Clean Language for Teams Training Events

Posted January 27, 2016 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Uncategorized

CleanForTeams training

Marian Way (left of flipchart) Caitlin Walker (right of flipchart)

Before reading the rest of this post about an offer for training, I highly recommend that you listen to this fantastic radio interview about Clean Language. There are so many examples here about how Clean Language is applied in business settings – I imagine you’ll better know why you might want to sign up for Clean Language training after listening to it.

Clean Language for Teams training is going to be offered April 1st and 2nd 2015 in the Pearl district of Portland (close to downtown). The training will be provided by the outstanding Marian Way from the U.K.  If you are in the US, here is your chance to get in person training from a pro. Let’s make Clean Language and Systemic Modelling be a well known toolset for communication in the agile community – starting now!  Clean for Teams will help agile teams adopt a learning, inquisitive mindset quite easily – something that is often missing when processes are adopted without some deep group reflection and group norms. Its not the only way, but its a great way – to instill a great culture. 

The two day course is an outstanding value. For a low price of $550 dollars – anyone who works collaboratively with others can get first hand experience in the proven tools of clean communication.  The word ‘experience’ is the critical one.  This course is not a theoretical powerpoint driven course – instead you will be introduced to the techniques, one by one, and right away be asked to practice them live, with the other group members. 

If you’ve been reading my blog or seen my slide decks on Slide share, you may be interested in Clean already, but not sure where to begin. You may not have had time to read books about Clean Language, but perhaps your interest is piqued enough that you might want to attend an in person workshop.

If you go, you’ll cover all the basic techniques like: Clean Questions, Developmental Tasks, Drama Triangle, Triune Brain, Metaphors for Learning at Your Best, Time Management and Decision Making, Pattern Spotting, among others. Put together, these techniques are incredibly powerful in groups for getting people to pay exquisite attention to each other and create self-supporting systems of learning and inquiry.  Your team members will have another tool to use to diffuse conflict, celebrate different opinions, develop each other’s thinking BEFORE piling on their own opinions.  New self and group awareness will develop as a result.  Essentially this course will give you a way of thinking about communication – and honoring each individual –  that is vastly different from what you or your organization may be used to.   

I highly recommend this course to all my agile colleagues (coaches, developers, analysts, testers, designers – UX folks, managers) in the Portland area (and of course to anyone who would be ok to travel there).  Get started with Clean Language in two days!  If you have a team in need of a better collaboration tools, better listening, more mutual respect, bring the whole team! 

There is also an option for an additional 3 days training after a one day break.  You can access the details for that here.  The second section will be geared towards helping those who are interested to become proficient at facilitating others in learning and using these techniques.   That is, these techniques are best used when your whole team knows them, not just you. So learning how to teach/facilitate others learning them is the next step. 

A similar Clean Language for Teams training will be held by Caitlin Walker in Asheville, N.C. in late April. The price for this two day experiential introduction is also $550 for this one if you book by February 15th.  It goes up to $650 thereafter.  

If you would like to know more, feel feel ask questions in the comments section.  I can help put you in touch with the organizers as well, if you have special needs or questions.

Santa Barbara Clean Language Workshop

Posted January 11, 2016 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Clean Language


2016-01-07 17.39.22Here is a quick recap of the Santa Barbara agile community meetup workshop I led on January 6th and a list of learning links as many expressed interest in continuing their learning journey.


There were about 40 people in the room at Citrix headquarters. A quick poll showed an even distribution of developers, analysts/product owners, coaches, and ‘other’ – including a few designers\UX folks and testers.  We started the session w2016-01-07 17.43.35ith the ‘Life is like..’ warm up exercise to introduce folks to metaphor.  There was lots of laughter and confusion as people played with the words and meanings. 

The workshop continued with a mix of stories about clean, how it evolved, and how to create clean questions. I interspersed that with exercises, practice and demos. While some left curious and pondering its application, several folks came up to me after and knew that they would be figuring out how to incorporate clean thinking processing into their work. I recall in particular a designer and a person dealing with selling of the product who could see the usefulness of clean questions.  Another lady, not affiliated with IT at all, had come because she is in career transition into health arena and thought it might be applicable. She left sure that she would continue exploring and taking classes.

Here is what I compiled for the participants afterwards so that they could have access to further information and learning opportunities about Clean Language. 

My personal recommendations list for books and online resources is posted on my webpage, Adaptive Collaboration

For those who do want to continue ‘live’ with practice and learning, here are a few links to upcoming events:  

A webinar by Caitlin Walker coming up February 4th (9 am pacific time on a Thursday)  – this will be similar to the workshop I gave. Caitlin has been doing Clean Language for 20+ years. She’s an expert. There will be lots of interaction via the text chats, and some live participation with volunteers using Adobe Connect.

If you would like to participate in small group Skype based Metaphor Mastery class, Judy Rees does a great job facilitating those. Scroll to the bottom of the link to sign up. 

There is A LOT of information on clean learning events around the world. Go to the April timeframe for links to Clean for Teams type programs some of which are occurring in Portland, and others of which are occurring in Asheville, NC.  

My friend in San Luis Obispo, Sharon Small, has not yet posted a full 2016 schedule of trainings but will likely do them in the fall timeframe in the San Luis Obispo area. You can sign up for her newsletter and learn what her curriculum is like here.  Sharon offered the nice bookmarks for the event. She’s the co-author (co-compiler) of the book I mentioned that she and I put together, called, Who Is Using Clean Language anyway.

By the way, don’t forget to pick up your copy (for free) here – for inspiration. The book contains interview stories of people and how Clean Language changed their life outlook, business, and relationships. It is similar in style to the Who Is Agile book that is also published on Leanpub.

Lastly, a few of you wanted something more concrete on how to use this right away at work.  The CleanLanguage.co.uk web site is an absolute treasure trove, but can be a bit daunting to find just the right stuff.  So I propose you take a look specifically at the section here, on business applications.  There’s a particularly good transcript of Meeting facilitation using Clean Setup – something Caitlin Walker developed, that may give you a sense of how you might begin to use the basic questions to get great clarity for an upcoming meeting. 

Thanks again to Citrix for hosting and Heidi Helfand for inviting me. I loved Santa Barbara and wish you all well and a fantastic 2016. 

Northern Taste of Clean – Sept 2015, West Kirby, England

Posted September 23, 2015 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Clean Language, Conference, Personal Growth, psychology

2015-09-18 09.07.04

I took another leap (flight) into the realm of Clean Language last week – in West Kirby, England – which is an area just West of Liverpool – at a very atypical conference/gathering called ‘The Northern Taste of Clean’. This event is now in its 4th year, and is hosted by Caitlin Walker and Shaun Hotchkiss in their home.

It was part social gathering, part conference, focussed on building shared knowledge, community, and finding new opportunities and connections in the Clean Language Community. The forty participants ranged from the well-known (the hosts Caitlin and Shaun, Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, Wendy Sullivan, and Marian Way to name a few)  to  established practitioners in the field making a living using Clean,  to those who are more recent and passionate enthusiasts, wanting to do much more with Clean Language than they currently do. I count myself in the latter group.  

2015-09-20I came away inspired by and learning from everyone I talked to.  Shaun and the many volunteer helpers provided tea and food throughout the day – all vegetarian fare – tasty and homemade by Shaun and others.  Body and mind thrived and even the weather cooperated much of the time – so we could enjoy the sun and beautiful garden, as well as Caitlin and Shaun’s lovely labradoodle Stella.  It was a fantastic event and very much worth the transatlantic flight.

I can’t possibly jot down all the  learnings and rich conversations I had, but I will share a brief listing of the sessions I attended – as much for my own recollection later as for your curiosity, if you wish to read on.

Clean Learning Thresholds, facilitated by Marian Way – a look at modeling the session participants to see when they ‘grasped’  specific subtleties of Clean Language, what happened ‘just before’? What ‘aha’s’ in learning could they recall and what were the conditions that lead to it.  The aim was to identify thresholds and to understand how people cross them. I’ve started documenting my own (from the past 4 years) as a result of this session.

Clean Selling – Simon Coles – a group discussion about the position of Clean Language in the model of ‘Crossing the Chasm’ (link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm) and why Clean Language is still in the Early Adopters stage.  How can the community support each other in promoting Clean Language in the best way possible such that it might cross to Early Majority stage?

Self-Organizing Systems – James Lawley – a session to learn from participants what principles from Clean or elsewhere might support self organizing groups of people (such as for organizing a conference, for example).  James and Penny plan to host a self-organizing conference in 2016. We broke into groups and reported out on 4 main themes at the end.

Modelling Session Demo – Caitlin Walker, facilitated a participant on her research/writing desired outcome. Caitlin included the observers in the analysis of the facilitated session as it was going on (when put in pause mode). This I had seen in some of Caitlin’s training CDs, but had not ever experienced it in person.   It was powerful and the subject also was able to resolve the issue.

Working with Disaffected Youth – Stuart Clark and James Jeffers – shared fascinating outcomes of their ongoing work in Caitlin’s company – with the unemployed youth of the area right nearby Liverpool.  The techniques come from Systemic Modelling which you can read about in ‘From Contempt to Curiosity’.  James Jeffers had been a participant in the program and is now apprenticing with Caitlin and being paid as a facilitator in the program. It was fantastic having him there as living proof of the transformational nature of Clean Language and Systemic Modeling.  This program has seen roughly 250 of 300+ participants graduate from NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) to EET (now either Employed, in Education, or in Training) with no recidivism.  Many of these youth are from multi-generational unemployed families.  So inspiring.

Clean Interviewing – James Lawley and Caitlin Walker – session to learn how to discern the difference between leading questions and clean-ish questions when trying to collect real data for qualitative interviews. After James and Caitlin shared a brief history of and introduction to  this topic, we were handed a sample questionnaire for study and then broke into small groups to assess the questions in it (categories were strongly leading, mildly leading, or contextually appropriate). After debriefing that, we were guided to practice spontaneous clean interviewing in triads.

Modelling Gender – with yours truly and Caitlin Walker.  This was my proposed session – run in parallel with the pre-set conference sessions – and many wanted to come to it.  In the end we had eight people discussing what their experience of gender is like followed by ‘who is different?’ and other clean questions and discussion. A friend of Caitlin’s who was not part of the conference was invited in  to participate in this session as she has a transgender child (but no support group in the area of West Kirby). Everyone found something new to think about on a topic most never discuss.

For the last session on Day 2, I floated back and forth between two spaces/sessions. The first was titled: Whirly-gig, Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge. It took place outside with one participant at a time on the ‘Whirly-gig’ a contraption that is used to suspend people in space.
WhirlyGig2Each participant can explore perceptions spatially in a unique way while being clean questioned  about a desired outcome and rotated to new positions as requested. If you’ve never heard of Clean Space, you might have to read The Power of Six, by Phillip Harland. Clean Space was a late emerging gift from David Grove prior to his passing.  The Whirly-gig is not required to experience Clean Space, and only one of those exists in the world, as far as I know.
 

The second session titled Systemic Modeling in the Real World  was given by Jacqueline Surin from Malaysia in which she was interviewed by James Jeffers and participants on how she got to where she is.  I was very inspired by her story. I had not yet met anyone who had put her first career aside to devote herself to Systemic Modeling based on reading Caitlin’s book, from Contempt to Curiosity. Jacqueline had been a well-known journalist in Malaysia!  She inspires me!

A few of the other sessions I had very much wanted to attend were:

Looking for Literacy – A Modeling Approach to Learning to Read – Cricket Kemp – on her proven techniques to help kids learn how to read and spell.

Clean Voice – Sophie Kirkham – a method for retracting your vocal chords

The Advantages and Disadvantages to having an outcome – Shaun Hotchkiss and James Jeffers 

The weekend event was preceded by a two day workshop given by the partner and ex-wife of the late David Grove, Cei (pronounced Kai) Davies on using Clean Language to resolve traumatic experiences. I attended this event purely because of who she is, but also because the topic is extremely fascinating. I also learned about many of the theoretical underpinnings and historical influences on Clean Language from the fields of psychology, philosophy, and anthropology.  Cei has extensive experience working with Trauma victims around the world and gave two very powerful demonstrations of facilitation to two volunteer participants. Each of those lasted about an hour or so, followed by some debriefing and questions. Most of the two days was a lecture/discussion format and was very informative indeed. I got a certificate again for CECs (continuing education credits) – but I have no idea which program would take these! I am neither a certified coach (yet) nor a therapist!

Lastly, flying to England gave me the added opportunity to meet some second cousins I had never met, one family from West Kirby, one from Liverpool, and one from Manchester.   Now that was extremely special for me and for them.  And who knew I have a second cousin twice removed  – a young 12 year old – who performs regularly in London musicals – look him up on Youtube, his name is Ilan Galkoff….

