True co-creation is like a unicorn

During a client call a few weeks ago… Maybe more like a couple of months ago by now, I was part of a call that concluded a project and paused a client relationship. We had mutually reached a natural pause in what we could offer and what work they were positioned to give us. It’s not the end of the relationship by any means, however.

The client told a story during this call, very enthusiastic about the outcome of an experiment that he had held, in the SSL spirit, whose seed was planted during a workshop we ran for them.

To me, his story was a great example of the types of co-creative client relationships that are my reason for remaining with SSL.

I’d like to take this opportunity to show the evolution, from my perspective, of this idea. To me it is a demonstration of the transformative, experiential and social learning that we are making our brand.
It’s not about delivering projects, it’s about learning together, being a safe harbour from which to go forth and explore.

I also think it is a good example of what a client is buying when they work with SSL.

We delivered a workshop in the spring where the most popular activity tasked participants with creating a set of principles for social learning within their organization. The caveat was that it had to be co-created in real time in a shared document. Much laughter and tongue in cheek inputs ensued, but the outcome was a pretty serious first draft that well represented all of the groups ideas. This type of socially moderated co-creative effort had never been done in their organization and they really took to it.

Fast forward a few months later. We as SSL are running a series of meetings that pick up the same method to produce a wider understanding of specific questions related to social leadership mindset and behaviours within the organization. This time however one of the tasks is to finish a story whose first paragraph has been written. This idea came from the client and the outcome was very interesting and reflective of the organisation.

Fast forward a couple more months, the client has run their own session with senior leaders to co-write a story, with resounding success and congratulations from the organization.

The enthusiasm on the call came from the plan of bringing the activity to a wider audience within the organization.

When I work with a client, I approach the relationship with a spirit of discovery, of trying new things. Some will flop, some will not. But the client that values this type of relationship, that values experimentation and mutual learning gives me energy. It motivates me to bring my best, and learn to our mutual benefit.

When is a PM not a PM?

When they’re an instructional designer.

Some months ago I claimed the title Learning Architect. I liked how it sounded, is was an apt description of what I was doing.

I’m still holding on to that title, however I’m currently working on a project that is testing me and building my skill set out in other ways. Unwanted, un-soughtafter ways!

My clearly stated and written rule about project work was that I could do content or I could pm, but not both. Guess what I’m doing now?

Yep, that in addition to managing a team according to a vision that is in my head but haven’t had time to articulate. A few key, recurring words I have observed come up on this project. Alignment. Learning. Clarification.

At the moment, I feel like I am holding the lifesaver, still in the water but at least not drowning. I’ve had to claw my way up a very steep learning curve, facing all kinds of adversity, unfriendly internet connections being the least of my worries. (Remedying that as of tomorrow, I’m biting the bullet and renting a desk at a local coworking space. Door code access baby!)

This project is a different animal from what I’m used to. It’s very urgent, and my budding PM skills aren’t yet wholly up to the task, I can admit that. I’m making mistakes. Things are slipping through the cracks. Maybe its exactly the project I needed to deal with my hubris!

Is this normal? How do other people in this role manage their self perception? Maintain the confidence needed to work with clients and colleagues everyday? In this Social Age, this iterative, safe space riddled age where challenge is the norm? I have one point of view from the client, however, working in a virtual office, I don’t have a watercooler that I can go to to bitch around. There’s no advice, no external, impartial perspective on hand.

No one can operate in a vacuum, and I do think it is the organization’s responsibility to support people in the roles that are asked of them. For my part, I’m making changes, adjusting my communication according to the needs of each person on my team. I can do that, we’re still a small team! I’m also taking the need for a watercooler into my own hands and going to a coworking space. I will also be manifesting a mentor, knowing that I can’t seek one out but be able toi recognize them when they come along.

In order to keep with my current resolution to reflect, but keep it constructive, I will end with another thought about leading a virtual team. Keep in touch. Daily if necessary, especially at the beginning. This goes for me, my learning about how I lead these kinds of teams, but also a reflection about how I would like to be led.

Everyone involved in this project is in a learning space. Not just related to roles, but how we work together. Learning these things take time, however, in startup land, we need to find ways to boost connections that usually form naturally over time. Because when its on, its on! And you need people around you you can rely on.

Interactions, interventions, let’s call the whole thing off…

“Why don’t you think coaching and mentoring fits with your approach of social learning?”

This question left me a bit baffled because it came on the heels of a positive meeting that succeeded in presenting a unified approach from three different vendors. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from.

