Agile Gardening

Onepoint kitchen ready to host Agile Gardening

On Tuesday 11th June, Dahm Hongchai, Corentin Nile and Jord de Rengerve, three Agile coaches, invited 12 participants to discover Agile gardening at onepoint office in Brussels. Agile gardening is for Agile leaders. It propose to experience the creation of a team, discovering team members, aprehending customer needs, working in iterative way, removing impediment for teams, welcoming change, and letting the product go.

Upon arrival in the kitchen of onepoint, the participant discovered a table loaded with plants and decorations. They soon receive their first instructions: build a tiny garden in the 3 pots present on the table. The gardeners accepted quite too quickly to group in 3 people following the team composition imposed by the hosts. It was the first learning of the evening: you can compose your team based on affinities. While they started we asked the gardeners what were their feeling while they entered the room: feeling welcomed, curiosity, happiness. Soon the atmosphere will change, the stress comes in when we ask “who is your customer?” “what are your requirements”. Then the participants felt it was becoming serious. Corentin was the customer, he requested to have harmony in the garden composition. Harmony ? What does that mean ? Nevertheless they continued and composed three nice tiny gardens.

The customer destroyed the gardens

Before the second iteration, Jord gathered the participants in a corner of the room, turning their back to the gardening table. While Jord was giving instructions and attracting their attention with a loud voice and movement, the customer destroyed their garden. The customer was not pleased at all. When the gardener came back to the table they discovered the destruction. Emotions were strong: Anger, excitment, surprise. The customer expressed his unstatisfaction and requested the work to be started all over again. The gardener understood that they had to let it go, that they should not feel attached to the product. Even for the most experienced Agile practitioner, it can be difficult to see a nice garden being destroyed by an unsatisfied customer.

Soon after the second iteration started, the customer disappeared. Corentin had to take care of ordering the pizzas for the diner of the guest. Jord took the role of the subordinate of the customer; he didn’t know well the requirement but insisted that his boss would be satisfied this time. The stress was increasing. The customer subordinate was asking a lot of question while the gardener was busy implementing a second iteration, he tried to make sure the intention of Harmony was there, demanding that the composition was balanced and had a purpose. When the customer came back, the gardener could make sure customer satisfaction was delivered.

The hosts asked the gardener about their satisfaction with the second version compared to the first one: it was quite clear that creating a new one allowed to deliver a more beautiful tiny garden. The host then requested a third iteration; this time, the customer required the gardeners to create a rose garden. But there was no rose available. The gardeners had to plan for the future, project themselves to develop new capabilities for their team.

The three tiny gardens that the participants composed were photographed by a professional photographer, ContrastImage.be, to capture the memory of the evening. “A l’ombre d’une fleur” provided the flowers.

MeWe analysis

MeWe Analysis

After the gardening, the three hosts invited the gardeners to discover themselves and their type of personality by playing the MeWe cards.

“You are attending a Alumni gala diner of your High School, a were important networking event. You met good old friends and several new people at the diner table. You have to introduce yourself to all of these people, including to your good old friends that you didn’t see for twenty years , you changed with a lot of experiences, you have new hobbies compared to when your were attending school. You have to present yourself in a true way, you don’t have to fake or try to pretend to be somebody else.”

Each participant received a deck of MeWe cards. Each participant received for instruction to select thirteen cards bearing personality attribute that they could use to picture themselves while introducting themeselves during the dinner. After they selected the thriteen cards, the story continued.

“The diner is finihsed, you leave the place, while going toward the lift, you see one person that you truly wanted to meet during the evening but you could, this person was sitting too far on the diner table. You will have 30 seconds, just the time of the lift to come back to the lobby of the dinner place, to pitch yourself. Amongst the thirteen cards you selected, choose only 7 cards withthe attributes you would use to pitch yourself in these thirty seconds of lift time”.

