Elisa Acosta has been working at BBVA for more than 10 years and manages the Dolores (Soriano) branch in Uruguay. She loves going on nature walks, a passion that has taught her the importance of working as one team, both inside and outside the bank.
Two or three times a year, Elisa goes on a nature walk that lasts several days with a group comprised of people of all ages. Even though these people meet each other just a few hours before embarking on their journey, they are united by the desire to do their best and the knowledge that working as one team will allow them to achieve their goal.
"You compete against yourself, and the goal is to reach the camp together, to have a chat around the fire to celebrate the end of the day," says Elisa.
The team starts the walk with the same equipment, a group leader, and a specific destination but no predetermined route. Each person does their best to help the group, and they all look out for each other—they know that everyone is important and no task is insignificant. The participants range from 12-year-old kids to people in their 70s. The groups are heterogeneous, and include people from all walks of life—doctors, artists, retirees, teachers, engineers, molecular biologists, and law students.
"The best way to exceed a client's expectations is with the human touch"
The lessons learned on the walks can be applied to other areas of life. "Without a doubt, on the walks and in the bank, we are all one team. It is the human touch that allows us to exceed clients’ expectations," says Elisa. On the journey, every little achievement is celebrated and everyone takes on a different role: there are visionaries, pragmatists, strategists, etc. The leader is the one who guides the talent and charts the path forward.
BBVA Ambassadors: The goal is to reach the destination as a team
Many skills are put to the test on the nature walks, including the ability to overcome obstacles, find solutions, and move forward. "If a creek rises too high, you have to find a place where you can cross it—it’s a step-by-step process—the same as in organizations: it brings together a (very) heterogeneous group of people, each with their talents (many hidden), waiting to be put in the right situation to explore their strengths, take responsibility, map the way forward, and walk together," says Elisa.