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    Natalie 9:15 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink |
    Tags: Meeting places spreadsheet, meeting space,   

    Well, this takes me back to my days at Groupaya. I sent some information to Eugene, who asked me to post it on the water cooler. At Groupaya, it took me . . . oh, maybe 6 – 8 months . . . to get the hang of posting everything on the wiki instead of sending it via private correspondence.

    Anyway, here’s the scoop: Someone has created a spreadsheet of meeting locations, and it might be a good resource. I’ll copy the message and link below.


    Subject: RE: [sfba_members] Bay Area retreat locations

    Hi All
    This seems to be a common thread so I created a google doc with info about meeting spaces around the bay and in SoCal. There are tabs for each sheet listing (Free Locations, SF Locations, Non-SF Bay Area Locations, SocCal).

    A couple important notes:
    1 – It’s a publicly viewable doc AND editable. If you feel so moved and want to add to or revise this spreadsheet feel free to. In fact, please add more useful info that you find out or know about these spaces – pay it forward. πŸ˜‰
    2 – Disclaimer: This is a document is an online open-content collaborative list; that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups working to develop a common resource of human knowledge. This allows anyone with an Internet connection to alter its content. Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information, however, I cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.
    3 – If you have little experience or don’t know how to navigate a google spreadsheets to get to the info, please ask your friend, son, daughter, mom, co-worker, or anyone else that will know how. While I like to be helpful, I don’t have the time to field those questions.
    4 – Don’t email or call me about any info on this sheet either – sorry. IF you have a question about any of these spaces, contact them AND/or maybe use the YNPN community to help you out.

    I hope this works out and becomes a great community resource.

    • Dana 9:26 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      WOW! Thanks Natalie! I have a to do to look up meeting venues in S.F, can’t tell you how much this helped. What awesome timing you have πŸ˜‰

      • Eugene Eric Kim 3:33 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @dana, I have a list as well, which I’d be happy to share. It’s messy, but it’s got some different information than the spreadsheet above. Just let me know. That goes for anyone else as well.

        Would be even cooler if someone were compelled to combine the two lists!

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      Natalie 9:48 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well, there you have it. Eugene was right again.

      • Eugene Eric Kim 2:08 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This should be the unstated fourth ground rule.

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      Natalie 5:49 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oooooo. You’re asking for trouble, Eugene. πŸ™‚

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    Natalie 3:14 pm on October 11, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: Bootcamper emeritus   

    Hey, everyone. Long time no water cooler. I’ve been a little wrapped up in my own world lately, but have also been thinking about whether I’m noticing long-term effects of bootcamp. It’s great to see that a couple of past bootcamp buddies are meeting on their own to continue the work!

    My prevalent thought right now is that you need to be in sane circumstances to even reflect on this stuff. When you’re trying to avoid hot coals, you’re only thinking about the heat. I’m working on moving to saner circumstances, and hope to visit here more often.

    To the new campers: Have fun! It’s a great experience.

    • eugenechan 6:11 pm on October 11, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi Natalie: nice to meet you.

      I hope you can make the time to reflect more as I’d love to follow your thoughts.

      In a similar vein, my project is about finding the sanity fulcrum in my life. I’m beginning with the opposite assumption than what you laid out: life never gets sane so you never get to reflect.

      The only way to reflect is to make time for reflection and that leads to better choices, priorities, self.


      eugene (chan)

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        Natalie 1:44 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Eugene. Nice to meet you as well, and thanks for your observation. I think there’s a difference between standard busy-ness where you have at least some control over your priorities, and a level of insanity where you’re simply putting out fires all day. I’m ready to move out of fire fighter mode!

        But yes; reflection is essential. I’m hopeful that my upcoming meditation camp will shock my system into reflection. And I so hope you’re wrong about life never getting sane . . .

    • Eugene 12:48 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Natalie, so great to hear from you. I think finding micromoments of sanity is a critical changemaker skill. The structure I’ve been playing with to do this is weekly checkins over Skype with a colleague of mine in Montreal, Seb Paquet. As things have gotten busier for me, it’s been harder to keep that appointment, but I have found that it’s been more than worth it.

      Echo-ing the other Eugene’s thoughts on visiting here more often!

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        Natalie 1:50 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey there, Eugene! I love the concept of “micromoments of sanity.” It’s interesting to hear about your hard-to-keep appointment; you must be getting something out of it to keep it on the schedule. I just did the opposite, which was to end a study group I’d hosted for over 19 years. Of course, I’m not a fan of routine, so it’s remarkable that I lasted that long, but clearly I was no longer getting enough out of it to keep it on the schedule.

        Your comment makes me realize, though, why I try to keep Kahlo’s “social hour” at the local dog park . . . it’s my social hour, too, and my place for check-ins with my wonderful neighbors. There’s a micromoment of sanity. πŸ™‚

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    Natalie 4:00 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink |

    Yesterday’s meeting went well, if quite differently than anticipated. I prepared a two-sided handout for people, with “before the presentation” and “after the presentation” items to complete. The “before” side asked for questions about the organization’s mission and strategy (and I told people to come up with three questions even if they thought they didn’t have any questions), and instructed people to briefly list their top three projects and how they assumed it mapped to organizational goals.

    The ED then began his presentation, which was *much* longer than I anticipated and much more engaging as well. People were hungry for information about the theory of change and the five-year strategy, and were good at asking questions throughout the presentation. In fact, this continued for the remainder of the allotted meeting time, though I was given about eight minutes to continue with the “after” questions.

    Rather than rush through more prepared material, I just opened the floor to comments, and asked that people review their initial three questions to see whether they’d been covered. As it turned out, there was plenty of fertile material in their “before” questions, which generated more discussion. As we weren’t being kicked out of the room yet, we asked people to bring up examples of how their work mapped to the theory and strategy. It turned out that several people were working on items that were listed on the chart, but were marked as de-prioritized and to be handled in the future — an eye-opening result.

    The meeting ran over by a substantial amount, and finally ended from desperate bio-needs and fatigue. Everyone I polled afterward, however, said they loved the meeting and what they got out of it. In short, I think the meeting would have been fine without the forced addition of my handout, but the pre-presentation thinking did turn out to provide fodder and keep people looking for the strategic goals that correlated to their work.

    As for me, I would prefer not to do this in such a rush, but it was absolutely golden to get thoughts from everyone in the group, as well as Rebecca, and I was much more relaxed and willing to experiment as a result of the bootcamp. It was also a kick to get to report to the ED that the bootcampers had devoted a portion of the morning to this meeting. Many thanks to all of you!

    • Eugene Eric Kim 5:06 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m glad it went so well, I’m delighted to see how the bootcamper feedback influenced the process, and most of all, I love how skillfully you integrated. In particular:

      You did the question harvest before your ED’s presentation. I wasn’t sure if that was what @rapetzel and others were recommending, or whether they were suggesting you harvest at the beginning of your segment. Either way, you made the right choice. By coming up with their own questions before hearing your ED’s presentation, they became invested in what he had to say.

      You constrained the question harvest and the project-to-goal mapping process, which decreased the pressure to come up with things and made the exercise go more quickly. I also like how you borrowed from our first workout to further ease the pressure while also forcing people to push themselves; +1 for that!

      You made it an individual reflection rather than a group exercise. That’s a signal to me of a skilled designer. A lot of people are afraid of “wasting” group time together by having people do a silent reflection, but as we’ve discussed in bootcamp, giving people time to reflect individually can be super powerful.

      Finally, you adapted the design at the end of the meeting based on the flow.

      You’re right: The meeting would have been fine without the handout, but it was better as a result of it, and that’s what we’re striving for.

      Thank you so much for giving all of us a chance to practice with you, and thank you for sharing your experiences back so we could all learn from the outcome!

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    Natalie 12:59 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink |  

    Does anyone have some ideas to help me out? After bootcamp tomorrow, I’m heading back to the office for a meeting in which the ED will present the Theory of Change to employees and interns, all of whom started after the document was created. After this presentation, I’m supposed to get people engaged in the material with interactive exercises of some sort. Note that they will not be given the opportunity to contribute to the Theory of Change, which is a done deal; they’re just supposed to grasp how their work feeds into it and get enthusiastic about it.

    This will be a meeting of about 12 people in a crowded conference room with a big table in the middle. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

    • Eugene Eric Kim 1:07 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ha! A very interesting request in light of last week’s workout. πŸ™‚ How much time will you have? How long will your ED be speaking? Any chance you can share the Theory of Change with us here?

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        Natalie 3:17 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m a little reluctant to post the document because it’s internal and this is a public space. Sorry for any frustrations around that.

    • rapetzel 1:22 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One way to deal with people not being able to contribute to the theory of change (which I’m biting my tongue on for now) is to invite questions. From the little I know, I’d start off with a question harvest, similar to how Eugene kicked off bootcamp! It helps people get their criticisms — or whatever they might be holding — off their chest in a constructive format and allows you to move into deeper work. Whenever I’m struggling with a design I come back to the question. What are the questions folks might have, what are the questions at the heart of this process? Just put those front and center and people often take care of the rest.

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        Natalie 3:19 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Rebecca! I understand the bitten tongue. Thanks for the idea around the question harvest; that might be a great start to the process. I do miss working with you.

        • rapetzel 7:57 pm on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Me too! I’m travelling quite a bit for wedding season, but when I’m back late July I’m going to make you tell me all about your life and new job over a beer.

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      Natalie 3:41 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yea! Can’t wait.

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    Natalie 8:20 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink |  

    Woo hoo! Success!

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