Finally compiled the responses and some numbers from this experiment:
- Heard back from 8 people representing 6 pairs (out of 11 pairs)
- Average was about 4 checkins per pair (target was 8). Normal distribution with a high of 6 and a low of 2.
- 8 people posted on WhatsApp over 8 weeks (April 14-June 7), with 11 takeaways posted
What was valuable?
- Everything!!!!! The insights, mentorship, advice, reading list, rekindling our professional connection from several years ago! I think I’m going to hire one of his students as a full time staff member of my small firm 🙂 I could go on and on — he inspired me to start writing up case studies, reading new literature, etc.
- The collider was such a profound, but ephemeral event. These sessions have provided a great way to continue to tap into that energy and insights on a sustained basis. It’s a bit like Burning Man decompression events – returning to your regular routine after a transformational experience, you want a way to stay connected with that experience with others who’ve been there. These conversations have a great way to do that.
- These sessions have also been a great way to have an external sounding board for new ideas. Being paired up with someone who had adjacent but distinct areas of expertise, we’ve been able to continue the cross pollination conversations from the collider and served as both cheer leaders and sounding boards for each others individual projects.
- Although we only checked in 3 times, talking with my partner was awesome and I always came away intellectually stimulated. This has led to some potential partnership work around analyzing interdependence…. we will see how this evolves but looks promising.
- It was a rare treat to have stimulating ‘open conversations’ without a pre-set agenda (rather than a “phone meeting)- and then see what emerged.
- It was great. We met regularly—almost every week. The conversations were inspiring and very fruitful!
- We had a few calls, but we haven’t put anymore on the calendar. I think the timing was tough with him still being in the academic year. I’d love to continue with another partner if we do another round.
- What was most valuable was having deeper conversations about big issues of practice – both pain points and inspiring ideas — and they also helped identify and explore core issues that we both experienced (which was a kind of validation).
- Fascinating conversations about what we’re each doing. Questions we’re both asking about large-scale collaborative change work. Talked about writing something together. He has a special, wonderful spirit — intellectually curious. We both sensed that we could learn a lot from each other. The timing just didn’t work out.
- Emergent: Anna with Linda: Had an incredible ongoing connection with Linda Booth Sweeney. She was in the next town from me. She invited me to join her book club. Went on walks. That ability to connect in-person was so helpful to form that cohesiveness and glue.
- Nothing! I think it worked perfectly. It was light touch enough that it encouraged us to take ownership of it and make it our own! It was just perfect and I’m so grateful for the suggestion and the experience.
- Nothing jumps to mind. One thing we’ve done that I’d continue to do is to use Zoom as our communication method. Having video vs just audio has made the conversations more human and allowed us to share ideas and documents readily during our chats.
- I am not sure what I would have done differently, but I am glad that we got to see each other f2f when you came to the community of practice meeting. Video in aid of f2f interactions/relationship is when it works best. If we did not meet in person it might have been something I would have done differently.
- Maybe would have been helpful to get some kind of guideposts / guardrails for how to do this. Maybe we felt like we had to produce something or that it had to be deep, meaningful, super productive conversations. Maybe it felt more like work than connecting.
The good thing about this experiment is that it’s made me much more conscious about pruning my email. July was a tough month for me. With the 2.0 launch of the DIY Strategy / Culture toolkits as well as the launch of my coaching workshops, I got a lot of email, and wasn’t able to zero out this month. On the upside, my April and May inboxes both shrunk substantially, and my June inbox went to zero.
I spent about two hours the past two days playing with Google Apps Script and researching the Trello API. I’ve got something basic that parses the spreadsheet. Now I need to create Trello cards.
I tried using this library, but the authorization code went into an infinite loop. I think the easier thing to do is to just hard code the authorization for now, at least to get this working. I can play with a more elegant solution later.
Alexa’s team created a WhatsApp group for our #collision experiment. This, in itself, is a bit of an experiment; we’ll see if it encourages sharing / checkin accountability. Jake and Eric said hello on the group, but so far, no other pair other than Rob and me have shared a checkin takeaway.
I was inspired to try this experiment after reading this personal productivity article. For the most part, there was nothing new for me in this article, but I was intrigued by the section on tracking your biorhythms. I decided to basically try his experiment almost exactly — same frequency, same time period, same dimensions (i.e. Energy, Focus, Mood). The only difference is that I chose a five point scale rather than three. (I noticed he was using decimal points, which to me defeats the benefits of using a three point scale.)
A few things I’ve noticed after a few days of tracking:
- It’s challenging to answer these questions consistently. What’s the difference between Energy and Focus?
- My mood doesn’t really fluctuate based on time of day.
- I’m not noticing any cycles, and I’m not sure that any of these dimensions are strongly correlated to time of day (other than I have more energy in the beginning of the day than the end). All three dimensions also seem related to type of activity (e.g. exercise, meetings, writing, eating, etc.).
I published, “Invisibility Doesn’t Serve the Work,” on June 20, 2017. I simultaneously shared a copy of it on Medium and a link to it on LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, I got 197 “views of post in the feed.” Previously, I had gotten 33 and 65 views of the full articles I had shared there. However, clicks are probably a better comparison, because the feed view only contains a few sentences and the link. According to Google Analytics, I got 7 clicks from LinkedIn.
Engagement-wise, my sharing received 4 likes and 0 comments (compared to 5 likes and 0 comments and 25 likes and 5 comments previously).
There were two views on Medium after the first day, but no reads. Then I asked Kate to click on Recommend. Since then, the post had 11 views, 5 reads, and 2 recommends (vs 2, 0, 0 and 2, 1, 0 previously).
In both cases, I shared in the morning, which may have had something to do with the engagement numbers.
Reflections / Next Steps for Colearning:
- Was so tired. Now energized again, partially because of brownie bits, partially because of conversation with Eugene. Didn’t know what I wanted to do, made up goals, appreciated that every conversation I had with all of you I learned. Open Space seemed like right approach.
- What a gift to have all of you in this house, time together. Brought love and light to this place that will continue after you leave.
- Appreciated everyone’s support
- Didn’t check off fully anything. Half checks. Feedback: You already did it, so freakin’ finish it. The stuff that I defined for myself is done, just have to complete it.
- Next time, want to be more clear with self and what I want to do. Just being a part of conversations I learn so much. Got a lot, and really appreciated that. Hard for me to ask for stuff. Still want to know what everyone else is working on.
Realizing how amazing it is to ask for help, have someone else ask to jam on things. Now feeling like might reach out and ask if anyone wants to talk, know that people will be honest with me. Feel like wasn’t there for me on Slack.
- Hesitant to come. “I’m not ready for this. I need to spend time in my own cave and be ready with questions.” Eugene: “This is our cave.” Perfectionist in me, not prepared to interact with people. Internal struggle.
- Worked on personal vision statement yesterday. Appreciated and accomplished some of the other things
- Great opportunity to be present with you all
- Like that we set out Solo time and Peer time on second day. Appreciated that little bit of structure. Knew that could have quiet time during Solo time.
- Haven’t done full Open Space before, so neat to see that take shape.
- Loved the peer exchanges. In beginning, checkins were rich and wanted to have conceptual conversations. That idea wasn’t as interesting as real peer support. Glad switched gears in my head.
- Hard to ask for peer support unless it’s reciprocal. Maybe there’s a way to frame it to encourage it?
- Really appreciated this space
- Practice of taking the space. How do you structure it? Really good at it in some ways, bad at others. Get leaky and lazy.
- Liked the Open Space. Jump in and say, “Here’s how it could look.” Liked serendipitous solidarity. Like anchors of group checkin time as well.
- Checked all boxes. Not complete, but enough work for set of nested maps guiding me moving forward.
- Second Renee’s comment about getting estimates in advance for private vs peer work. Coming in for second day felt a bit out of sync. Have to own that, but if knew that this group really needed solo time would have helped.
- January was much smaller group. Doing peer stuff easier. As we add a few people, having more knowledge helps. Doing short WYDWYD videos in advance, and committing to watch.
- More breaks
- More clarity on timing. A lot of things that were planned didn’t happen because flowy. Time, but more clarity helps.
- In advance: What percentage do we want for Solo vs Peer support?
- More of a push to have it structured in advance.
- Do another in January. January and June works well.
- Experiment: Monthly call to check in on each other’s work. Virtual brown bag? Peer assist? Turn it into video blog? Record on Zoom. Anya will organize. Odin can offer Zoom account. Lunch time? Odin will help. Design week of? Can nudge each other.
- Experiment: Odin hosting lessons learned summit. Possible quarterly complement. Anya, Brooking.
- Process for on-boarding, off-boarding. Kate and Eugene and Brooking.
Thank Yous and Checkouts
- Eugene for fiat
- Anya for hosting
- Talking about my feelings
- Helped my dog feel comfortable and heal
- Context in which I feel like I can help. Pleasure of feeling support and mutuality of it
- Appreciating Kate for going with flow. Didn’t fully give her space to get into the schedule
- Learned something from every one of you
- Beginning of colearning, wanted more than online watercooler, but wasn’t able to swing with the checkin. Becoming more of what I wanted it to be initially. Interesting reflection.
- “If you meet a man of great intellect, you should ask him what books he reads.” This group has expertise in rare space. Couldn’t take on current and potential work if didn’t have something like this behind me. If there’s something I don’t know, know that I can ask you all. Huge. Amazing to think of all of us doing that.
- Eugene printing out stuff. Enjoyed being off duty in that way.
- Welcoming me into this. Generosity with which you shared your own experiences. Reading Radical Hope. Kind of feeling this is a group that inspires.
- Amazing to be in community that recognizes each other’s strengths and sees power in that. Mutual recognition that everyone has knowledge, power.
- Practice of setting day aside
- Not coming at collaboration directly. Group that believes and practices and sees power in individual work and collaboration. How do we make space for those collaborations to build? Learn so much by being in conversation about it.
- Never experienced a group so expert and so easy to be a part of it. Everyone approaches it as, “We’re all learning.”
- Collective leadership! It’s awesome!
Just shared a link to my latest Faster Than 20 blog post on LinkedIn. Looking forward to tracking engagement with posting a link vs writing a LinkedIn article.
Another cool feature of #spire: Sending weekly reports that compares your aggregates to others similar to you. Here’s mine from last week: