Updates from March, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Eugene Eric Kim 5:46 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink |  

    I loved yesterday’s bootcamp. I was so happy to see so many of you there, although I missed @anna341bc and @lauren. @marie and @eugenechan, you guys did a great job designing and facilitating, and I liked how you co-facilitated. Would love to see more of that! And @brooking, enjoyed our pair conversations!

    I’ve been sitting on, “I matter,” and the more I think about it, the more I like it as a proxy for thinking about aliveness (with @rapetzel‘s objection noted).

    Finally, to whomever took pictures of the action, thank you! Was glad to have them, and I even snuck in on a few. I’m assuming it was @eugenechan, but don’t want to make any assumptions! There aren’t any whiteboard pictures there, as I didn’t get them all. Eugene, feel free to upload them to the Google Drive folder, and I can supplement if I have better versions.

    Thanks again! I’ll email everyone about April and beyond.

     
    • Eugene Chan 6:27 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks @eekim. It was a treat to get to work with @marie.

      It’s also quite amazing to watch people with high meeting IQs interact in a personal environment. Lots of interplay, some collaborative, some supportive, some dissentive, but all in the spirit of learning. I was fascinated and impressed.

      I thought that checkins would go way longer than it did. I wonder if was because the group wasn’t as familiar with each other that checkins were shorter.

      I did take the pictures as you guessed.

    • Natalie

      Natalie 6:45 pm on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, Eugene & Eugene & Marie. Even when I’m being crotchety, I’m still learning. 🙂

  • marie 6:39 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink |  

    SSIR Article 

    Read this article yesterday and thought I’d share it in case some of you may not have seen it.  It really validates a lot of what Changemaker Bootcamp is all about.  Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

     

    http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/moments_of_impact_how_to_design_strategic_conversations_that_accelerate_cha

     
    • Jessica 11:07 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Marie, too funny. I was just drafting up an email to changemakers about the same book, which was written by a colleague of mine. I will bring it to our next bootcamp. The best part of the book? The helpful toolkit at the end of it!

      Also, @eekim –>Ertel and Solomon landed on a venn diagram of STRATEGY + DESIGN + CONVERSATION… Just reminded me of the some of the concepts you’ve been thinking about related to collaborative learning. They also speak our language re: the importance of PRACTICE for creating successful strategic conversations.

      Jess

    • Eugene Eric Kim 6:40 am on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      +1 for sharing, @marie! Love seeing you active here! 🙂

      @jessausinheiler, were you at the book launch last night? I RSVPed, but ended up having to work, so couldn’t make it.

      I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s obviously very relevant to the notion of generative questions. If it’s good, it’s something we should add to our resources page. Jess, what do you think of the book? Chris and Lisa interviewed my former business partner as a source for their work.

    • Jessica 7:10 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Eugene, I think the book is phenomenal. It highlights convenings as something that exists at the intersection of design, strategy, and conversations. It offers a fluid 5-step process for convening design (define your purpose, engage multiple perspectives, frame the issues, set the scene, make it an experience). It offers tips for each step, AND really useful practical advise for each. And it includes a toolkit at the end of the book. I will definitely use it in my work moving forward.

      As an FYI, I’m organizing a book club discussion on Moments of Impact at work in which several volunteers read a portion of the book and then present the framework, what they found to be useful, and questions they had (and of course in which the whole group discusses how the concepts and messages present in the book compare to current practice, and might be relevant to their work.)

      Given the purpose of our bootcamp, I think it would be a great idea to discuss this book as a group at our next bootcamp. I can volunteer to organize… But let’s discuss tomorrow!

    • marie 5:46 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love the idea of discussing this at one of our Bootcamps, @jessausinheiler! Maybe for May?

      • Eugene Eric Kim 12:45 am on March 13, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You just need to claim it! 🙂

        And let me echo previous sentiments: So fun to see you engage more here, @marie!

  • Eugene Eric Kim 12:56 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink |  

    Excited to hear that @eugenechan and @marie‘s bootcamp has been rescheduled! On that note, I have a number of announcements regarding Changemaker Bootcamp.

    I have decided to delay doing another pilot indefinitely. I will reassess in July and again toward the end of the year. This was a very challenging decision, and it was not made lightly. I have a strong emotional connection to bootcamp in particular, but I am overcommitted right now, and when I did a cold, strategic assessment of all of my projects, Changemaker Bootcamp (in its current form) did not make a cut.

    However, there are many, amazing things that emerged from bootcamp that I will continue to support, and in some cases, I want to step up my engagement.

    First and foremost, I want to continue supporting all of you. I am so grateful for the role you all played in helping Changemaker Bootcamp come into being, and I want to continue supporting that if I can. I am especially thrilled to see the self-organized efforts. Here’s what I’d like to do:

    • I’d like to create a stronger backbone for the self-organized bootcamps. I’d like to propose that we have a self-organized gathering on the first Monday of every month from 4-6pm, alternating locations in SF and Oakland, starting with Monday, April 7 in Oakland.
    • I’d like to propose that we have an open signup for each slot, with me claiming the April slot. It would be first come, first serve, but with a statute of limitation on getting it organized. In other words, if you claimed a spot, but for some reason weren’t able to get it organized by at least two weeks in advance (for example), the spot would be released, and I would claim the spot. This would assure that monthly gatherings happened, and it would reduce the burden on everybody for holding this together. It’s not a bad thing if I get to organize one of these every once in a while, and if all of you are so motivated that I never got a spot, that’s cool too!
    • I’d like to use these gatherings as a basis for inviting a larger community of practice to participate. We should talk more about what this might look like, but I would aim for slow, strategic, organic growth. This will also mean opening up the water cooler to more people. More on this below.

    None of this would preclude self-organizing beyond these monthly gatherings. I’m trying to find ways to support what’s been emerging without taking control. I hope this proposal strikes that balance, and I’m anxious to hear what you all think.

    Second, I still plan on publishing both the concept papers I originally planned for my next pilot as well as workouts from previous bootcamps. Sharing actionable knowledge and building community around it is one of my strategic priorities for 2014, and so this needs to continue.

    In particular, I feel like we’ve gotten away a bit from the original notion of a workout. That’s totally okay. The fact that you all have been organizing and designing these sessions is a form of practice, and I love that it’s happening. The monthly format is also less conducive to the workout format. But I want to make sure I continue to evangelize and support the notion of a regular workout, and this is one way to do that.

    Third, I plan on rebranding the water cooler as Faster Than 20 as part of my hope to broaden participation. I have several ideas for what this might look like, but I’m interested in hearing what you all would like to see as well. Whatever happens, it will be intentional and strategic, and I’d like it if all of you were partners in that process.

    Finally, I think it’s important to note that Changemaker Bootcamp (in its current form) spawned a number of things. It’s indirectly responsible for the work I’m currently doing with the Garfield Foundation, and I’m replicating many elements of it in that work. It’s also strongly influenced many of my other projects as well. But the biggest impact it had on me was reminding me why I love this work. I loved working directly with all of you, who inspired me, taught me, and motivated me. I am so appreciative of this, and I hope I can continue to find ways to support all of you.

    Let me know what you think!

     
    • Eugene Chan 2:22 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the update, @eekim. It’s good to be able to say “No” or “not yet” to things so kudos to you. Glad to hear all the good things happening.

      I like the idea of the monthly schedule

      I like the alternating of SF and Oakland

      I’m not sure about the two weeks or I’ll organize it dictum. It doesn’t seem like this is self-organized. Maybe a better way to set it up is to post a sequence or series of exercises and if an exercise hasn’t been determined within the time frame, the group does one of the posted exercises.

      I am conflicted about the opening up to a broader participation. I think I understand the motivation–especially if you don’t hold the regular bootcamps this year. However, the current bootcampers have a group history and shared understanding. Maybe you can do an A/B test to see how well it works to have new people in an exercise?

      Mostly, I’m confused by “gotten away a bit from the original notion of a workout”. I have a sense of what makes a good workout, but it would be good to have guidelines or at least a pattern from you to map against. I also don’t know if you are referring to the exercise during a session, or the structure and sequence of the bootcamps. Unclear.

      Lastly, you say that it is “okay”, but my guess is that it is not. Otherwise, you would not be proposing these changes. I’d like to know if you want truly self-organized bootcamps or if you want EEK produced, but not EEK directed workshops. That would help me know what makes sense or not to bring to the table.

      Either way works for me, but having the clarity is important.

      • Eugene Eric Kim 2:39 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your quick feedback, @eugenechan! I’m going to respond to different points as separate comments, so that they can have their own threads. This one’s about the proposed statute of limitation.

        Self-organized does not mean leaderless. This is the point of my “networks and power” blog post I shared a while back. What I think when I hear “self-organized” flexible structures that encourage shared leadership.

        I demonstrated leadership by creating an initial space and inviting others to participate. You all have demonstrated leadership by continuing to staking claim to dates, organizing your own workouts, and inviting people to participate.

        We’ve all been leaving room and respecting each other’s leadership by letting people step up when they’re wanting to step up. It’s a dance, and so far, I’ve been impressed by how well we’ve been dancing. However, we’ve also stepped on each other’s toes on occasion — confusion over who was organizing the January bootcamp, for example, and then nailing a date for the February (now March) bootcamp. So how can we add lightweight structures to address those challenges while not getting in the way of people stepping up?

        That’s what I’m trying to do in my proposal. By proposing a standard date and location (both of which emerged from this group), I’m trying to address the scheduling challenge. This does not preclude any of us from scheduling different workouts.

