As I sit here, in the growing dusk listening to a Buddhist Evening Chant, I’m reflecting at the length of time since I last posted. I spent the better part of this year engaging in 2 learning opportunities and I prioritised these over blogging. The time I dedicated to study and praxis were rewarding and I am honoured to say that I’m a Human Systems Dynamics Professional and a Certified Radical Collaboration® Trainer. I’m so excited about both of these – my training and consulting are becoming more strategic, and these are 2 potent disciplines to have. Let me tell you a bit about them.
Nothing is intractable! This is the tagline of Human Systems Dynamics, a simple yet powerful discipline based on complexity science and chaos theory that allows you to see patterns in chaos and complexity to help you better understand your wicked problems and determine your next wise move. The world we move in is increasingly complex and the methods, ways of working and solutions of the last century are no longer relevant, or even enough, to successfully navigate today. This applies in any sphere – education, healthcare, business, peace processes, building networks and coalitions, and much more. Many of my cohort peers were medical professionals now engaged in educating other medical professionals.
Knowing how to build collaborative relationships is an essential skill to have in complex environments when you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it. This is where Radical Collaboration® comes in. I did the 3-day course in January in Ghent, Belgium, and decided that I wanted to teach and coach people to build collaborative skills, and decided the certify as a trainer myself.
Jim Tamm, one of the creators, explains that the key to building collaboration is by reducing defensiveness – this is the fundamental difference of this program. He talks about this in his TEDx Talk and what we can learn from groups of chickens…
So I hope you’ll forgive me for the radio silence. I aim to make up for it – I have loads to tell about Belgium and Thailand. Stay tuned.
Feature pic is of yours truly, during one of the rest periods of the intense Radical Collaboration® trainer certification course.
There’s a good reason for my absence from Wide Eyed In Wonder…I’ve been working with a partner on The Artful Facilitator programme which is launching in Johannesburg on August 15th. I’m so excited about it because it’s rather special – it’s meant to be an immersive experience, rather than just a dry contextless training that people won’t apply back at work.
Have you ever been in a session which has sucked all your energy because it’s been aimless? I know I have. Sessions where people have been on their laptops or checking email on their phones…not paying attention to the proceedings.
Then, of course, there is that one person who dominates the session, their voice louder than the rest. What about those sessions where everyone is in love with the shape of the problem and spend hours talking about it without moving into action before the time allotted to the session is over. When people realise this they decide to have another session to make some decisions…or they rush through actions which haven’t been well thought through.
An artful facilitator can steer sessions to better outcomes, help generate new ideas and grow trust, collaboration and accountability.
agile42’s designer did a beautiful job on the brochure – isn’t it wonderful?
Cheers for now.
We all have tools of the trade. Doctors have stethoscopes, mechanics have spanners and teachers have blackboards. They have, of course many more tools. Perhaps you’re already thinking of your own profession and the tools you use.
Are you a chef? Then some of your tools may be a set of good knives. If you’re a blogger you need a computer. If you’re a photographer you have a camera. Most people, irrespective of employment status have computers, books, phones, and much more.
As a trainer, facilitator and coach I have marker pens. Nice marker pens. Neuland ones to be exact. They have amazing colours, they don’t bleed through the paper and I can refill them. I also have wax crayons. Yes, you heard right. This profession is the only I know where I can take my wax crayons to work. And post it notes. And Lego. And dice. And board games.
It matters not what you do. We all use things to do what we do. We all have our own tools of the trade.
So says Winston Churchill who was himself a superb orator. His wit and turn of phrase make him, in my opinion, one of the great orators of the 20th century. He was a product of his time, a leader the world needed in those difficult years.
As many of you might remember I am a Toastmaster and one of the things I do to pay the bills is train people. Who am I kidding…I love training. I have loved it less and began to love it more when I found my voice.
One of the things I do in the Agile community in South Africa is giving back to it, by helping develop conference speakers. Up until now I’ve helped people with their conference presentations, from the slides to the story to the delivery. I’m branching out this year by starting a couple of steps before speakers get selected for conferences – at the call for papers stage – helping budding speakers craft their proposal.
I go to many conferences, and I vicariously live through many others via live tweeting. The names on the programme lines ups tend to be the same year after year and quite frankly, I’m feeling bored. I want to learn new things from new people.
There are so many wonderful members of this vibrant community that have so much to share, and perhaps they think they are not experts…but I don’t want to learn from experts all the time. I want to learn from people who are in the trenches, day to day.
So I’ve decided to do something about this. On Saturday I’m hosting a workshop to help prospective speakers refine their ideas, and help them with their proposals for the regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2018 which this year is going to be held in Durban. In this way, I hope to play a part in helping to grow the Agile community of speakers and the Agile community in general.
The half-day workshop programme will flow in the following manner:
- 8:00 – 9:00: Refreshments
- 9:00 – 9:15: Connections
- 9:15 – 10:00: Talk: What makes a great conference submission
- 10:00 – 10.30: Go through the proposal submission format
- 10:30 – 10:50: Tea, muffins, coffee, and fruit
- 10:50 – 11:30: Group ideation
- 11:30 – 13:00: Draft proposal preparation, and pitching to the panel
Conference talks of all types need to be interesting and engage the audience. It starts with a tenuous idea and ends with an audience that has seen with their ears. And a satisfied and courageous presenter that has cared enough and taken the time to share her or his knowledge and experience.