His look was very concerned and I could see that by this question something I had said struck a chord with him.

Then we proceeded to have the most informational and constructive conversation of my career so far. Both in the way it happened and what it was about (so it seems to me, with it still fresh in my mind as I stand on the sidewalk outside and type this story into my phone).

I was sitting in a room with two very confident and in their own right, powerful men. Both looking at me like I was disqualifying something that was integral to their professional value system. I can tell you this is an uncomfortable position to be in. I recognize that it was so for each of us for different reasons.

I made a series of conscious decisions throughout this conversation, some that challenged me and some that represented my own professional values. The first was to listen. To give him a chance to express himself as fully as he could. Standing over me, using visual aids that he had taken out of his bag, impassioned. Not angry, passionate. The way I sometimes get, almost trembling with what I want to say.

I listened to both of them, and proceeded to give my diplomatic but assertive answer. Once he had sat down I was able to point to my positions on the visual aids he had explained to me, describing the types of behaviours I associated with each. We agreed fundamentally but the language we had been using carried different meaning for each of us. His initial concern came when I said that I didn’t consider a two hour coaching/mentoring meeting per week in addition to content fit into our scaffolded social learning approach. He heard only that coaching/mentoring didn’t fit.

This discussion became an excellent opportunity to describe that, to me, as well as for him, a coach is someone who sometimes challenges, sometimes is curious, drawing out perspectives and ideas.
However, the coach is not limited to meetings for these behaviours. The coach can engage in different ways, now that we have multiple tools at our disposal. (S)he can type a considered response to a personal reflection on a forum, can answer questions and put questions through a chat, can conduct their interactions through a variety of…

“Mediums,” the other chimed in, illustrating an almost palpable shift in perspective in the room. “Yes. That exactly,” I said.

The discussion continued, with each word and idea expressed from each of us showing that we were rapidly coming to a common perspective, well communicated. And thanking each other mutually for participation in the conversation, where each of us learned something new that we can take forward.

For myself, 1. the essential difference between a coach and a mentor, one is a content expert, the other doesn’t need to be. 2. Herons 6 categories of interaction. (It’s actually ‘intervention’, but I like interaction better).

This discussion is, to me, a perfect example of the ‘perfect storm’ of familiarity, feelings of trust that engender feelings of safety, that allow challenge, expression of curiosity and doubt, that lead to deep learning. Deep because the result is that I will not forget what I learned because it is tied to emotion and context, and I will use it moving forward, without a doubt. I had the opportunity to ask questions, explain myself, communicate more and more effectively, honing the language I will use in future to communicate my position on social learning, as well as now having an additional tool to do so.

From Munich

How to lead remote teams

My first post in awhile, this is because a slow summer (and much appreciated pace) allowed me to choose to take time to recharge, regroup and reflect. Now that fall is here again, fresh projects and another trip to the UK and Europe are filling my inspiration banks. Here is some of what I had a chance to reflect on in London last week.

This post is by no means finished, and I think this is a topic I will certainly continue as my trip continues and I work with the Sea Salt Learning team in different ways, from co-working, to videoconferencing to coliving.

A question that was posted to the Creative Zone at Learning Live inspired this post. What do leaders need to know to effectively manage remote workers?

In the moment, my answers were a bit superficial, but the question has stayed with me, causing me to reflect and come up with these points (so far!):

Rethink productivity: Leaders who manage remote workers should rethink what their definition of productivity is. Does it mean sitting behind a desk for 7 hours, cut off from outside ‘distractions’ like Twitter or blogging? What I have found during my 10+ years of remote working is: productivity is tied to lifestyle and work ethics, rather than location. I have, through critical self reflection, discovered that I am most productive at certain times and under certain conditions. For example, I am at my most creative first thing in the morning, in a carefully curated workspace. The rest of the day I reserve for meetings and activities that require less energy, different kind of thinking. And I don’t stay behind my desk all day. My best ideas and most creative thinking happen when I am moving, walking or paddle boarding in the summer, cross country skiing and downhill skiing in the winter. These times give me space for reflection, for my subconscious to get to work and allow things to bubble to the surface. And they do! It’s not uncommon to find my furiously writing on my phone in the middle of a trail.

Rethink meetings: Online meetings are different than in person meetings. Encourage people to use ritual for these types of meetings, a ‘dance’ that everyone recognizes. For example, use video at the beginning, to say hi and see faces. Take some time for chit chat. For some remote workers, this is the most professional contact they will have all day. It’s important to foster relationships between employees, so that working together remotely is a matter of course rather than a special case. Also take time to catch up with your employees individually. I have worked on some projects where the only contact I had with my colleagues was in client meetings. There was no time allotted to get in sync with my team, to prepare and present a united front.