It was an amazing week on many fronts and as always I am so grateful that I have such great opportunities to learn and grow.

 

How ‘I’ met Virginia Satir

Posted July 30, 2015 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Uncategorized

Jerry Weinberg and me (1)When I was recently at Problem Solving Leadership (PSL) workshop run by Jerry Weinberg and Esther Derby, I had the opportunity to eat lunch with Jerry and to ask him how he had come to meet Virginia Satir.  He was very happy to be asked this question.  

He started by explaining to me how when he was first studying psychology, he had read Frogs into Princes, one of the first Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) books, in which Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson were both mentioned. Based on the publication date of that book, 1979, and Virginia’s birth year, 1916, he had mistakenly assumed Virginia was already deceased.  Some time later – perhaps a year or two, by around 1985, he discovered she was still alive and was astonished and thrilled. He made sure to immediately find out where to meet her and some time later, he was able to. This is the recollection Jerry shared of their first meeting.

‘I could take you right now to the exact hotel in Mt Crested Butte, Colorado, into the exact room in that hotel, and point to the exact spot within that room, even which floorboard – where she was greeting people, one at a time, in a sort of ‘receiving’ line.  The reason I can remember this is that Virginia made each and every person she encountered feel like they were the exact focus of the universe for the time they had with her.  And those minutes felt like an eternity. You see, once I had experienced that kind of attention, it was indelibly imprinted on me.  After that, I was determined to become her student and spent many months and years training with her.  Eventually I became one of her favorite students.”

I saw the deep emotion in Jerry’s face as he described that first meeting (he was on the verge of what I’ll call happy memory tears, though I don’t know if they were sad reminiscing tears to him).  I found joy in myself because he was passing along not just the story of how he met her, but the meaning, and feelings he had at that moment.  And it helped me to understand Jerry in a different way – through connecting with emotion, which is something I cherish.

Jerry has passed on Satir’s influence to many people around the world – whether they know it or not. He has done this through his many great books about software development and consulting and also via his famed Amplify Your Effectiveness  and  Problem Solving Leadership experiential workshops.  Hearing Jerry tell his story first hand in this way, after having soaked up all the wisdom from his Satir-influenced books, was like finding the source of the Nile!

It was a great lunch and I’ll never ever forget it – city, hotel, as well as the table we sat at.

Different balls, different games – metaphors for communication

Posted July 5, 2015 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Clean Language, Coaching, Dialogue, Listening, Organizational Change

Tags: , ,

AlistairGolf Cockburn has written that developing software is like a cooperative game.  Whether cooperation needs to occur between IT and business, program management and teams, architects and programmers – I do not often see the flow of ideas,  solutions and decision-making happening collaboratively. Coaches can not solve communication problems unless there is both the awareness and the willingness to have those kinds of problems solved.  It is a bit of a chicken and an egg issue.

I’ve recently come up with a few sports metaphors for the way the interactions go, or could go, if only deliberate learning would take place around communication excellence.  I’ll use an example to illustrate this. 

The backdrop for this setting is a large agile transformation. It has a fairly lightweight governance process but the leadership must report monthly to the business side whether the IT side is on track for the target deployment. The delivery date was set 2 years earlier and is now months away.  The pressure on IT to paint a rosy picture is high.  The program manager must update the governance reports.  Because the Program Management Office personnel who normally pull that data are on vacation, the program manager asks a coach to fill in last month’s data – using a chart the coach has not seen before. The program manager provides her only a paper copy. There are no calculations, queries or information on where the earlier data came from or exactly what it represents.

The coach  asks a lot of questions about the data behind the graph, but her questions are given short shrift by the program manager – who really can’t adequately answer the specific questions. The coach does as close to what the program manager requested as possible and provides the data – though with some discomfort.

The baseball metaphor

The coach has recreated the graph using a new sheet, augmenting it using her own ‘queried’ information for the current month in question. The coach delivers this to the program manager: “I worry when we present data that may be misleading, especially when the data I have provided is mixed with data from other queries or sources and overall I think the story it tells is different from reality. When I pulled all the data that I think represents the current state, I see a different picture.”

The program manager immediately shoots back: “The data from the tool is just that, data from a tool. It will never be accurate or up to date.” [she looks annoyed and wants to move on to her next issue of the moment. She shuffles other papers and looks back at her email.] The coach does not think that pressing the point will be helpful at this point. 

This interaction is not atypical in the IT and/or business world.  The coach (batter) has pitched a ball.  The program manager (hitter) hits it strong; the ball soars over and out of the stadium and there is nothing left to discuss. Batter wins. 

The golfing metaphor

Here’s another way this could have gone – using one of my favorite listening and inquiry tools: Clean Language.

It starts in a similar way: Coach to a program manager: “I worry when we present data that may be misleading, especially when the data I have provided is mixed with data from other queries or sources and overall I think the story it tells is different from reality. When I pulled all the data that I think represents the current state, I see a different picture.”

The program manager listens and then asks one or more of these clean questions – first repeating a portion of what she heard – clearly showing she was listening  ‘and you worry when data is used that may be misleading… ‘

     and what kind of misleading is that? [asking for more attributes]

     and what kind of worry is that?’ [asking more about state of the coach’s feeling]

     and  is there anything else about that data? ‘  [opening space for more observations]

     and where could ‘misleading’ come from? [getting at the source]

     and when misleading, then what happens? [getting at significance, if nothing happens]

Clean questions let you stay with the thinking of the person who is talking to you, rather than reacting right away.  To me, this interaction is like a golfer hitting the ball into the hole.  The coach has found a sweet spot with the program manager – a ‘time/place/space’ where the concern is heard and embraced. The environment is one in which the program manager assumes the coach has a valuable intention as well.  I imagine in this scenario, the two explore further mutual needs and resolve the discrepancy so both parties are happy and more importantly so that the program governance body gets an accurate picture – with all the consequences that might entail. 

The first conversation is frustrating because the coach wanted to ‘do the right thing’ – and perhaps was a bit fearful that not fulfilling the request for the data would be unprofessional.  She provided the data and did not argue past her initial observations and reflections to the program manager.  The program manager’s response and overall sense of urgency seemed to drown out her ability to stay present and listen.

Whether using Clean Questions or other types of listening and inquiry models, the type of attention given in the second example is rare … especially in stressful situations when it is MOST needed.  I do not accept ‘urgency’ or ‘time-pressures’  as excuses for not taking the time to listen and to investigate. It is precisely in the slowing down that in fact you can speed up with confidence. Yet it takes some training and intention to create an environment and culture where this can happen well.

The mindset shift that comes along with knowing how to use Clean Language can help projects, companies, and relationships thrive; it can create more vibrant classrooms, happier employees, better students, thriving business results. I’ve got many examples of this in my book of interviews of people who use Clean Language in their work.

If you want to learn more about Clean Language, please let me know by contacting me at andrea.chiou@santeon.com

McCarthy Bootcamp and The Core Protocols – Experiencing a Team with Shared Vision

Posted June 30, 2015 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Core Protocols, Teams

Tags: , ,

I attended Jim and Michele McCarthy’s team-building workshop – in April 2015.  It was an amazing experience learning how to create great teams within the span of one week using the The Core Protocols.  If you’ve never read of them before or want to familiarize yourself with them, you can download or print the Protocols here or buy a small printed version here.

I went to Bootcamp because I am tired of workplaces where I cannot see the innate energy, skills and gifts people have.  I see lifeless disengaged employees and I want that to change. I wanted to experience working in a different way, for a week, where people feel connection. I want others to benefit from what I learned is possible.

In this Bootcamp, experimental learning requires an individual commitment to use the protocols, including all of the built in safety features. One of the first instructions to Bootcamp participants is: You are entering a simulation and you must pretend that the Protocols will work during the simulation.  There is no doubting their efficacy during bootcamp. Use them. Experience them. You will see the results.  It’s like entering a new building. You cannot appreciate fully from looking at the floor plans alone.  I believe it is in the doing that we learn how and why.

Before Bootcamp, we had a 100 page pre-bootcamp reading assignment to prepare us for this journey. We came from about 7 different nationalities and continents – we were about 15 people in total including a 13 year old. Below I share just a few salient aspects of Bootcamp and below that some other links for those who are still curious. 

Personal Alignment

During the Bootcamp itself, before working on the product that we were assigned to deliver by the end of the week, team members get to know each other.   The Personal Alignment itself takes the the form of articulating a virtue (love, courage, trust, presence, joy, health/self-care)  – one that if the skies rained down this virtue in abundance, all the ‘blocks’ to your personal achievement would be removed.

This aspect is about individuals discovering what they want, disclosing it, and then asking the team for support in the form of a signal/response pair.   Supporting each other in getting those virtues allows the team to be be strong!

I see a lot of analytical, technical, engineering type problem solvers slaving away at their day jobs. I wonder if they find joy, connection, support, and a sense of being ‘in’ with their team on a daily basis… I wonder if they know that over time, they will burn out from not feeling connected to others at work in a deeper way.  One of the reasons I value the Protocols, specifically Personal Alignment, Check In and Ask For Help so much is that they bring this me a strong sense of being connected to each member of the team.  Work should bring joy, and with the connectedness and safety, people will produce at their best.

At camp we used the Investigate protocol to learn more about each other. It is a time of deepening relationships on the team as the Alignments are explored. One person on the team at my Bootcamp wanted more Courage.  When he shared his signal throughout bootcamp: ‘I want Courage’, anyone present at that moment would yowl like a wolf as that was the response he asked for!  Alignments allow for personal growth.  Folks are encouraged to write down the evidences they will have when they know they are exhibiting more of their virtue. They are encouraged to report those evidences to team members, and ask for help when they need it.  This is incredibly powerful.

Web of Commitments

After personal alignments, the team performs a  web of commitments ceremony in which all the alignments, signals and responses are shared. We also share our desired evidences.  It’s a beautiful creation – coming from the increased bandwidth, self-disclosure, getting to know one another.

Shared Vision

Before making products, we create a shared vision. This is a brief statement about what we want the world to be like as a result of the product we are making. We create the vision before we even know what product we will be making… it is very aspirational, very inspiring as well.  One feels lifted above the dross and worry of procuring the stuff we’ll need…. and we did need stuff – read more about that later in the Managers section.

Making Products

After the Web of Commitments, we go to work producing. Now that we are more deeply connected with one another, we will reflect our best selves in our products.

We continue to use  Ask For Help, Check In, Check Out, Investigate, Intention Check, Decider, Perfection Game, Resolution, Protocol Check liberally as we produce stuff – in addition to to sharing our alignment prompts. We are completely self-organizing using our communication tools and discovering and sharing our talents.

Our team made a lot of cool things. There were sub teams of people creating things like a Gong stand, a robotic proximity sensor with stuff bought at Radio Shack, paintings, a Greatness Manifesto, an emotion/check in cube, a game, music and so forth.  By the end of the week, our goal was to showcase our best product to the ‘Managers’.

Managers 

Jim and Michelle McCarthy who hosted the Bootcamp I attended played the ‘Manager’ role.   They showed up at times, as managers normally do, seeing how things were going, to see if we were using ‘Ask for Help’ protocol.  One of the big things folks get wrong with respect to management is not asking for help enough!  This is true on every Bootcamp they’ve ever run – and I’ve been noticing this a lot as a cultural phenomenon back at work. People who need things are afraid to ask for them! We had several team members who had been to a handful of bootcamps before, and they were not shy – and whatever support we needed (stuff to make our products), we asked for from Jim and Michelle, or just procured the items ourselves. Like some of the other newbies, I fell short of asking for help enough at Bootcamp by my own admission, but I’ve been practicing more since then. For example, I asked for a new laptop at my coaching gig and got it (the desktop I had was horribly outdated and slow, but I hadn’t thought to ask). 

I’ve been observing this lack of asking by others at work. It is a pervasive phenomenon that I had not really noticed much before. 

Closing Ceremony

At the end, we presented our best product to the managers.  We had everything available to see, but getting to unanimity on the product to showcase was HARD work.  Folks had invested a lot in some of the products, but because we had the ‘Decider’, ‘Resolution’ and ‘Intention Check’, ‘Check in’ and ‘Check out’ protocols, as well as our alignments, we were able to get all onboard and the best product out the door on time.  You can see our product, the Greatness Guild, and follow it as it continues to grow as an outcome of our team’s work.

McCarthy Bootcamps  demonstrate that installing ‘software for your head’ (the Protocols) magnifies a team’s capacity by helping people communicate!  See this invitation to the Fall 2015 Bootcamp and sign up now if you want to experience it.  

If you want to dig deeper on your own after reading this post, read Software for Your Head or listen to the McCarthy Show podcasts. A good podcast to start with is an interview with a Bootcamp grad who started using The Core Protocols at Microsoft. 

