partially because I’ve been personally immersed all week in several really BIG life changing events including a generational milestone (meeting my first grandson!) and a location change (preparing for a major move, with my tiny house in tow, from Florida to Pennsylvania - nearer to family). More on those specific events in upcoming weeks…

For now, I just want to linger a moment with BIG experiences - and how they can be dynamic cross-cultural game-changers.

Years ago, I was on a birding trip in Senegal, West Africa. Our quest that day was to find one of the BIGgest herons in the world, aptly named the Goliath Heron. In that motorized canoe as we chugged through the shallow bolongs of the Sine Saloum river delta, we were a relatively newly formed group of birders, coming from three different countries, diverse cultural backgrounds and very different professional ‘day jobs’.

One thing we shared though was the desire to experience seeing this extraordinarily BIG bird! Just at sunset, as we rounded the end of a partially submerged sandbar which was a roosting area, there IT was - standing majestically as it peered into the water. A collective gasp bonded us in the moment - birders call it a ‘lifer’ moment. I remember it as awe inspiring, to see the bird - but also as the moment whatever cultural differences we normally would have brought to any interaction were eclipsed by a grander, BIGger ‘vision’ - literally (the heron stood over 5 feet tall…) but also figuratively, in terms of a shared experience transcending our cultural differences.

It was in fact a seminal moment for us as a group and it contributed to our developing into one of the most rewarding cross-cultural communities of practice, personally and professionally, I have ever been associated with. How’s that for BIG?!

Have you had a similar experience?

Something BIG which changed a cross-cultural dynamic for you, or defined a cross-cultural facet of your work or personal life?

Share the memory and perhaps the impact of it here, or with a friend. And have a great week!

Until next time,



For more on the mighty goliath heron:

For more on what a community of practice is and how you might get involved with or form one:

Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary

~~ Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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