Take time to meet in person periodically. While technology is a beautiful thing and allows us to live and work in the locations we choose, nothing fills the trust bank like meeting in person. Mannerisms, preferences and ways of working all come to light this way, and gives a little freedom to vent. There’s something about meeting online, the online space is thought of as the professional, workspace, that inhibits venting, expressing concerns. Meeting in person is a good way to celebrate as well and meet new team members, it builds trust between teammates, something essential for remote workers.

Personal journeys of understanding

It’s another June and I am celebrating two years associated with Sea Salt Learning.

Reflecting on my journey with that team I’m struck by how much my personal perspective on online presence has changed. The past two years have been a journey of understanding, of exploration, discovery of new concepts (new to me!), revisiting old ones, connecting dots land growing my network of talented and like minded people. The result, I feel, is that I am able to be myself at work. There is little to no separation between my values and the ones I need to espouse at work. In fact, my relationship with the people around me inspires me. Something about what we have built means that I can be myself, I can try new things and make mistakes …. and have the opportunity to try again. Product is important of course, but the process that we have created is what makes the product outstanding.

So, just thought I’d share those thoughts, and speak to my personal journey of understanding with Social Leadership, a concept that has gained considerable traction but whose definition remains fragmented, contextual. Since laying hands on the first edition when I first met Julian, my understanding of the concepts have evolved, and how I express this understanding to others has been refined. This weekend I started working on something that has been in the back of my mind, one of those ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ projects. Here’s a sneak peek at my ‘just for fun’ attempt to simplify Social Leadership, and express how our personal journeys evolve organically, through circumstance and opportunity, both found and taken.

  One of the Social Leadership panels in a comic strip about from the faceless protagonist’s perspective.

Its an illustrated journey, very simple, based on my own journey and stories that have been told to me by others (see Social Leadership in Practice project).

Stay tuned, it’s meant to be a ‘comic strip’ that links SocialLeadership, Social Learning and Orgnaisational change, concepts Julian has written about extensively, which I interpret based on my own experiences and understanding.

Co-creating the Narrative

The project I’m currently working on is a Learning Architecture that will provide our client with a framework for using Social Learning in learning design.

This particular project sits at the crossroads between three stories. The first is the person who has conceptualized Scaffolded Social Learning, the model that this Architecture is based on. The second is the client’s story, a specific agenda for this Architecture and it’s use. It is an articulation of the core strategy, how they work with others. I was fortunate to have been able to meet with the CEO in the course of deepening my understanding of the Learning Architecture’s role and how it fits into the client’s context. In my interview with her, one thing that resonated is that what they are seeking is the creation of a common narrative, negotiated between the Sea Salt Learning story and their own.

The third story is of course my own. My point of view, my experience, my lens.

Working on this project has brought to life for me the tiered narratives  that Julian often talks about.  The Personal, Co-Created and Organisational narratives.

The idea behind thinking of three narratives in social learning is that a co-created narrative emerges when members of a community share their personal narratives. The organization that hosts the community can then listen to that co-created narrative, creating a feedback loop that results in a more responsive, agile organization.

Through this project, I am realizing the work required for the co-created narrative to ’emerge’. The storyteller’s role is essential to this process in the context of a purpose driven community, our purpose being the creation of a Learning Architecture. A co-creative narrative might emerge organically, given enough time, however our community has a specific and time bound goal. As a result, the role that I play, standing at the crossroads, I am now realizing is that of a storyteller.

The storyteller drives the sharing of personal narratives, seeks to discover and understand each personal story an identifies the commonalities. Actually doing this is a more complex process than I had thought. It requires methodical thinking, space for reflection and permission to move the pieces around as I see them fitting together. In and of itself the method is pretty simple. I read the brief, I understood the core strategy that would inform the Architecture, I sought out additional information, to paint a more holistic picture through 10 individual interviews.

I analyzed my interview notes and identified the ideas and concepts that I saw were relevant to the project goals (that’s the feature photo for this post). Then, I classified them  according to the seven sections we had determined would go into the Learning Architecture.


So far, so good. This process is helping me to form an idea of the big picture, both in terms of the client’s narrative and Julian’s. Now, I need to use my own point of view to put them together.