        By proposing the statute of limitation, I’m also trying to address another challenge, which is that sometimes — even with the best of intentions — we can’t follow through with our original commitments. How do you respect this reality, but also leave room for others to step up?

        I’m offering to be the backup plan, as I thought it was a role that I could play more easily than anyone else. I’m not trying to make some kind of dictum, and I’m definitely open to other potential solutions.

        Does that help, Eugene? If it still doesn’t feel right, can you say more about what feels wrong about it?

        • Eugene Chan 3:34 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yes, I very much like the lightweight structures that aid in the execution of a bootcamp. I didn’t mean to suggest that self-organized is leaderless. But I do think that self-organized relies on emergent leadership–if you are in a backup role, I don’t see that as emergent, I see it as, well, a bootcamp. 🙂

          • Natalie

            Natalie 6:35 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Interesting. I see the backup plan as respecting emergent leadership while acknowledging the reality that the drop-outs will happen, and preventing the entire structure from potentially flaming (or — more likely — smoldering) out.

      • Eugene Eric Kim 2:43 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Regarding opening up to broader participation, I get that that feels dangerous, but I’ve also heard from many of you that part of the reason you wanted to get involved with bootcamp in the first place was to get more familiar with my network and to be part of a community of practice. I’m wanting to explore exactly that.

        I have some ideas for how to do it, but I’m totally open. An easy way to handle the face-to-face bootcamps would simply be to give conveners license to invite anyone they want, similar to how @brooking invited @rapetzel. We could try that for a while to see how that goes.

        The water cooler is a bit more challenging for a variety of reasons. It helps, though, that it’s already a publicly readable space. I’d love to hear what concerns people have, but also what people might be excited about, and then brainstorm together how we might invite more people in.

        • Eugene Chan 3:41 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          My concern wasn’t that it was dangerous. My concern is that we might lose clarity and cohesion.

          I’m not particularly bothered by it, but to keep with your bootcamp comparison-when I trained for the marathon, there were varying pace groups that went on the run. If you were new to marathon running, you don’t just join the 8:00/mile pace group or if you did the pace leader made sure that your capacity matched the rest of the group.

          Inviting @rapetzel isn’t a good example–as she already owns an honorary bootcamp shirt. She is already inculcated into the bootcamp ethos.

          _(Edit: incomplete sentences in first version. Dang.)_

          • Eugene Eric Kim 3:17 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            It’s a fine point, and frankly, I’m not sure that everyone who’s participated in bootcamp so far should be in the same pace group. This is an ongoing exploration for me.

            But let’s assume that they do. How would you make sure that additional people we invite matched the pace of the rest of the group?

          • marie 11:18 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I definitely understand the concern about losing cohesion as some of the topics are somewhat sensitive and challenging to work through in a group that might not have as much built up trust. However, as someone who is fairly new to this work, I really appreciate having a variety of levels of experience in the room. It has felt that each person is still able to take away a new learning regardless, but maybe that is my perspective as a beginner?

      • Eugene Eric Kim 2:53 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Regarding getting away from my original notion of a workout, the original idea was to repeat exercises that would help us develop individual skills, similar to working out in a gym. Anytime you come into a space with the intention of practicing being and working effectively with others, you’re doing some of that. But that feels more like a scrimmage to me than a workout. The three self-organized workouts have felt more like scrimmages to me.

        I said it’s okay, because it is okay! Scrimmages are great! Moreover, the people designing the sessions are getting to practice things that we haven’t been able to practice well in my workouts — namely designing and facilitating real meetings — so I’m very excited about that. The self-organized workouts have also been much more content-oriented. People seem to be getting value from that, and that makes me happy too.

        I see no reason for people to stop doing what they’re doing. However, as part of the group — and I hope y’all consider me part of the group! — I’d still like to give people the opportunity to practice the more repetitive exercises I described above. Again, I don’t think the monthly workouts are as conducive to this, and if I’m only leading one every once in a while, it might not be very practical, but that would be my intention for sessions that I organize. Perhaps no one will want to show up to those!

        I would really love it if everybody incorporated at least one of the kinds of workouts I’m describing in their self-organized workouts — the two minute drill is an easy and quick one, for example — but I certainly wouldn’t try to impose it on anyone.

        Does that make sense?

        I want to be clear — and I hope I’ve been consistent in expressing and modeling this — I’m not trying to “take over” what’s been happening. What’s been emerging is already different from what I would have done… and I love it! Like I said, I just want to support it, but also help shape it. I definitely want to hear what other people think, and I am happy to retract proposals if folks don’t think they make sense.

        • Eugene Chan 3:48 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Of course you are part of the group! I literally cannot imagine a bootcamp without you. You have given wings to this concept and it is cool thing to be part of.

          However, you have to define and determine for yourself what it means for you to be a participant in the group rather than a leader, or THE leader. That is the point where things get muddled for me.

          I don’t see this as “taking over’–I see it as “not letting go enough” Get the difference?