After the selection of the seven cards, the hosts asked the participants to pitch themselves to the other participants of the workshop. After the pitching, the hosts requested the participants to face the cards up, revealing the animals hidden so far. Each MeWe card represents one of the four animal: mouse, bear, bull and eagle. The animal which is the most present in the cards selected by the participant reveal the dominant personality of the person. Mice are empathic; they care for others. Bulls are full of energy; they speak fast and want to achieve their one and unique goal. Bears are analytic thinkers; they like to collect information and create processes. Eagles are visionary, creative and risk takers. Learning to recognise yourself and other team members is a key for a productive team.

To discover how to improve the communication between each type of animal, the hosts requested that participants to group by the dominant type of animal they have and asked them to answer to the question “How do you like your colleagues to interact with you?”. Each group then shared with the others which communication method works best with them. Mice need to see that the opinion of each team member is heard. Bears need to be given space and time to think and elaborate on innovative strategies. Bulls need to be given direct and quick instructions, you need to go straight to the point with bulls. Eagles often use the primer “What if …” for sentences, they like to be given the possibility to express their creativity. These elements were gathered on giant posters prepared by Corentin with graphic facilitation technic.

The group picture of the Agile Gardening Meetup

The workshop ended with a long networking session. Onepoint offered Pizza and beverages to all the participants. It was time for all the participants to debrief on what they have learned during these two intensive hours full of discoveries. It was also the time to make new friendship and new connections. After the closure of hte events the three coaches, Corentin, the host, Dahm and Jord gathered their ideas for new workshops. We hope to see you in September for our new adventures.

Change your day to drive your company toward a better Change

Free image from Unsplash - Ross findon

Reading twitter on a cold cloudy Sunday morning, I got an interesting combination of 2 articles proposed next to each other. The first one from Management 3.0 (M3.0) urges to connect with yourself not to let daily impediments to ruin your day. The second from
Harvard Business Review (HBR) proposes to use emotional intelligence to build a posture facing pivotal changes in your company.

The HBR article speaks about a long term attitude toward change and using self-introspection to drive this attitude. It proposes to be an actor of the change instead of letting fear and other negative emotions make you become an impediment of the change.
https://hbr.org/2018/12/how-to-embrace-change-using-emotional-intelligence

The podcast of M3.0 evokes a daily stance to avoid petty issues to ruin our day at work.
Jamie Lerner forces you to consider that ” … You wouldn’t speak to others like you speak to yourself ! …”. But we do, I have to admit that I did, and I will still do. As a coach I have a chance to see the facts, and to build self-introspection but it’s not an easy task and there are days where you get back to bad habits, I’m forced to admit it.

Being able to coach yourself to build daily internal emotional driver and at the same time to keep an eye on the road of company big changes seems to be a tough challenge. Having a friendly reminder from a coach or from the reading of an article must be helpful on the way. You can’t have a coach at hand every day, you need to be your own coach at least from time to time. I hope this article can help in these moments.

I am interested reading your comments.

Heading Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
https://unsplash.com/photos/mG28olYFgHI

Communication strategy based on personality styles

As a consultant, I worked for many companies; I visited many customers. After the first icebreakers, I often started to hear “In this team, we have a communication problem”. Even if you leave aside potential source of difficulties as teams which are working remotely or cultural differences, human nature is prone to create communication gaps.

The disc model

Even with a lot of good will, it is not an easy task to close the gap separating birds of different feathers. The human brain is made to push people to gather with people of the same kind. Our mirror cells are inviting us to mimic behaviour and to be comfortable with people similar to us. But you can not lead a ship with only captains or only sailors. You need diversity to manage a successful endeavour and companies need people of different talent. How to prevent these difference in personalities to impair your communication.

MeWe animals

The first step is to recognise the differences and to adapt to the style of communication of the person you are interacting with. Amongst many frameworks, the simplest I found to help people understand the model of communication is the DISC model. The leadership wheel and the 4 quadrant model are two similar useful variations. The concept is similar: people belong to one of the 4 groups. Each group has its own motivators and its own ways of communicating.

I am using these models for 15 years with great benefits. I recently discovered a serious card game allowing to introduce the model in a short amount of time and in a fun way. On Friday 1st March, I organised a workshop in Brussels at Alliance Merode to introduce the model and the serious game to new people. Now the game is being translated in Dutch and French to facilitate its deployment in Belgium and French companies.