What I have found adds complexity to this storytelling role is that personal stories, whether Julian’s, the client’s or mine, are personal. There are people behind them that believe in those stories, they have a point of view and expectations that are different from each other’s and my own. Their story doesn’t become released into the community to become data. They are attached to it.

Defining a co-created narrative is a negotiation. It requires finding a path through the tension between all of those stories and finding a way to express the commonalities in a way that will be understood and accepted by all.

To theme or not to theme?

It seems like a non-question but this has been on my mind as I head into the third call for submissions of the Journal of the Social Age. This question has therefore prompted a reflective, working out loud piece that ends with an invitation to let me know your thoughts.

Is a Journal a random collection of articles? When is a journal a Journal?

I have taken the idea of a Journal and shaped it according to what I thought was right. I wanted to make it an opportunity to work together, collaborate and depend on others when writing and creating for public consumption, a daunting idea for some. I also wanted it to be a reflection of thoughts and experience around this topic, the Social Age. A place to collect and distribute knowledge about the ‘Social Age’ (Yes, Julian’s idea). It’s still small and experimental, I am enjoying playing with and examining how to construct opportunities for people and ideas to emerge (see another idea: Social Leadership).

I’m all about the practical side, how things can be done and what we can learn along the way. When I start to work with ideas, given my background as an instructional designer, self taught, I do a lot of research, I read, I contextualise, I drill down and try to connect the dots based on other ideas and concepts that live in my pre-consciousness (not sub-conscious, but just below the surface, ready to draw on when needed). I identify commonalities, that’s how I learn, how I teach myself.


So, to theme or not? I would like it to be on me, on my vision for the Journal, on my personality! However, if I am carrying this experiment out, I have to open it up.

I like themes, and I like to analyse and see themes emerge, interpret and share them back to the community for validation. In my opinion, this is one way to contribute knowledge to a community of practice (see Wenger, mapping knowledge).

It boils down to what we want from this Journal. I have my own ideas and agenda which is multifaceted, however others find different value from it. For example, in one conversation with Kate Ensor who volunteered for the Selection Committee, she expressed how she would use the Journal to share the ideas and practices of working and living in social spaces with colleagues who are new to these concepts.

Perhaps identifying a common thread that has emerged from a set of written pieces belongs in an editorial, being a more subjective point of view on the pieces themselves.

Based on experiences in the first and second edition, the type of submissions we receive vary, from the highly reasearched in the first edition to more relaxed stories of experience in the second edition. Looking forward and planning the third Call for Submissions in May, I’m interested in hearing from you:

  • What do you want from the Journal?
  • How would it help you with your agenda?
  • What topics would support you? (See existing topics on the Call for Submissions ).

Let me know your thoughts and opinions!

Projects: The Enemy of Change?

On day two of unpremeditated reblogging, this post came across my feed. As an unashamed project doer, I can’t help but respond! I don’t think projects are the problem, in an of themselves. My best work is done when I’m up against a deadline, when I know there is a finish line and must pull out all the stops to get there. There’s certainly an ideal timeline, too tight and there isn’t room for creativity or, as importantly, collaboration and co-creation. As a project doer, whether my own or for a client, the quality of what we are able to achieve is a direct result of the quality of person we are able to convince to collaborate with us. Yes, convince, not compel. The first litmus test of any project is engagement. It sometimes takes perseverance, a small group of die hard ‘believers’ to jump the first few hurdles. But when I feel overrun with interest and enthusiasm, I know that what I am doing is a success. Not all projects end up the same way, but with each, I am able to expand my network, both inside and outside the organization I am with, learning as I go who can contribute what, and who I like to work with. The organization that is able to attract people who are enthusiastically interested in working together because of shared values and passions is the one who will be able to withstand and thrive in our changing environment because of the connections that we create between us. And my way of doing this is through projects. I need that light at the end of the tunnel, that goal I achieve, review and iterate, learning with each pass and project.

Thanks for inspiring this 5am rant Julian!

Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

To adapt our organisations to thrive in the Social Age will require a holistic pattern of adaptation: you cannot fix an ecosystem challenge with a single touch point. Reflecting on this got me thinking about projects, and more specifically whether projects are the enemy of change. Many aspects of organisational life are geared up around the definition of, procurement of, delivery of, and endpoint, of projects. And yet the real world, and the social systems that exist within it, have no start and end point. It’s possible that the unit of organisation we use most widely, the project, is itself both part of the resistance to change and part of the system we are trying to change.

Project. - the enemy of change?

I don’t wish to over dramatise, but there’s certainly something about the way that projects are delivered in isolation, whilst change requires an alignment of energy and holistic pattern of adaptation, or at…

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Trust Through Consistent Action

Thanks for this informational post Kate! (It reminds me to follow you, not sure why I haven’t already ;D ) I appreciate that you’re finding value in the cards, hearing the stories of how they are being used is useful to me, not only to amplify and tell others in order to inspire them, but also to appreciate how we all build this social leadership ecosystem together, based on our individual needs and experiences.

A personal space for sense making

It’s day 2 of my personal knowledge mastery practice (PKM) revamp using (and beta testing) Sea Salt Learning’s Social Leadership cards.

Today I am working on the Trust Through Consistent Action card.

View original post 211 more words

Flexing Collaborative Muscle

The second version of the Social Leadership cards is coming out, ready to ship for Feb. 15! This is pretty exciting to me for a few reasons.

These cards were produced in a true collaboration between key players, Sam and Phillip, as well as support from the wider Sea Salt Learning team. It’s really a project that I would not have been able to deliver in our timescale all by myself. That’s a big deal to me, as someone who has spent most of my career being the one stop shop for instructional design. The Social Leadership cards definitely show what we can do together, when we flex our collaborative muscle.


This version of the cards have a new dimension that I hope will help us to understand how ideas are shared and spread among ourselves, in our communities, networks and organizations. In this version, there are 30 cards in total. 10 cards for each of the components of the NET model: Narrative, Engagement and Technology. While the cards associated with the first two groups, Narrative and Engagement, are more geared towards personal reflection and growth, the Technology cards are made to be shared with others.

Photos courtesy of Phillip

I got the idea from a card that someone had at a conference in San Diego. She gave the card to my colleague I was attending with, Julian. The card she had was a challenge: that teh receiver had to lie on the floor in a public place until someone came to check that they were ok. The person lending aid would receive this card, which had a way to register it printed on it. It seemed a simple concept, to register a card that you receive from an action and I immediately wanted to apply this to the Social Leadership cards. At the time the first version was in production. I wanted to take the development in stages, improving and finessing with each version.

This project has also been an experiment in agile, allowing me to share and test out ideas a little at a time. My natural state is flexible when it comes to projects, you can never know when inspiration will strike! I enjoy the possibility of putting something out there and seeing the response, the project expanding with every iteration. Without this process, we would have a very different card deck. Indeed, I had the idea to make cards a year ago, but it wasn’t until I made the opportunity to go for it that they became real.

Finally, this project is definitely a stone on the path to Delivery that I committed to in an earlier post. Having ideas is fun, but if they sit in your brain, they are useless. Putting it out there and exposing it to reality makes the good parts stronger and helps you make decisions about the weaker parts.

If you’re interested in signing up to beta test these cards or any future Sea Salt Learning projects, you can sign up here.

Demystification attempt #1

It’s a new year. I’m writing and working from the wilds of Canada, in Nelson, BC. A new home and a new office for a new year. Is it a new me? (Ha, no. Just a resurrection of the old me, more to follow). Apologies for what ended up being a close up of my breakfast… Of course my new desk looks nothing so neat now.

It was pretty difficult for me to get back into the swing of work after a long holiday, filled with lots of time just for me! But, get back into it I did. It’s easy to do when I am able to execute my much needed formula for remote work while working on a project that captures my full attention.

In preparation for a workshop I am designing and co-facilitating, I have to explain Social Leadership in laymen’s terms (part of a bigger project, will share more when it’s ready!). As if to a 5 year old was the request! I’m sharing the result for your benefit and also to sense check. The story is based on the Social Leadership cards I developed last year and the Handbook (see above link).

These few words turned out to be a great brain exercise that happened in a few parts. I wanted to focus on Narrative, because this was the part that gave the most trouble to the participants in a previous workshop I developed. First I tried to draw my thinking.


This was a good exercise because it helped me understand that this wasn’t going to help me… I realized I wouldn’t be able to fit everything on a page and it inadequately conveyed my thinking. Not surprising since I had a previous attempt last year, live, that failed miserably (there is a photo… somewhere).

This attempt is more along the lines of a story. I’ve attempted to explain in clear terms, without reverting to jargon.

Narrative is the outward expression of your passion and interest. In the course of your work and the connections you have made with people, either online or offline, you have identified recurrent themes. From the stories you hear, the articles you read, the videos you watch, the podcasts you listen to, the books you read, the conferences you go to, the speakers you identify with, the community or network you are a part of, the shows you watch. All of these sources of information inform your understanding of the world. And from these sources of information, based on your values and interests, you make a path. The path is defined by all the information and people around you. The more people ask questions, challenge it, knock up against it, the more you talk about it, elucidate and deepen your understanding of your path. You learn what it’s boundaries are, and you are able to decide which direction it will go, based on your learnings and reflections about the information and people around you. The path is your Narrative.

In the ‘wild’ (on the open web), a social leader’s path emerges purely from values and interests. In an organizational context, a social leader negotiates the tension between the organization’s values and vision and their own. In an organizational context, the social leader contributes to the organizations values and vision, however is able to find and exploit the commonalities in vision and values between themselves and the organization.

When a social leader goes online and reads, watches, listens, they exercise their critical thinking skills. They have learned to discipline their minds, to take in information without losing focus (Rheingold, 2010). They actively discover and interpret the information they receive, they examine it, try to understand it and evaluate whether it is relevant to their focus. They make sense of the noise by curating. When a social leader curates, they determine what pieces of information are valuable, to themselves based on their values and interests. They are active, interpreting the world around them and relating it to themselves. They find the meaning in what they read, see and hear and they share that information with people they know because they think it will be useful and relevant to them. They share certain information in certain channels, depending on the narrative that is represented in that channel. For example, they actively decide and choose which platforms to share professional or personal information on. By sharing, they help others succeed. Social leaders not only share information received from others, but also connect the dots by reflecting on what they have read, seen and heard.

They share their perception based on what they have seen, heard, and read, by telling thoughtful stories that describe their context: where they work, what they do, what they see around them, expressing their views, either in agreement or disagreement, their opinions and their experiences. They communicate their perceptions with others, refining the language they need to express their ideas with every telling, both on and offline (rehearsal space). They invite questions, challenges and feedback from others. The more they tell stories, either in written or other form, they hone in on emergent ideas and concepts that occur again and again along a common path.

In the wild, their narrative will emerge from the stories they share, as themes and ideas reoccur. In an organisational context, the social leader creates a narrative out of the tension between the organisation’s values and vision and their own values, interests and experiences in the organizational context. The more they tell stories, share what they see, hear, read, the more solid, the more concrete their ideas, and their path, becomes. The wheat becomes separated from the chaff. They more they share what they deem or perceive to be valuable to others, the more they define their path. They are increasingly seen as someone who provides useful information and thinking along a certain theme.



An Agile feeling

I have an agile feeling. I don’t know if we’re doing this right, but what we’re doing feels right. Is this agile?

Work on the Social Leadership in Practice continues with Kate. After writing the user stories, we chose one that seemed to be the path of least resistance and decided on a way to address it. We decided that each of us would interview two out of four people we agreed were identifiable to us, based on reputation and character, as social leaders. After the interviews, today, we shared our initial thoughts, the ‘headlines’ of our analysis, to see if there was any common ground in each interview. Then we agreed on four themes to focus on, and write together based on examples from the interviews. This is where we’re at.

As a new team, we are building a kind of rhythm and some habits that we will be able to use to drive other ideas.

Doing the interviews did two things: gave more information about the topic and also inspired us to move forward with another mini project.

Working quickly together, to produce something in order to learn what value it has in our context, among our communities. It’s difficult to know what will gain traction before testing the waters.
Is this agile?

We are also learning about how we like to work. Interviews very fun to do, really long to analyse. Factoring in extra thinking time is important for the next one.

Our next experiment is from something that came out of the interviews: stories about how people got started. Each of our interviewees shared their beginning story. So we will see if we can get permission to share it or do a rudimentary recording and share that. It still responds to the same user story though. Is that agile?

It is a good way to understand more about social leadership in practice. Yet, it has less to do with the practice than with how the practice evolves.

For example, I’m currently running the beta testing the Social Leadership cards, and some feedback came in today. One person told a story about how she was using them,

The idea of a blog is something that makes me a bit nervous to be honest. I do value many blogs I’ve read. I’ve started looking at the approaches of others who share; I need to find my own style. Time to grab it and do something with it.

I added the bold. This was a pretty strong theme we identified. The beginning, the ‘leap’, the courage to start. And to continue. These are things I think about too. And I found it interesting to hear how others are doing it. So that’s the basis for sharing as well. I think it fulfills the user story better than the one we are doing now, but builds off of this one. That idea could not have existed without the learning we did, and continue!

I’m appreciating the experimental quality of the way we are working. We don’t know the answers, but every time we deliver something to test, we get a deeper understanding. Not just of the topic, but of how we work together and what form the eventual product will take.