          I’m happy to see how bootcamps, both self organized and EEK-organized, evolve. I’m glad to be part of the network.

          I’ve said a lot so I’ll let others chime in.

          _(Edit: forgot an “out” in the second sentence.)_

          • Natalie

            Natalie 6:46 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yup — EEK is definitely part of the group, but I don’t really see him as not letting go enough. That said, I have little desire at this point to step up and get involved in planning and facilitating, so any involvement on his part supports my mouse-in-the-corner position. If I know EEK, though, he’s not about to stand in the way of anyone who wants to actively participate, and that’s why I’m not worried about the “letting go” part.

        • Dana 11:00 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’ve already expressed I thought the original bootcamp was too short so learning more workouts from Eugene would be great. And I think I need a refresher – what’s the two minute drill?

          I don’t mind people sharing content based things as long as I’m learning 😉 but I am really interested in the workouts we could do to develop individual skills.

    • Dana 11:04 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I like the idea of having it once a month, I like the idea of it having a stronger backbone- with EEK taking slots that aren’t filled (if it’s not too much of a burden), and I like the idea of broader participation – if there’s a shared understanding of what we are trying to accomplish/do.

    • Brooking

      Brooking 1:21 am on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I feel great all about all of what EEK proposed in his original post here, including the 2 week clause (thoug maybe 1 week feels better to others/addresses some concerns?) & also happy to open it up as a practice group, & have marked my calendar for many months to come to save the date! I’m a member of Hub Oakland and we can use space there sometimes for Oakland events (not free though…)

  • Jessica 7:20 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink |  

    Bootcampers,

    I spent a lot of time reflecting on a workshop I recently helped design / facilitate, and figured since I already spent so much time thinking about it I might as well share what I learned with the group… If you have any thoughts on any of these I’d love to hear them…

    1. At some point I considered having a goals conversation with the client using Eugene’s fail-meet-wildly exceed expectations framework. However, I received substantial push back from my colleagues and others whose opinion I sought. Their point was that framing things in the negative could lead to negative feelings, and results. One person suggested asking the following questions: What does success look like? What would have to be in place for us to succeed? What obstacles would we need to overcome? Because I haven’t ever had a conversation with a client about what failure would look like, I don’t actually know whether it works better than the success / obstacles conversation. I would love to hear people’s experiences having a what-failure-would-look-like conversation with a client.

    2. All design conversations were done over the phone with individuals I’d never met in person. As a result, it was difficult for me to read their genuine reactions to the workshop design. (This is, by the way, part of my personal learning curve.) In the future — and given my personal communication style — I think I’ll ask for video conference conversations, especially early in the project. @eekim, my experience has given me a different perspective on the in-person/online distinction we’ve talked about; would love to continue that thread with you at some point.

    4. Finally, we did a really good job pivoting the workshop after an exercise didn’t get as much traction as we had hoped. I’m very proud of us for our willingness to shift, but next time I design a somewhat experimental workshop like this one I’d like to think of a Plan B ahead of time. I wonder if anyone’s done this before, and how they want about doing this?

    *****
    As an aside, I’m really anxious to hear from @marie and @eugenechan about place+time for our next Bootcamp!

    Hopefully see you all soon, and take care.
    Jess

     
    • Brooking

      Brooking 8:06 pm on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      How interesting! Thanks for taking the time to share all this Jess. I think the failure push back is super interesting. I can imagine that being a norm in many business consulting circles…but I have found so far using this framework (just got off a call where we used it for a meeting design actually), that it really helps clarify what the group does not want, and my sense is it actually creates a sort of stake in the ground benchmark of “this is not good enough, we must aim for better than this and watch out for this particular pitfall”. E.g. we were doing a large group meeting design goal setting session, and one person typed in (we use shared display via google docs while we do it) “poor turn out” as a fail. It spurred a really important conversation about what good turn out was, what # of participants we were aiming for and why, and what the space constraints we were dealing with were. I’m not sure any of that would have gotten surfaced so quickly had we not had the failure column in the goals list, because “good turn out” seems more obvious & less scary… in acknowledging what a fail would be, it can help deepen conversation & asking important questions to be sure to avoid that outcome in a different way than I’ve seen around success metrics. I have not yet seen it create the outcomes your team was nervous about. And we’re really creating 3 sets of success markers and 1 fail markers with EEK’s system so from a positive psychology sort of angle I don’t see that being a problem – still plenty of focus on success. Curious what others think / have found about this one?

      Re: #2: I agree getting even a glimpse of face time helps so much in being able to read people’s reactions on phone calls, and a video hangout intro call can be a decent substitute for that. Using shared display when you’re on calls can also help get a good pulse. E.g. if someone’s quiet but typing ideas into the goals list or chat box you know they’re engaged & can get a sense of their thinking.

