Faster Than 20

experiment platform

SEEK

July 31, 2013 – August 9, 2013

How might we...

  • How might we learn more effectively from each other?
    • How might we develop the habit of sharing our learnings with each other more frequently?

Hypothesis

Talking more frequently will lead to exponentially deeper learning (and lots of other good stuff).

Design

Eugene and Seb will talk once a week for four weeks for an hour. They will spend roughly equal time talking about what’s on their mind. Beyond that, there will be no agenda.

After each call, they will record a 2-4 minute video of their “jazz hands moment” from their conversation, which they will share publicly.

Metrics

How many times did Eugene and Seb talk?

What emerged from these conversations?

How many times did they share Jazz Hands Moments?

What feedback did they get on the Jazz Hands Moments?

Learnings

Outcomes

+ Δ
  • We had 4+1 conversations, even though we’re busy, have things starting up, time difference. (minimum)
  • Someone added “jazz hands” to repository of co-creative patterns
  • We had people watching (mostly Seb’s fans) and engaging
  • Therapeutic: emotional benefit of being able to talk to a peer regularly with context that builds up. Replaces the water cooler.
  • Convergence around wanting to replicate benefits of organizations without creating an organization. (Compulsory attendance at regular hours and a coffee machine. Have to force it in a distributed context through commitment.)
  • Good content.
  • Didn’t reach epic: Get something serious started together.

Process

+ Δ
  • Ability to go freeform, open and flexible about the agenda
  • Self-organized a Goals conversation, though unfinished
  • Largely improvised, slightly structured. Felt like good jam sessions. A number of things could have gone wrong. Both had good sense of where conversation wanted to go and how lightly or strongly we needed to hold onto structure.
  • “You first” checkin ritual. Added humor. Always have to break the script! Shifts from provider to human relationship.
  • A longer experiment would have been better, in order to really test the emergence hypothesis — 6-8 weeks. Need more time to unload baggage before we can be more generative.
  • Don’t feel like acquired any new habits. Germinations, but a longer experiment might have done the trick. Want to be more intentional about meetings in general; import some of the OS that we used here. Still feels slightly alien.

Relationship

+ Δ
  • EEK learned stuff about Seb, and it was good.
  • Humor! Inside jokes.
  • Seb’s confidence in EEK’s ability to hold structure allowed him to let go while paying attention to cues. Was able to play role of improviser while EEK was drummer. Hope by osmosis picked up how to be drummer (which was role in Project Kitchen).

  • Even more confident in our ability to have generative conversations: go convergent, divergent. Sound foundation to take things further, be bolder.
  • Seb felt liked talk more than EEK. He was mirror more than other way around.
  • EEK’s emotional difficulties around Changemaker Bootcamp didn’t show.

Decisions

Synthesize what we learned in these four weeks. (Seb: contextualize in my own story)

Repeat the same experiment for another four weeks.

Potential variations:

  • Introduce one other person
  • Add more structure
    • Current structure: checkin, discussion, checkout, jazz hands
    • Goals review
    • Make the notes public

Questions

Comments

  1. On July 31, 2013, Eugene and Seb had the first of what would become four informal conversations. It started simply as a way to catch up, especially on Seb’s Project Kitchen and Eugene’s Changemaker Bootcamp. It evolved into discussion about how they can support each other more formally and find ways to work together more closely.

    Eugene articulated what he was interested in on their second conversation (August 9, 2013):

    What EEK wants:

    1. Regular check-ins. Forces you to stay on course by making you accountable to others. Element of practice, similar to Project Kitchen, in that you have to present concisely and have a specific ask. Also allows you to develop a nice rhythm and rapport with others.

    2. Informal, ambient connection. Could be as simple as being on IM more often. EEK needs to blog about Kristin’s Kitchen — how Groupaya incorporated P2 into its processes.

    3. Partnership. Eugene misses having a team with shared commitment toward a shared goal. It could conceivably be replaced by a network that is easily activated. Seems like this is what Game B is about. Worth exploring.

    This eventually led to this SEEK experiment.

  2. SEEK officially kicks off! Here’s the first Jazz Hands Moment video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F00gP-c-85M

    Seb: Limits to inclusion. Could compromise quality and experience. How do you reconcile inclusion with high-performance? Eugene had simple way of cutting through things. If I’m a steward, and someone’s contribution not working for me, have the right to say it, and ask someone to move back and be an observer. Doesn’t mean I’m saying their work isn’t good. Making a subjective statement that this isn’t working for you, best if they step back.

    Eugene: Same moment. Sparked by Seb’s observation about experiments. What’s improved over time is ability to give both positive and negative feedback as you start developing relationship. Critical skill. Speaks to larger issue: Open collaboration doesn’t mean that everyone has to be equal. No one is ever equal. Equity matters, but how it manifests is complex.

    I wrote this blog post afterward: “Jazz Hands” Insights on Open Collaboration

  3. Yesterday’s Jazz Hands Moment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCBTpehnRSc

    Seb: Defining failure as part of success. We should be successful 2/3 of time, failing 1/3 of time when trying things. Happy when we’re actually failing. Feels paradoxical, but somehow appropriate. Trying to reframe cognitive circuits to integrate that in coming week.

    Eugene: Asked to define success. Realized was, shouldn’t just be asking success question. Should also ask what is failure. Better chance of getting clear about success.

    Blog post: Be Intentional, but Hold It Lightly

  4. Yesterday’s Jazz Hands Moment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZBhLOZ7-oU

    We had complaints that we weren’t doing the jazz hands with our moment, so we tried to fix that this time.

    Seb: Strategic giving. 80% in U.S. is individual, but most people aren’t intentional about it. Don’t think about specific goal when giving. Batted around ideas around intent casting, people being specific about intent. Making this social thing could boost people’s philanthropic literacy so better outcomes overall are obtained.

    Eugene: Interesting conversations on intentcasting and swift trust. But my moment was Seb’s checkout — exhausted this week, been on calls all day, wondered whether wanted to do this call or rest. Decided to do it because thought would feel energized afterward. Flattered that that happened. We have to know ourselves, know that if we’re tired, might just need time to rest.

    Blog post: Structures That Support Good Habits

  5. Yesterday’s Jazz Hands Moment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoDs81HkYKs

    Despite our efforts, we got more complaints about our jazz hands! Trying to do better this time!

    Seb: Eugene saying, “I’m game.” Encapsulates where our relationship can go. When get to game with someone, in position to propose adventures, and they will be received openly and without awkwardness. Makes relationship generative and powerful. Been unconsciously trying with many of my relationships to get to that state of game.

    Eugene: Bunch of little insights that felt powerful. Big metaphor: Shared language around Adam Kahane, power and love, dynamic balance. When we had conversation about what it means to lead, follow. Pictured Seb and I in room walking, standing on one leg, stumbling about. Became powerful in thinking about leadership, how it is we can be safe as leaders, make it safe for others, structures to put into place to actualize ourselves as leaders.

  6. Here’s a summary of themes that emerged from our conversations:

    Vase communiquant. Connecting the vases.
    Faire des excuses.

    Goals

    Zone of proximal development
    Being disciplined about tracking
    Intentcasting

    Scene hacking

    How do we enable swift trust?

    Pickup basketball
    Assume Good Faith
    Network’s role
    “Getting to game.” Culture of play.

    Everyone’s doing something different. Building an API between them.

    Building habits
    Everyone can copy each other and level up.

    Open vs inclusive

    Ground rules means you can kick people out
    HyperScope as example

    Navigating power

    “Sword of the masculine.” EEK: “I’m not saying you suck, I’m just saying this isn’t working for me.”
    Can’t put everyone in center without putting people in the margin
    Dynamic balance. Walking metaphor. Power and Love. Adam Kahane and David Kantor.

    Seb’s relationship to power

    Stepping into his leadership
    Fear of failure
    Needs to step into a path he can’t see but knows is there

    Distillation process: “jazz hands”

    Introduced EEK to Amy Kirschner

    Recklessness vs fearlessness

    Craft

    Criticism is sign of maturity

    Projects:

    Changemakers Forum
    Game B
    Changemaker Bootcamp
    Garfield Foundation

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Accountable Eugene
Team Eugene, Seb
Documents Experiment Folder
Modified May 23, 2019

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