Taking stock


September 19th, 2010

On Monday last week I woke early and drove through driving rain for a couple of hours to facilitate a workshop about the future amalgamation of three organisations. By all accounts it was a fairly unspectacular workshop with an unspectacular format – speakers in the morning and an opportunity for me to do my thing in the afternoon. Yet for some reason this workshop sparked all sorts of thinking.

Two of the three speakers were also consultants – I had worked with both in the past, but not recently. I watched as they put up their slides and started with some relevant information about themselves and their work. Hmmm…

There were a bunch of people in the workshop that I knew. And I realised that I’ve been making a big assumption about my own role and involvement in workshops. I subscribe to the principle that workshops are not about the facilitator. We’re there to do many things, but not be the focus of attention. In living this principle I realised that I’ve been negligent in introducing myself, in letting the workshop participants (particularly those that don’t know me) into my life, albeit just for the workshop.

As an aside, I was talking with an old friend during one of the breaks who I haven’t seen for a while. He reminded me that he owed me lunch, and we were reminisicing about our shared history (which had a lot to do with long car trips, hamburgers and farmers tackling salinity). It occurred to me how different these old friendships are compared with new friendships. Both offer interesting insights to who we are – and different challenges to nurture and maintain.

So I did a little slide-show introduction to me and my work. Interestingly, one slide really resonated and a number of people mentioned it to me.  Here was a way for me to introduce myself and throw in a few key concepts and ideas that influence my work. And for me to maybe influence the thinking of others.

My world is different to many around me. I’m as likely to connect with someone in another country as someone nearby. I get my news from Twitter. I am inspired, annoyed, excited, befuddled or angered by blogs I read. I devour books, and feel fortunate to able to physically and virtually travel just about anywhere and meet anyone. I often crave deep conversations, and have a handful of close friends (near and far) who often feed that craving. I like to play – with ideas and with processes. I work when moved to work rather than to a specific timetable.

This is now so much a part of my life that I’m still surprised to find people completely removed from any engagement with on-line media.

And I wonder where all this is heading.

I’m having a little break in Europe at the moment. A bit of work, a bit of play, my favourite must-go-to-conference. And a bit of time out from the day-to-day in a different environment with different people to take stock, to re-energise and to explore possibilities. Like my previous post said – the only barriers are in my own mind.

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