      Re #3: If you have time, back up /contingency thinking can be great both to make more effective meetings, to ease your mind re: being prepared, and also just good practice — sharpening more tools in the tool box so to speak. I think as we get older/more seasoned we’d have to do this in a formal way less, but as younger practitioners it makes sense if time allows to over train & contingency plan if nothing else as great practice in creative process design & brushing up on more tools/ approaches as part of meeting prep. I do this a lot with workshops & meeting prep – one thing I’ll do is make a detailed plan and then at the end have a list of other exercises I might want to throw in there if things get off course – just having that list handy & whatever notes I need to help me facilitate those other activities well makes it easier to switch gears during the event when needed. Sometimes there’s a clearer fork in the road – e.g. we’ll start with activity A and that will lead us either in this direction or that direction, and then have two pathways planned out depending on where the 1st activity lands the group.
      Reminds me of how on sports teams we would practice all sorts of different plays, even though we had our go to standards during games, because then you can change it up when needed and still be able to execute well. That’s the craft of what we do I think, and the more prep time we can put in the better at it we can become, even if we don’t need to use all the prep, it’s still great practice.

      Also excited to hear about @marie & @eugenechan‘s plans!!

    • Eugene Eric Kim 4:37 am on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @jessausinheiler, so appreciative that you’ve been practicing, and even more appreciative that you are sharing your experiences and questions here! @brooking, appreciative of you stepping in and sharing your own wisdom, most of which I agree with. Some quick additional thoughts:

      1. I think the confusion might be because of the way my toolkit is structured, with the Failure column coming first. When I’m walking people through this exercise, I always start with success. (I do the same when I’m debriefing.) Many of my templates currently share this flaw, where it’s not obvious which field to complete first. It’s something I need to fix.

      2. I’d encourage you to test your assumptions! We have a lot of assumptions about video and visual cues in particular, and many of them turn out not to be true. There’s a better way to get the feedback you seek: checkouts.

      3. Contingency planning is a huge part of my design process, and it’s one of the main reasons it takes so long. I don’t believe that you can get away with doing less of it as you get older / more seasoned. Experience does not eliminate the value of preparation. I love the sports metaphor. Here’s an old blog post where I made a similar point:

      http://groupaya.net/blog/2012/01/practicing-for-the-emergent/

  • Jessica 7:03 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink |  

    @eekim I’m looking for the language you used for the “1000 questions” exercise… any idea where I could find a description of it?

    Also, I’m facilitating this exercise PRIOR TO a 60-min prototyping exercise and following a 60-min creative brainstorm, and was wondering if you or other bootcampers had any suggestions re: how to wrap it up… In other words, participants are brainstorming ideas, then they choose a concept to develop, then they ask questions about it, and then they start prototyping… but I’m wondering how the transition from QUESTIONS to PROTOTYPING might work.

     
    • Eugene Eric Kim 7:32 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      100 questions — 1,000 would be insane! 😉

      Here’s a link to my workout card: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ahcjXZqLjAg1GxXg5nxSGg_aY14VP3cx3z7tyNEjdHY/edit?usp=sharing

      I’m hoping to finish a draft of a set of these by the end of this month for broader distribution. Feedback appreciated!

      I would start with the questions, then go into the brainstorm.

      • Brooking

        Brooking 11:48 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        haha I used this today myself, how funny! We’re somehow on the same thread Jess – I literally just sent out an email to someone with the exercise!

        • Jessica 8:44 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          🙂 It turned out to be a thought-provoking exercise (I knew that it would), but it was hard for the group to transition from it to the next exercise in the workshop (actually refining the project/idea)… Would love to hear how you ended it and moved on to the next thing on your agenda… Online or at our next bootcamp:-)

  • Eugene Eric Kim 4:22 pm on December 13, 2013 Permalink |  

    Many thanks again to @jessausinheiler for organizing and facilitating a bootcamp this past Tuesday! So great to see everyone there! @brooking, sorry you couldn’t make it, and hoping you’re feeling better!

    Some quick thoughts on the session:

    • I loved being a participant! 🙂
    • I think Jess’s choice to do an hour-long checkin exercise up-front was a good one. It’s been over a month since we’ve all seen each other, and it was a great way to check in on our respective projects. It also shows the value of doing these things regularly. An hour-long checkin doesn’t leave much time for workouts, and I’ve found that my more involved workouts tend to require at least 90 minutes. Regular meetings mean shorter checkins.
    • I liked the messaging exercise. Jess chose to do it in a more classic explain-the-framework-first approach, which worked fine. I happen to like that framework a lot. And, I’d love to challenge any of you to redesign the exercise more bootcamp-style: practice first, then framework (if at all).

    Finally, this was another great reminder for me about the value of practice. I’ve been doing variations of these same exercises for my projects, but repeating them — especially with a community of peers — provided new value and helped me move forward in concrete ways. So thank you again!

     
    • Eugene Chan 4:28 pm on December 13, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Agreed on all points!

      And an open invitation to all Bootcampers (any cohort): we are looking at January 14th 3 to 5 as the next date/time for our community of practice. Location to be determined, but you are invited to join.

      @eekim: if there are bootcamp exercise patterns, it would be good to see them listed somewhere on the site.

      • Eugene Eric Kim 4:32 pm on December 13, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for posting about January 14! I am definitely planning on documenting patterns. And, I would be delighted if all of you shared patterns you’ve observed as well. 🙂

    • Brooking

      Brooking 2:20 am on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey all sorry I missed it, I am still recovering a bit it’s been an epic lil sickness… was really bummed to miss the chance to re-convene. I’ve got Jan 14th on my calendar! -Brooking

      • Eugene Eric Kim 2:44 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No worries, @brooking. Ugh — sorry to hear you’re still sick. Glad you’ll be able to join on January 14, especially since I think you’ll be running the workout. 😉

  • Eugene Eric Kim 5:47 pm on November 23, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags:   

    Here’s a related, but divergent followup to the world’s largest comment I left in response to @brooking‘s questions. While I was pulling up links to some of my stories, I found some other posts that strongly color how I think about online tools and their role in collaboration.

    Here’s one on differentiating engagement from artifact. Here’s one on stigmergy (i.e. leaving trails).

    Here’s a 12-minute slidecast I put together three years ago that pulls together these different topics:

    As always, feedback encouraged!

     
    • Jessica 8:17 pm on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A quick point about engaging busy people in response to @brooking and @eekim, via an anectode: I was at the airport and felt compelled to answer your conversation thread. I tried for 10 minutes to log in via iPhone, but finally got frustrated and gave up. It may be obvious, but it’s so much easier when friends ping you in a way that’s easy to respond. Technology is getting there, but there are still plenty of barriers.

      Eugene, how do sites like https://mural.ly/ change your perception of online vs. in-person engagements? I’m thinking about taking a systems class at Worscester Polytechnic Institute, and was told that the school has “quite a vibrant online community”… I’ll report back on what I learn re: best practices for getting people to actually and meaningfully engage online.

      Jess

      • Eugene Eric Kim 11:15 pm on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s not obvious, @jessausinheiler. An amazing number of people do not pay attention to things like login usability — including online retailers, whose businesses depend on these sorts of things.

        I did a collective visioning project last year with several Alameda-based arts organizations, and we wanted to use a blog for participants to share their thoughts online. We picked Tumblr for a variety of reasons, and then we sat some participants down in front of it and asked them to log in and post something. It was brutal. No one could figure out how to log in without our help.

        These were not stupid people. They were just normal. Online tools require a mental model that does not map to what most normal people understand. The notion of online identity is particularly broken.

        When these things crop up, you don’t just give up, but you do have to get real about expectations. This is where a lot of people get tripped up. They don’t adjust.

        When I started working on the Delta Dialogues (@dana‘s bootcamp project), @rapetzel and I mapped out a strategy for how we might integrate online tools. We ended up doing two things: We had a project blog that was public, and we implemented a buddy system for people to interact with each other however they chose — phone, face-to-face, etc. — between meetings. We shared artifacts from the meeting as printable PowerPoints (although we also published them online for transparency purposes). We did not try to implement some kind of online tool system so that people could interact between meetings, although I had originally thought we might go in that direction in Phase 2. I didn’t think our participants would be ready for it, and we had too many other priorities.

        As it turned out, our participants were even less ready than I thought they would be. Several of our participants (mostly government officials) had their secretaries print out their emails so they could read them, which made sending links completely useless. One of the participants shared his email account with his wife.

        So our strategy ended up being a good one, but it was not easy. For whatever reason, I find that people still have a lot of trouble getting why we approached things this way and how they might proceed moving forward. This is a common problem, not just with the Delta Dialogues, but with just about every project I’ve been involved with. It’s why I find the physical thought experiment so useful. If you imagine a special room where people could interact, but only if they figured out a puzzle lock that on average on 10 percent of participants even had the patience to try, what kind of engagement should you realistically expect, and how might you modify your design as a result?

        Given all this, Jess, how do tools like mural.ly change your perception of online vs face-to-face engagement? 🙂

    • Jessica 6:13 am on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It really depends on the length of the engagement and my goals.

      So, an unlikely but extreme example, if the group was a global group of people who’s only chance of accomplishing their goals, given the budget, was to communicate virtually, I’d probably make a really big investment to teach them how to use the tool. For example, at the kickoff meeting I might organize a simulation exercise where people have to post / respond / comment on the site in real time, in pairs or triads, so they learn how to use the site together and from each other’s mistakes–and so they get a sense of how valuable of a tool it can be. Between bi-annual meetings, on a predictable/regular basis, I might post questions on the site (or have people take turns posting questions) that participants have 24-48 hours to respond to, to keep the momentum going. (In Murally this might mean posting an idea that others can build and comment on.)