 

Dream Girls 2015 – refreshed

Posted April 26, 2015 by Andrea Chiou
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,
A year has passed since I wrote the first Dream Girls post. This post is a refresher and also high five to my friend Andrea Ross, who is pursuing dreams of her own, despite many obstacles.
My daughter, Christie, graduated from college a year ago. During this past year, she worked at her first full time job, facilitating and arranging homestays for exchange students with local families, finding suitable cultural activities, and dealing with their logistics and acclimation problems along the way. It was a perfect first job as she re-adjusted to life back in the US – and it made perfect use of her intercultural skills and experiences and her problem solving and leadership skills. During the first part of 2015, she set her goals on finding a new and more challenging job and received two offers. After she ran a successful, professional, sales pitch to a ‘panel of potential gov’t customers and the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries’ as part of the IBM interview process, she was offered and has accepted their job offer to join the sales team for IBM’s cloud services. She’ll be working in the federal space.  She also set her eyes on a personal goal – to compete and win in a body fitness competition. She won first place in all three categories she competed in – after months of really grueling discipline both in the gym and in the kitchen.  I’m so proud that she has demonstrated courage, commitment, and consistency in getting what she wants.  This is the girl that dreams with a purpose!  Dream Girls!
Here’s another Dream Girl!  I met Andrea Ross at the Lean Kanban US conference back in 2012. She’s from Richmond, VA.  I include her here, because I think she lives the ‘dream girls’ life, going after what she wants no matter what the barriers.  Andrea works for the Virginia Department of Corrections as an Analyst and Project Manager in their IT department. She is absolutely passionate about Lean and improving the work place.  She has been an influence within the Department of Corrections, helping to train 12,000 employees in the art of dialogue as part of their own cultural transformation. I’ve been very impressed by the initiative undertaken at such a large institution and I’m proud to know Andrea has been a key part of helping to make that happen.  Andrea runs the Capital Kanban Meetup in Richmond which has a very active participant base and interesting programs.  Later this summer she will train and get certified as a Lean Facilitator and as such is continuing to live her dream – despite considerable hardship logistically to do so.  This is so admirable!
My year has gone extremely well too.  I’ve been working at Santeon with a handful of other agile coaches since May 2014.  I’ve loved working with all of the dozen or so coaches on our coaching team (Paul Boos, Mark Grove, Scott Barnes, David Kane, Rich McCabe, Julie Wyman, Ebony Brown, and Kumar Dattatreyan) and with my clients at Caterpillar and at Customs and Border Protection. The Santeon coaches each have unique strengths and interests, and we are really learning to help each other with different perspectives.  We have regular off-sites to reflect on  direction, our needs, our work, learning, and clients. The owner of the company is incredibly dedicated to our well-being, not just the bottom line.  I am so grateful for this.
In 2015 I am checking off two other dreams I’ve had. I’m heading as we speak to Seattle, WA for ‘Core Protocols‘ Boot Camp to spend a week with a dozen or so other coaches learning how to make great teams and therefore also great products.  Its all experiential and I expect a rather cathartic experience.  In June, I’ll join several dozen coaches and IT professionals in Albuquerque for Problem Solving Leadership class led by my favorites mentors: Esther Derby, Johanna Rothman and Jerry Weinberg. If it weren’t for Jerry Weinberg’s books, his Amplify Your Effectiveness Conferences and the fantastic people I’ve met and come to know through those workshops, I would not be where I am today. I can unequivocally say that.  Problem Solving Leadership is a highly sought after experiential workshop – that helps people explore their own patterns and styles when solving problems.  I am super excited for that as well.   I suppose what I love most about both of these experiences is that neither is about ‘agile’ per se.  They are both about awareness, observation, self-reflection, connection, motivation, possibility, change, getting support for what you need to be a fantastic team member and leader.  For anyone one, girls or boys, who want to dream and achieve their dreams, do not hesitate to Ask for Help!
Lastly, in January 2016, I’ll be going to meet James Lawley and Penny Tomkins at a Symbollic Modeling and Personal Discovery retreat. Penny and James are leaders in the field of change and transformation. I’ve written much about Clean Language on my blog – and referred many to their excellent website – a true online museum of all things Clean.  I feel extremely lucky to be able to meet and work with them for 6 days in January 2016.
Close your eyes, and dream big – ask for help, go for what you want!  It truly brings joy to your soul and affects everyone around you in a positive way!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,827 other followers