Cool stuff: Different Work | Your Big Adventure | The Fish Pond
When I enter a room to facilitate a two hour workshop, eyebrows are raised. I look like my old aunt that packed for a weekend to visit relatives. Two large suitcases full of clothing. Just in case. You never know what the weather might turn out to be. Or if we decide to go to a fancy restaurant.
So. I enter a room looking like my old aunt, only because we both carry way too much luggage for such a short period of time. I carry two plastic bags with post-it notes, index cards, colored paper of different thickness, permanent markers, white board markers, color markers, and tape.
Yes. I know. It’s ridiculous.
In the beginning I run through all kinds of techniques in a fast pace.
“Please put on post-it notes …”
“You can write on the index card …”
“Draw a picture of …”
I observe which one is catching on. If one sticks, I keep that one.
I don’t know if this is the “proper way” to do things. But it’s the same strategy I talked about when revealing a culture.
You throw stuff to the wall and see what sticks.
I think we use the same strategy to facilitate the process of turning “what we know” into a representation of “what must be”. You know. Sensemaking.
In projects we have learned that to make it all work we need to have a couple of essential conversations. Between our team members, our stakeholders and ourselves.
- What does “done” look like?
- How do we get there?
- How do we know how far we are?
- Who cares?
- Why are you on the project?
- Why does the project take place?
Ideally these conversations “just happen”. People hear they are part of a project, they get together and turn collectively everything they know about the topic into a picture for how things must be.
Sometimes these things don’t “just happen”. They need a catalyst to get the conversation started.
What we actually are looking for are pebbles that when dropped cause larger ripples.
What we are looking for are small things that trigger a conversation and keep it going. Without having the need to keep throwing bricks in the water every morning.
We have to try different things. Different pebbles. We have to. Not everyone is responding in a similar way to the same catalyst. There is a huge diversity in human interaction.
We throw them to a wall. And see which one sticks.