      Is fun, instructive, collaborative up-front investment… and then time-bound, regular, predictable, valuable virtual engagement periods… really enough though?

      I pun it to other changemakers.

  • marie 11:26 pm on November 14, 2013 Permalink |  

    Replies and future workouts 

    First of all – HELLO EVERYONE! Love that bootcampers new and old are hopping on here and keeping active.

    I keep trying to reply to threads below and it won’t let me, so I’m starting a new post. In response to @eekim, @eugenechan, @rapetzel, and @brooking

    BATNA = Best Alternative to Negotiation (Agreement?) – basically your own personal line in the sand. I’ve had that in my head for a while but don’t think I’ll need to follow through as there’s definitely movement from management now as we get close to the end of 2013. I’ll let you all know if/when all is official!

    I love the idea of doing a narrowing workout – maybe this will be my topic when I facilitate one of our follow up sessions! Would love to explore the idea with all of you. [And I’ll probably hit you up for some help with design @eekim :)]

    Finally (for now 🙂 )I am definitely committed to trialing a 5 week follow up bootcamp where we all get together and take turns planning workouts with support from each other as needed. I love the idea of jam sessions too, but am unsure what that would look like – and maybe that’s the point? No matter what, I look forward to working with you all on a more continuous basis to practice and learn from each other.

     
    • Eugene Eric Kim 1:03 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the update, Marie! You’re rapidly becoming our most active poster. 😉

      Sorry about the issue with commenting. I think I fixed it, but you should test it to make sure it works.

      Always available to help designing workouts and supporting all of you in your changemaker goals.

  • Eugene Eric Kim 12:55 am on November 9, 2013 Permalink |  

    It was a fun little group dynamics exercise for me to watch you all talk about the possibility of continuing to meet, actually picking a date, and then exploring what you might want to do together on that date. Rather than simply enjoy the exercise in silence, I thought I’d also try to contribute something useful. 🙂

    First, my meta-observations: @jessausinheiler showed a lot of leadership in not only proposing a date, but also by making an offer. To me, that was classic do-acracy. @brooking showed a lot of leadership in committing to the date, then advocating for her interests. When there was conflict around what to do on the 10th, Brooking then showed skill by noting that there wasn’t shared clarity around what all of the individual goals were for continuing to meet.

    There’s a spectrum of ways to get that clarity. On the one hand, you can have a discussion, get all of your interests on a table, then try to come to consensus on a meeting goal and design for the 10th. On the other hand, you can let the person who organizes decide. If people aren’t interested in following, they won’t come.

    I would lean towards the “let the organizer decide” part of the spectrum. And, I’d like to step out of the observer role to make a suggestion and an offer.

    I would like to see two things happening at scale. First, I’d like to see people doing workouts on their own. Second, I’d like to see people doing “jam sessions” on their own. By jam sessions, I mean coming together and practicing by playing. That could mean making up the workout on the fly, or it could mean having one person pick the progression they want to try playing.

    One of the things on my list to do is to create “workout cards,” so that people can easily download and do these workouts on their own. I’ve started doing some of this to support @anna341bc and @lauren, but I want to push them all out sooner rather than later.

    I’d encourage you all to commit to meeting for five weeks, not just one. Since Jess organized the first session, I’d let her decide what she wants to do. She may choose to solicit input, or she may choose to do her own thing. Since Brooking has shown strong interest in a specific experiment, I’d let her have the second session.

    The rest of you can pick the remaining days. If you’d like to use one of my workouts, let me know, and I’ll prioritize pushing out the appropriate workout card.

    Finally, my offer to all of you is: 1. to come to all five sessions as a participant rather than a facilitator; and 2. to offer support and feedback for anyone who’d like help designing a session.

    How does that sound?

     
    • Jessica 4:35 pm on November 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Eugene, I think my reply to your comment here got lost in the shuffle…

      …maybe I can solicit your and @marie and @eekim ‘s help in turning @marie ‘s “narrowing” challenge into our next bootcamp exercise (yes team … I’m “it”):

      1. Using a deck of “calling cards” by Richard Leider. The deck of cards showcase various “callings” (e.g., thinking critically, connecting to others, writing) and requires you to quickly identify what your core interests are. Would it be interesting to go through an exercise of narrowing down a set of skills to think about what you might be passionate and/or good at? (I have a sense that @brooking might have done this before)

      2. As part of a community of practice of which I was a part, we had Holly Minch present a “persuation framework” (see this link: http://networksguide.wikispaces.com/4-6+Creating+shared+language+and+talking+about+networks+and+network+impact) that helps you think about crafting highly targeted/relevant messages.

      Does anyone have a particularly negative reaction to either of these two?
      @impact hub? @eekim and @marie, you interested in helping a changemaker create a workout around either one of these?

      • Eugene Eric Kim 1:05 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Responded here.

