Learning as a way of being


So, how to sum up my learning over the last 30 days? It has been an interesting blend of looking over the wall to what’s possible and looking in the mirror to find my own sense of self, creativity, possibility. More specifically:

  1. There is a yin, yang to this challenge – discipline to do a blog every day, but staying open and receptive to whatever might show up that day.
  2. That while I gathered ideas from what was going on around me, I had to focus inwardly to capture that visually.
  3. That while I looked over the wall for feedback (sometimes obsessively), ultimately I was so energized by what I was doing that regardless of feedback, I wanted to continue.
  4. That my desire to explore whatever is next for me professionally and personally has been blown open by this challenge!
  5. That I may have finally put a few gremlins to rest about my artistic abilities (this after I’ve lost count of how many classes over the years have left me feeling like a complete twit … just ask Dave!)
  6. That I have a pretty interesting summary of January, 2013 πŸ™‚

Thanks Matt Cutts for your brilliant TED video and everyone who has been cheering me on.

Here’s to the next 30 days!

Feedback is like oxygen …


“So what have you learned from doing this 30 day challenge and what’s next?” asked my friend and gifted visual recorder colleague Lisa.

“Well, let me think.” Long pause.

“That you need feedback!” Dave exclaimed.

“I do not!” As that would be needy. Another long pause. “Well maybe a little …”

“Why don’t you use your 30th blog to ask people for some feedback?” Lisa quickly sketched out today’s visual. (Thank you Lisa!)

And so I am, but with some hesitancy, because of course what if the feedback is not what I want? I hear the adult educator in me coaching the oodles of learners with whom I have worked over the years urging them to put feedback in perspective and learn from it, blah, blah, blah …

And as for what’s next, I have already decided I am going for another 30 days as something seems to be happening for me (more on that tomorrow when I list more of what I have learned.)

Unlike my other attempts at blogging, I LOVE doing this. In fact, I would rather do this than any other work I need to do to make a living. Gulp …

The price we pay for multi-tasking

I am so guilty of multi-tasking and one of the things I’ve learned from my 30 day visual blog challenge is the power of focusing on one thing. I’ve learned many other things but will save that for tomorrow, as that is day 30 πŸ™‚


Eureka moments

I have been thinking a lot about creativity lately and, in particular, the conditions that lead to great ideas. I have always intuitively believed in the eureka moment (not sure why, perhaps as it’s a romantic notion and I am a romantic πŸ˜‰ Of course, as luck would have it, I stumbled across Steven Johnson’s animation of “where good ideas come from.” Alas, there it is … are your ideas a eureka moment or a collision of small hunches? I guess I will have to let go of my romantic notions as mine are the latter πŸ™‚


Being curious

Yesterday I blogged about an amazing group of people who are making great things happen in Victoria. The word that came up over and over throughout the day was curious, and I observed that this was a pretty curious group and that their curiosity led to some amazing results. The room also buzzed with excitement and energy. This doesn’t always happen when we work with groups. Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying to chip away at the brick walls in people’s minds. What’s your curiosity quotient and how does that impact the teams you work on?


Worlds colliding

Today got away on me and I’m not entirely happy with my visual, but … it’s getting late and I am trying to get over perfectionism πŸ˜‰ Today I had the happy honour of working with some pretty amazing Victorians from all walks of life as part of our once-a-quarter initiative. They are planning a most spectacular festival that has the potential to transform Victoria, Victorians, and anyone who happens to visit our fair city the week of September 9, 2013. Keep an eye on the VIATeC website for this exciting festival!


Losing the plot

Having decided to do a number of things differently this January (this 30 day visual challenge but one of them), I got to thinking about what it is that contributes to a lack of self management and meeting goals I have set for myself, and here is what I came up with for me:

Lack of reflection time and rushing here and there
Too much TV
Too much fiddling with technology
Scheduling too many meetings too close together
Drinking/eating too much

The last one bites as those who know me know I am a big foodie and winey (is that a word?)

Here’s to a little less of these things and a little more self management this year πŸ™‚


The values/creativity conundrum

Yesterday I posed a values situation … well not entirely as it was also about creativity. I think we often fail to come up with creative solutions when we think values are at risk of being compromised. We also fail to come up with creative solutions because we are thinking in the “tyranny of the OR.” We need to embrace the “genius of the AND” (Collins and Porres), and bring forward our very best “integrative thinking” (Roger Martin).

So from that perspective, here is how to have everyone’s needs met!

(Oh and just to be fully transparent myself, I chose the little old lady as that seemed to align best with my values around compassion and service.)


Putting your values to a test

What would you do if you were driving your lovely 2 seater sports car on a very hot still day and while stopped in traffic noticed the following three people at a bus stop?

Your best friend. You often give her a lift in to work as she works at the hospital right next door to your office.

A little old lady who is clearly in trouble. She’s bent over and looks just about to keel over. She reminds you of your own Mum, who is also old and frail.

The love of your life —- hopefully. You have been in love with this person forever and things just never quite work out … perhaps this time … but no … what about your best friend and the little old lady in trouble?

What do you do? Answer with discussion tomorrow!


Being Vulnerable – Part III

Sunday and Monday I blogged about Patrick Lencioni’s 2010 book, Getting Naked, and the first two fears that block consultants from building client relationships and loyalty. The third and final is fear of feeling inferior which leads to consultants putting their own needs before the client. The remedies are to honour the client’s work, make everything about the client, do the dirty work, and take a bullet for the client.