Updates from November, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Avatar photo

    Brooking 5:22 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink |  

    Hi group.
    A quick reflection to honor my commitment to post this week, and knowing it’s now or never as I’m traveling tonight/tomorrow.
    My reflection is really that I am sitting with this question about the different ways that practice can be practiced. Asking questions about the role of structure in practice, the role of frameworks and guidelines. Thinking about children and what we can learn from them in this regard – give a kid a tool as multipurpose and flexible as play dough, e.g., and they’ll just play. (have you noticed i like play dough!?!?). Give a kid a board game, and they can just play with the board and pieces willy nilly, maybe make up a fun new game, but they may be missing out on the fun of the game the board was designed to facilitate. There’s a place for that creative play and there’s a place for teaching some rules of a game so the group can play in a particular way together.
    So in thinking about what it really is to have an effective community of practice, these sorts of questions come up for me. And I’m truly just sitting with questions, curiosities, and enjoying the possibility of using this group and our future monthly-ish meetings to explore different ways we might come together and “practice”, and the different values of different levels of structure, facilitation/guidance, frameworks & content/knowledge support, etc. Thoughts welcome, and most of all glad we’ve set the clear intention of continuing our momentum together.

    • Avatar photo

      Renee 12:13 am on November 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Brooking – So, Eugene will be shocked : ) but I’m a big fan of having some theory or framework to hang my practice on. This doesn’t have to be from an expert – this is what I really learned in Bootcamp – that we all have an immense amount of expertise, but we need the right process to draw wisdom from the group. But whether it comes from someone who “does this for a living” and has advice to give, or from the wisdom of a group, I like to be reminded of the purpose and the goal of the practice and then have a learning space where I can measure how well I (or the group) is doing on the practice we’re attempting.

    • Avatar photo

      Eugene Eric Kim 3:30 pm on November 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m totally shocked by @renee’s comment. 🙂 Renee, you’ll be happy to know that I led with framework in my redesigned “Designing Meetings” workout. It’s the only one where I did that, although I have some ideas for a few others. I’ll let the other bootcampers describe how they thought it went.

      @brooking, the child’s play metaphor is a fantastic way to think about different ways to structure practice. The only other thing I’d offer now in regards to our previous discussion about continuing momentum is that, at the end of the day, the best principles is forward movement — putting a stake in the ground, trying something, and learning from that.

      Generally, I’d prefer to let you all organize however you see fit without my intervention, but I have some ideas as to how to best support you in all of that, which I’ll offer in a post later today.

  • Avatar photo

    Lauren 1:35 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink |  

    This is a long awaited post for me! Hello fellow bootcampers!

    My name is Lauren Rodriguez and I was part of the Changemaker bootcamp training earlier this year with the fabulous @renee, @natalie and @anna341bc. Over the last couple of weeks,@anna341bc and I have been practicing changemaker bootcamp exercises on our own at the lovely Jazz Café in Downtown Berkeley (sometimes there live music!). We practice on Fridays- a great day for the both of us and meet half way between our homes in El Cerrito and Oakland. We decided to practice together for various reasons. For me, it was that I had reached my yearly professional development training budget at my org, having recently gone through Rockwood’s Art of Leadership.

    My bootcamp project is geared around a research publication project for my organization, having been tasked with conducting the initial research and analysis. And my goals are to practice my critical thinking, synthesis and interview skills. Having this project in mind, practicing with Anna has been a great experience. Anna and I are both women of color and our workouts have been a very safe space for me to open up about parts of my professional growth aspects that I want to work on. Elements of our bootcamp sessions have been tailored to discussing issues that are particularly relevant and challenging for us as we work out such as identifying power/group dynamics in the room. We have also created the space to share stories about some similar struggles and have practiced having difficult conversations throughout our work-outs.

    One of the biggest learning edges during our initial work outs with Anna has been to practice and weighing the pros and cons of having a difficult conversation with my management team at work. Anna and I both bring a racial lens to our work and this has been incredibly empowering for me. I am having this difficult conversation on Friday. Thanks @marie for sharing your difficult conversation since the theme is overlapping and it was helpful to read what works for you to build up that courage!

    A reflection so far is realizing how much more confident in my work I have grown since the last bootcamp round. In the first bootcamp round, I voiced a concern about being the “youngest person is the room”. Working with Anna has really helped me understand the value that I bring to the table and become more confident in my skills as a researcher- and having faith that I AM capable! For me, working together in a pair has a deep value since you get to dig deep earlier.

    I hope to post every week of our work ours from here on out! Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and tools! Reading these have been very beneficial to me!

    • Avatar photo

      Jessica 2:32 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lauren, my name is @jessausinheiler & I’m part of the latest class of bootcampers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the blog — at our last bootcamp (was it just yesterday??!!) we talked about wanting to connect with previous bootcampers, so it was fortuitous to see your post pop up in my mailbox.

      I can certainly identify with being young and being colorful. I too have appreciated being in an environment (bootcamp) where both of those things — but particularly the former — are valued. And I’ve also appreciated speaking openly of power dynamics, as it’s made me more aware of the power that we all have.

      Anyways, post on and keep us posted on Friday’s conversation

    • Avatar photo

      Renee 12:51 am on November 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It is so awesome that you and Anna are practicing together, Lauren! I’m impressed with both of your follow through and its really fun to come back to this space and realize how much it has grown! Congratulations on building that courage. I’m so curious about your experience with Rockwood after our discussions about it. Feel free to ping me offline if you don’t want to post here.

  • Avatar photo

    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.



    • Avatar photo

      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?!

    • Avatar photo

      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!

    • Avatar photo

      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.)

      • Avatar photo

        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!!

    • Avatar photo

      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!

    • Avatar photo

      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?

      • Avatar photo

        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.

  • Avatar photo

    Eugene Eric Kim 7:20 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink |  

    I just posted our first exit interview (thanks @marie!) on the Changemaker Bootcamp blog.

    Exit Interview: Marie Haller

    Looking forward to speaking with the rest of you over the next week. You’ll be able to watch the aggregated set at:

    Exit Interviews

  • Avatar photo

    Eugene Eric Kim 7:42 am on November 6, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: photo   

    Y’all are a powerful looking bunch! 🙂

    Thanks for being such a wonderful group. I’ll post more thoughts on possible followups later this week. Until then!

  • Avatar photo

    Eugene Eric Kim 12:32 am on November 5, 2013 Permalink |  

    Looking forward to our last bootcamp session tomorrow and the last session of 2013! Don’t forget, we’ll be doing tea at Samovar right afterward. Looks like @natalie will be joining us!

    See you all tomorrow afternoon.

    • Avatar photo

      Jessica 7:32 pm on November 5, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Okay team, two things:
      1) Check out this link from BBC today: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20131104-making-meetings-matter… and this is also a hot topic of discussion at my client these days… how to make best practices spread?! Eugene, could we link to your resources on the BBC site?
      2) Had a productive conversation with my colleague Jeremy about our work/professional relationship, workplanning, and sharing information. I felt empowered, partly because our conversation revealed a problem he was dealing with that I could help solve. He was thankful that I named the problem and took interest in addressing it.
      More when we meet! Looking forward!

      • Avatar photo

        Eugene Eric Kim 10:59 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for sharing, @jessausinheiler! Everyone has write access to the Resources document, so feel free to add away! And so glad that your conversation with Jeremy was productive.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc