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 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. πŸ™‚

  • 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 β€” 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 β€” even with the best of intentions β€” 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. πŸ™‚

          • 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 β€” namely designing and facilitating real meetings β€” 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 β€” and I hope y’all consider me part of the group! β€” 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 β€” the two minute drill is an easy and quick one, for example β€” but I certainly wouldn’t try to impose it on anyone.

        Does that make sense?

        I want to be clear β€” and I hope I’ve been consistent in expressing and modeling this β€” 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 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 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…)

  • Eugene Eric Kim 9:16 pm on February 13, 2014 Permalink |  

    I wrote about our very own @renee on my blog today! She was one of the instigators of a collaborative visioning process among a bunch of civic engagement funders facilitated by @rapetzel. I got some good video of both Renee and Rebecca, along with their colleague Mary Tobin. Enjoy!

    Civic Engagement Funders Aligning for Impact

  • Brooking 1:48 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink |  

    Hi everyone, here’s the photos from our meeting if anyone wants to remember fondly the adventures in network post it noting from two days ago πŸ™‚ (testing this upload style here…)

    One main take-home thought for me came from the post-its reminding me to not underestimate the power of FUN in successful networks – the qualities of aliveness, connection, shared values & identity trumping a lot of more tactical things in what makes a network feel successful….. On the “fail” side learnings, it seems you have to first be able to trump barriers to engagement such as lack of time, trust challenges (both re: transparency, relationship building, & excessive control) to get people IN & engaged in your network…and then by the powers of fun, shared vision & realizable benefit you’ve got a chance. I can see how you design for shared understanding/vision & clear benefit of participation, but how do you design for FUN – especially in a digital space? Any follow up practical thoughts/recommendations on that piece are welcome!

    Thanks again for all the good thinking & exploring. What a resource we are co-creating in these ongoing bootcamps… thanks again Eugene for your vision πŸ™‚

    photo 2

    photo 5

    photo 4

    photo 3

    photo 1

    • Eugene Eric Kim 2:23 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for turning this around so quickly, @brooking! I love these takeaways, and I especially love how the whole group converged on fun. This reminded me of a brown bag that @rapetzel and I gave last year on our culture change framework, where the participants surprised us both by focusing most of the conversation on the importance of joy as an explicit value.

      Here’s a blog post on bringing delight to virtual spaces:


      I feel like I post this one a lot. Definitely let me know if it’s useful and if you think it should serve as the basis of a concept paper.

  • Eugene Eric Kim 4:17 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink |  

    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 β€” 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! πŸ™‚
    • 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 β€” 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 β€” brilliant, and something I’m going to steal. Post-Its for the synthesis β€” excellent. Having all of us on the same side of the table β€” 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 β€” “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?

    • Brooking 9:33 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks SO MUCH for this feedback EEK – I love that for you this is the “short” version πŸ˜‰ I’ll be posting photos & some synthesizing thoughts this evening or tomorrow… thanks again everyone for participating!!!

    • Jessica 7:00 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure you got this from our conversation… It may be a really useful PRE-READ / HOMEWORK to have participants reflect on some of the topics we discussed… What does a network mean to them… OR What are they hoping to achieve (in a picture)… I once had participants respond to a question: “what is the impact of art on quality of life?” on a posterous blog with pictures prior to getting together, and it was a great kickoff.

  • Eugene Eric Kim 12:55 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    I’m super excited to see the energy around self-organized bootcamps! To help with the organization, I created a spreadsheet where people can sign up to host. You all should have access to edit; if you don’t, let me know.

    Looking forward to next week’s gathering with @brooking and @rapetzel!

  • Brooking 2:28 am on December 31, 2013 Permalink |  

    Hey Bootcampers! Hope you all have had a great holiday break. I’ve been catching up on some non-work to dos today and wanted to check in on the plan for the 14th. When we first talked I think we had me slated to “lead” that day, but since I missed last time I am not sure if that’s still the plan? I have an idea for a project/topic I’d love to engage the group in if it works, with the wonderful Rebecca Petzel, and I think based on Jess’ notes from Holly’s ideas shared at the last boot camp that it might be a good segue from last time & a topic of shared interest to the group – on designing for high performing networks (as opposed to meetings/organizations). Thoughts?

    • Eugene Eric Kim 5:00 pm on December 31, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Do-acracy, so still the “plan.” πŸ™‚ Personally, I love the topic, and I love it even more that you’d be bringing @rapetzel in.

    • Eugene Chan 5:02 pm on December 31, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey @brooking: that would be great. I volunteered to organize January 14th, but didn’t have anything specific in mind and would be happy to take on February.

      You get my vote!

    • Rebecca 12:29 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Woot! Excited to see many of you again and brainstorm with the changemakers. Happy 2014 team.

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

    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.


      • 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 β€” 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 choseΒ β€” phone, face-to-face, etc. β€” 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? πŸ™‚

    • 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 πŸ™‚ )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. πŸ˜‰

      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.

  • Lauren 4:34 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink |  

    I really enjoyed last week’s bootcamp about having difficult conversations, but I was left feeling a little lost. How can I sound as sophisticated as Natalie, Anna and Renee during a highly awkward/ charged conversation? I am wondering if it would help to have some sort of framework to help sort out and organize my thoughts or do I just need more practice… Does anyone want to be my difficult conversation buddy??

    • Eugene Eric Kim 5:13 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lauren, I’m sure others will volunteer to be your difficult conversation buddy, but I’ll go ahead and be the first in line. Anytime you want to practice, let me know.

      You’re also dangerously close to breaking ground rule #1. πŸ™‚ You didn’t get a chance to practice this past week, unfortunately, so let’s see if we can find ways to get you some practice, and you can report back and let us know how you’re feeling then. When you do get the chance to practice, I’m sure it will feel awkward and charged and uncomfortable… and it will be just fine, which was what happened with Renee and Anna.

      Remember, difficult conversations are, by definition, difficult, even with lots of practice! If they don’t end up that way, then you’re probably doing something wrong!

      • Lauren 6:08 am on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thank you so much for offering to be my buddy Eugene! I will definitely be taking you up on that offer! And most of all, I am looking forward to practicing a difficult conversation tomorrow and very excited about the opportunity! πŸ™‚

    • Anna Castro 6:05 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would be happy to be your difficult conversation buddy as well!! A few things that Bootcamp has helped me practice this time around has been to push myself to volunteer an opinion, speak first (or earlier in a conversation) and be participatory in a way that I am not used to or am comfortable doing. I had to participate and share during Bootcamp #1 because there were only two of us. I didn’t have much of a choice *insert smiley emoticon* (Eugene – how do I drop one into my comment?)

      I’ve been thinking a lot about how I participate in group settings and am discovering/learning quite a bit about when I’m comfortable and when I’m not. Our Bootcamp conversations about power and power dynamics sort of gave me permission to begin to analyze the kind of person I am or have been in different work settings. I have some interesting examples that I think are worthy of some sociocultural anthropology study. I have been afraid to unpack some of that stuff and the emotions that they bring up. Lately, and I think Bootcamp helps, I am confronting these issues and feelings head on. I am more comfortable thinking about how as a woman of color my various experiences have been shaped by other people’s perceptions of me based on these identities and how I have reacted to them.

      My participation in Bootcamp #1 had a lot to do with pushing myself to send Eugene an email. I drafted a response to his initial call out to changemakers in the Bay Area but it sat in my draft box for days until I read his blog post called Advice for Female Changemakers. Here is a link to it:
      Reading that post was the extra push I needed to hit the send button and act more boldly. I highly recommend it to you and all female changemakers.

      I think you are amazing, Lauren. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from you and your very well written posts. I am so looking forward to staying connected with you after we complete Bootcamp #2 next week.

      • Eugene Eric Kim 4:58 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Love hearing the fruits of your self-reflection, Anna, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

        As for smileys, WordPress automatically converts the standard colon-dash-parenthesis combination. Try it!

      • Lauren 6:25 am on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Anna, I want to thank you very much for your post and for offering to be my difficult conversation buddy! I can’t tell you how much I appreciated reading your honest reflections. Secondly, thank you SO MUCH for posting the link to Eugene’s 2011 blog article. I think this was something I really needed to read right now, especially the part about finding your voice!! This is something I definitely struggle with especially, as @rapetzel shared, with my own writing and journey. I have really learned so much from your thoughtful listening and communication skills, Anna. And I definitely hope we can continue to have the conversations we started on the watercooler/blog after bootcamp is complete. Until tomorrow..Buenas noches πŸ™‚

    • Rebecca 4:44 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi Lauren! Your statement “How can I sound sophisticated as….” resonated with me a bit. It reminded me of a time a few years ago I took a huge risk, and wrote a public blog about the trials and tribulations of being professionally unattached. I did this with my best friend, which gave me strength, courage, and a strong writer to learn from. However the downside was when I was feeling my most vulnerable, I would look at her writing and use it to tear myself down. How could I ever compare! I remember having tortured conversations with friends about not feeling worthy to write alongside her.

      In retrospect, when I go back and read my writing at this time, it was delightful. I’m so proud, I’ll even share it here to prove it! http://professionallyunattached.wordpress.com/

      So I guess this is my friendly reminder to try and take the best of what learning and working with others can offer, but don’t undersell yourself in the process. I’m sure your style in difficult conversations will be different than Renee’s and Natalie’s but I doubt it will be worse. Try, as hard as it can be when we are our most vulnerable, to see the uniqueness and strength of your own approach alongside that of your peers!

      And finally, thanks for sharing your honest fears and concerns here! That takes courage, and it helps us all get better to see the vulnerability in our peers.

      • Lauren 6:47 am on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I LOVED your blog Rebecca! And Wow, your inner monologue, sounded a lot like mine does sometimes! But I would have never guessed by your very creative and individualized writing style! Thanks so much for sharing! I will definitely try to remember your advice- to see my own uniqueness and strength along side my peers especially during difficult conversations. Like you said, it can be hard sometimes. But I think, like Euegene says it takes practice and self awareness to begin to re-wire your thinking. Thank you Rebecca so much for your honest sharing and refection with me!

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