Faster Than 20

experiment platform

The Martian

May 1, 2017 – May 5, 2017

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?
    • How might we share what we’re learning in a useful and light way?

Hypothesis

One person sharing a short video takeaway every day for five days will inspire others to share as well

Design

Eugene will record and share a short video takeaway of what he’s learning and thinking about every day for five days. He’ll share the videos on the E3 WhatsApp channel and on his Faster Than 20 #colearning channel. He’ll then see what responses he gets after another week.

Metrics

How did people respond to the content of any of the videos? Who was inspired to share their own video takeaways?

Learnings

More people followed my videos than I expected, including some people who are following my YouTube channel. I put in almost no effort in publicizing, so it was a good reminder that I do have an audience, and even leaving lazy trails can be valuable. Nobody was inspired to share their own video takeaways, although people did respond to the content of some of the videos. My biggest takeaway was a bit of a surprise. I always thought my sharing muscle is strong. It's not. It's toned, but it could use more maintenance to stay strong.

Decisions

Experiment with other ways to share more aggressively as a way to build my sharing muscle.

Questions

Hashtag #themartian
Accountable Eugene
Team Eugene
Documents Design + Log
Modified July 6, 2017

As I said in yesterday’s #themartian takeaway, I felt like I had something significant to share after each chunk of the day. The experiment was to share just one short takeaway at the end of the day, which actually wasn’t supposed to be an exercise in constraint, but of abundance.

Of course, if I had more to share, there was no reason for me not to do a longer takeaway (which is something I might experiment with later) or to share multiple takeaways. If I felt shy about occupying extra screen time (which I do), I could have found other ways to share — a note on the E3 WhatsApp channel or on my Colearning Slack, even a tweet or *gasp* a blog post!

In a lot of ways, I did this experiment as a way to see if I could encourage others to start sharing. I feel like my muscles for sharing are strong, and they are, especially in comparison to others in my community. At the same time, I’ve been generally unhappy with the low frequency of my sharing over the past year. I’m trying to correct it by investing in higher-level narrative and storytelling and by writing more blogs, but there are lighter-weight things I could be doing that might be tremendously beneficial.

Of course, I already knew that, but I haven’t been acting into it. I confused muscle tone with strength, when the reality is that my sharing muscles have atrophied. Even though I do a lot of internal sharing on my different projects and in my different communities, I can be doing more and a better job of it. This experiment has been a surprising reminder in that.

Possible ideas?

  • Ever since Genentech in 2010, I’ve experimented with video as a way of reporting out after and even during meetings.
    It’s always worked well, and has even become a signature in some projects, but it’s never been a discipline, especially a personal one. I could try it on for a few weeks. Because these would involve other people, it might naturally help build other people’s muscles (and mindsets) around this as well, which is one of my goals.
  • I could do an experiment around sharing a tweeted takeaway after every meeting or chunk of my day.
  • I want to create an external guide for following / stalking me. There needs to be channels for different frequencies and levels of communication. Crafting a guide would not only help my engagement with others, but it would force me to develop an actual strategy. This would have ramifications for my projects as well, because this kind of thinking is useful for community engagement in general.

As I also mentioned on my video yesterday, this experiment has also been a surprising reminder to me of the importance of pausing, which was not the intent, but which I clearly need to strengthen.


#themartian

I got no feedback the first two days of doing #themartian, either on the E3 WhatsApp or on my Colearning Slack. As usual, I just assumed my videos were going into the ether — no harm, no foul.

I posted my Day 3 video yesterday and suddenly started hearing from folks!

First, on Slack, one colleague shared this:

Love these @eekim! Now I have TWO end of day viewing rituals: Bob Reich’s “Resistance Report” and Eugene Kim’s “Takeaway”!

Later that evening, an E3 colleague noted how my takeaway reminded her of this Oatmeal comic that’s been going around.
This morning, on our E3 checkin call, another colleague referred to my videos and some ideas that they sparked.

Most surprisingly, a peer shared a comment on my YouTube channel this afternoon! I wasn’t expecting anyone to be following me there!

Folks are listening, even if I’m not necessarily aware of it. It’s gratifying and also a little nerve-wracking, as you don’t want to waste anyone’s time either. Still, I’m much more inclined to continue this experiment knowing that folks are listening. I’m particularly curious (and this is the main thing I’m tracking) to see if this inspires others to share takeaways more regularly in similar ways.

Day 1:

Day 2:

No response from E3 WhatsApp. Just posted both videos today on my Colearning Slack. No response there either.

In order to post to Slack, I had to make the videos available on YouTube. I debated whether I was ready to go public with these yet or not, then decided it would be fine — nobody watches my YouTube channel anyway. It has changed my videos already, however. For example, I referred to Jodie and Alison in today’s video as “colleagues.”

#themartian

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