Many thanks to @brooking and @rapetzel for a wonderful bootcamp yesterday! Brooking requested feedback on both content and process. I’m going to do a nit picky process debrief later this week to give you all a sense of how I use my debrief template and what I’m seeing when I’m wearing my process hat. But, I wanted to offer some quick feedback here:

  • I liked the session overall — 7/10 for me. For me, 6 is minimum satisfaction, 7 is good. Once you start getting into 8s and above, you’re taking it to another level. For an informal, two-hour session where you’re grappling with a rather complex topic, if you’re hitting a 7, you’re doing pretty well. I’d like you all to be hitting 6s and 7s consistently. If you’re hitting 8s consistently, you can take over bootcamp, and I’ll just participate! 🙂
  • Sometimes, your ability to hit 8 or above has nothing to do with your facilitation abilities. In yesterday’s case, the space we were in was challenging. (I’ve been super appreciative about people’s generosity about providing space — thank you @eugenechan! And, none of our spaces have been optimal for what we’re doing, including space that I’ve paid for. I really need to find a good, ongoing space for us.) That said, the way you guys configured the space showed a lot of skill. Rollaway whiteboard — brilliant, and something I’m going to steal. Post-Its for the synthesis — excellent. Having all of us on the same side of the table — excellent.
  • I really appreciated the level of conversation. You guys picked a hard topic and a hard framing. I didn’t say anything before, but I was skeptical about how deep we would be able to get. However, we were able to develop some shared understanding of “high-performance networks” without getting totally sidetracked by it, and we were able to get into some useful strategic and tactical discussions. Personally, I feel inspired to write a blog post about some of the things we discussed. I particularly liked everyone’s contributions. I think the skill and number of participants really contributed to the success of the bootcamp. I would have been interested to have seen how this would have turned out (and how Brooking and Rebecca would have handled it) if we had two or more additional people.
  • I feel like we hit most of Brooking and Rebecca’s goals. I think we missed on, “Participants gain insights on design thinking techniques,” although I also question the framing of the goal. Is “design thinking” being used here as a catch-all for the kind of tactical techniques you might use in any group process? The two that I can’t answer and that I’m curious about are: Did we hit Brooking’s goal around timeliness (we can have a long conversation about this), and were Brooking and Rebecca surprised by what they learned?
  • From a workout perspective, there were several things I appreciated. First and foremost, the act of designing and facilitating any of these is practice, so I’m very glad that this continues to happen, and I’m looking forward to other bootcampers designing and facilitating future sessions. Second, even though I didn’t like framing the opening question around “high-performance networks” (although I agreed with the decision), the overall framing question was strong in that you started with personal experience as opposed to abstraction. (This is one of the lessons from the person-on-the-street workout.) Third, I liked the pairs exercise, and I especially appreciated Brooking’s framing — “We’re going to be exercising our listening and synthesis muscles.” That felt very much in the spirit of bootcamp. I’m always amazed by how much of a difference moving into pairs can make. It requires skill to make that move with such a small group, but group physics doesn’t lie.
  • From a bootcamp perspective, I would have rather seen less up-front talk about Health eHeart. However, I’m also conscious of @eugenechan‘s feedback (he liked the groundedness of starting with a real project). This was essentially a peer consultation, and from a community of practice perspective, peer consultations are wonderful. I think we could have reached a middle ground, but I’ll reserve that feedback for my comprehensive debrief.

What did others think? I focus a lot on process above, so I’d love to hear what people thought about the content. What did you learn? What muscles do you feel like you exercised?