OPERATION DAGSVÆRK: Danish Management Consultant visits Iraq

The CEO of Gilling Lead, Poul Gilling was the management consultant of a CCPA workshop for the members of the Iraqi Youth Network (IYN) in Sulaymaniyah, KRG, Iraq. He has a past as a footballer in the Danish league system, Head of Education and later on, Head of Development in the Danish Football Association.
‘Between June 10th and 15th, the workshop was held for 23 members of the IYN board and its "daughter" associations, consisting of 5 Sunni-Arabs from Al-Anbar, 5 Sunni-Kurds from Sulaymaniyah, 2 Shiite-Kurds from Baghdad, 7 Shiite-Arabs from Baghdad and Basra, 4 Christian Chaldo-Assyrians from Nineveh plain and Arbil.
The IYN takes the matter of ethnicities and sects seriously, not because of some "racial-profiling", but to secure the voice of all minorities, including equality between genders, where women make up 50 % of the IYN leadership and 41 % of all participants are females.
Nonetheless, the biggest challenge in the IYN is not to make different demographics to work together, but rather to control a growing network of 4 different regions with people coming from different level of educational background.
Therefore, Mr. Gilling was called in to help. How do you form an association? What does an association consist of legally? How do you make a work plan? What kind of work ethic is needed to make things run? How can a proper communication be conducted? How do you work together across educational backgrounds and roles in the leadership of the IYN?
The Director of Logistics & Communications in the Baghdad office, Mohammad ‘Hamoodi’ Al-Lami had this to say about the workshop:
"It is by far the best workshop we’ve had till now! I mean we can all agree that the ‘art of administration’ itself is extremely heavy and can be at times very boring, especially for those who are uneducated and come from a footballing background.
That said, through these games and exercises designed by Mr. Gilling, we learned something ‘heavy’ through enjoyable exercises, we learned many valuable lessons through games that seemed ‘off-topic" at first, but as we are done the feeling is jaw-dropping as we learn new valuable lesson on administration at each game." The Sports-Director of the IYN, the national footballing legend, Amer Assi of Fallujah had this to say about Mr. Gilling:
"With his background, knowledge and work-ethic, we certainly hope more people like him will come to Iraq. From our own experience in the IYN, Danes in general, out of all the western ‘experts’ and ‘advisors’ we’ve had in Iraq, they are the only ones who have shown a genuine interest in teaching us how to benefit our own people and homeland.
They’ve been extremely enthusiastic and head-on about community-based projects in Iraq, as if it was their own country; we haven’t seen such attitude from anyone else in the past 12 years. As the saying goes; give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Only the Danes have been interested in teaching us to be independent.
" When Mr. Gilling was asked what he thought of his experience in Iraq and interaction with Iraqis, he had this to say: "It has been very interesting to work with the participants at the workshop where they where curios and worked hard with topics such as leadership and the establishment of Associations to stimulate the activities to involve more people in Iraq in sport, music etc." The 5 days in Iraq also included visiting the former headquarters of the Baathi regime, which is now a memorial and museum for the victims of the Anfal Campaign. The schedule also included a visit to one of oldest churches in Sulaymaniyah, where IYN activities will be planned. A quick visit to the IYN Jobcentre in Barika Refugee Camp, a minor festival was also conducted for children with cancer and of course, there is also time for trips to the Kurdish mountains, where there was time for bonding between the members of the IYN.

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