      • Brooking

        Brooking 11:22 pm on November 24, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Belated reply but Jess I am totally down and excited to do this calling card thing in our 1st session!

  • marie 10:12 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink |  

    Difficult Conversation Follow Up 

    Well, I had the conversation with Chad this morning.  I picked my power outfit (I’ll spare you the fashion details, but it’s one of my favorite dresses), and I felt like even more of a badass in it after biking to work – never thought I’d be biking anywhere in anything other than some sort of spandex gym clothes or jeans I don’t care about.

    The conversation started to go down a similar path as in the past, which is to say, avoidance of the giant elephant in the room that I’m doing a completely different job than I was hired for with no acknowledgement in any way.  So, I called it out.

    2 things that stood out for me that were different than before:

    *First, I was better able to express my frustration in a positive way – that I want to be able to add the highest amount of value to this company by prioritizing the right tasks and having the time to do them well.

    *This seemed to allow him to open up to me and be more transparent than he had been before by acknowledging that he was (and has been) struggling to convince the upper management of the value of building community internally versus the value of staffing a more robust marketing/business development team.

    I remembered your comment from yesterday @Jess about being able to see the situation from the other person’s viewpoint and I really clearly saw/felt that today.

    I didn’t reach my epic goal (new title, new salary stated/signed off on in the meeting), but I pushed for a concrete follow up plan.  He is meeting with the Finance Director tomorrow and promised to follow up with me directly afterwards.  At a minimum, he assured me we are posting to hire for the part-time person by Friday of this week.  Once hired, I will be directly managing this person, which is exciting for me!

    My new challenge/assignment:  narrowing down the top 3 priorities/projects I’d like to focus on moving forward so that we can better redefine my role.  Caveat – my priorities/projects should take into consideration revenue earning potential as a way to sell it to the management team – game on!

    Overall, I walked away from the conversation feeling a lot better than I have in the past, and regardless of what happens moving forward I’ve got my BATNA – thanks for the acronym Eugene Chan 🙂  So grateful for all of the feedback/support Bootcamp team – more to come!  Looking forward to hopefully seeing you all and working with you all again in the near future.

     

     

     
    • Eugene Eric Kim 10:56 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing, @marie! So glad to hear your meeting went well. In particular, I loved that you:

      1. Put on your superhero costume. We want pictures.
      2. Rode to work in your supervehicle.
      3. Made the move to break past patterns.
      4. Reframed your frustration in a positive way.
      5. Got good outcomes as a result. The specifics around the part-time person is a big win, as well as concrete agreement to followup. You’re usually not going to hit your epic goals — that’s why they’re epic — but all of these seem like great results.

      What does “BATNA” stand for?!

    • Eugene Chan 3:17 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @marie: thank you for the report. you went into the difficult conversation on your own terms. this is inspirational!

    • Eugene Chan 3:30 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      BTW, narrowing the projects/priorities seems like a perfect candidate for a bootcamper exercies – either solo or in conjunction with others. (I am happy to offer feedback or be an active listener.)

      • Rebecca 10:38 pm on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agreed! Narrowing would be a great bootcamper exercise! And something I’d love to practice. Count me in! & Marie, if I can be of service at all from a long term member in helping you play with that narrowing, don’t hesitate to reach out!!

    • Brooking

      Brooking 5:17 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Awesome! Thanks so much for the update and glad it went well with clear follow up in place. This part:
      “my priorities/projects should take into consideration revenue earning potential as a way to sell it to the management team – game on!” seems like great learning – in smaller organizations where justifying entirely internal roles can be difficult, it seems smart to link the work you love with work that aligns with profit/biz dev goals. Look forward to hearing more please do keep us posted!

    • Jessica 4:44 am on November 15, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Marie, thanks for the report! I was totally empathetic throughout the whole description, having had my own set of tough conversations recently… (and apologies for the delayed reply… I was paying attention to exit interviews and must have missed this email)

      Re: narrowing, and this may be a bit tangential, but two things come to mind… and maybe I can solicit your and @eekim ‘s help in turning this into our next bootcamp exercise (yes team … I’m “it”):

      1. There’s a neat exercise that involve narrowing down a deck of “Purpose” cards (e.g., thinking critically, connecting to others, writing) to identify what your core interests are. Would it be interesting to go through an exercise of narrowing down a set of skills to think about what you might be passionate and/or good at? (I have a sense that @brooking might have done this before)

      2. As part of a community of practice of which I was a part, we had Holly Minch present a “persuation framework” (see this link: http://networksguide.wikispaces.com/4-6+Creating+shared+language+and+talking+about+networks+and+network+impact) that helps you think about crafting highly targeted/relevant messages.

      Does anyone have a particularly negative reaction to either of these two?
      @impact hub? @eekim and @marie, you interested in helping a changemaker create a workout around either one of these?

      • Eugene Eric Kim 1:04 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think both are interesting, and I’d be happy to help.

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