Call me to organize a workshop at your place based on the MeWe cards, there is a lot to discover into this serious game.

A great evening with Moving motivators on Friday 18th January 2019

The workshop at Alliance Merode

For this meet-up, Corentin and I wanted to introduce a tool that we love: the moving motivators cards. We also introduced the feedback wall, another tool of Maangement 3.0 to collect the feedback of a group.

Discover and share

The participants were surprised to discover themselves and their personal motivational drivers using the moving motivators cards. This serious game is coming from Management 3.0 from Jurgen Appelo. With only 10 cards you are invited to rank from the most important. I often see people surprised to see the result. It is a very effective tool for introspection. I recommend to use it when you want to lead a choice or a change with the idea to improve your well-being.

And share more

Two by two the participants introduced themselves to the other describing their personal interpretation of the motivation cards.

In the second phase of the workshop, we proposed the participant to select a situation (the company they belong, a project in which they participate) to rank how much this situation allows them to realise their motivations in life. With the help of Corentin we helped each participant to understand how to influence the situation by introducing a change.

The participant collected their feedback during the workshop on sticky notes with a smiley:
🙂 an elements they liked
🙁 something they recommend not to do
😐 and proposal for experiments

Dinner at Alliance Merode

In the end of the workshop the participant shared a dinner and some beers to foster networking .

Aurore, the cook at Alliance Merode prepared a vegan Korean dinner: Bibimbap. Charlot and Aurore the owners of the restaurant have a fine selection of beer that they offer for degustation.

Moving motivators : Friday 18th January 2019

Moving motivators cards

Discover your inner motivations using a serious game: Moving motivators cards. Moving motivators cards allow individuals and group to discover what motivates them to achieve goals at work and in life in general. This serious game is coming from Management 3.0. It fosters team members happiness to increase engagement. Moving motivator cards is a deck of 10 cards, a simple description. Each attendee receives a deck and sorts the card from left to right, from most to the less able to engage you in participating in an endeavour. In a second step, the attendees will be invited to rank up or down the motivator if it is currently achieved at the place where they work. The two coaches hosting the workshop will offer you some guidelines to understand your personal result.

Bibimbap

PeopleBlendIT and Corentin Nile welcome in for its first workshop of the new year in a networking dinner offered by Alliance Merode: Korean vegan dish named Bibimbap.

6.00pm Welcome
6.30pm Short introduction to Management 3.0
7.00pm Discovery and practice of the “Moving motivators cards”
8.30pm Networking dinner

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com to book the dinner for 10€. RSVP Wed 16th Jan 2019.

The event is organised by PeopleBlendIT Moving motivators is part of the coaching toolbox of PeopleBlendIT to make you discover you inner forces and help you thrive.

Copyright Juergen Appelo and Management 3.0

Practice Team Collaboration by playing a board game – Fri 7th Dec 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

Play the board game Kitchen Rush to practice you team collaboration skills

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Friday 7th December  6pm-10pm including a Vegan Korean dinner (10€)

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register. Book a dinner for 10€. RSVP Wed 5th Dec 2018.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Game sessions 6.30pm-22pm
Dinner During game sessions – 10€ RSVP 5th Dec2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Kitchen Rush:

Kitchen run is a fast paced collaboration game in which the players are helping each other in developping a successfull restaurant.

Dinner menu:

Vegan Korean rice and veggies “Bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free game sessions.

The meal is taking place during the game sessions but is not mandatory to enjoy the game.

Negocards workshop 8th Nov 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

negocards

Acquire negotiation skills by playing an #OpenSeriousGame

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Thursday 8th November  6pm-10pm

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register.

Negocards workshop card game

The fundamentals of the negocards:
• Nobody is a born negotiator
• Negotiation is a skill that can be learned
• The negocards serious game allows learning by playing with negotiation best practices.
• Based on cards, best practice reference cards and role-playing session, attendees are learning by practising

The game material is available free of copyright to foster dissemination of knowledge. We recommend people willing to attend the workshop not to read the three last pages presenting the scenarii of the roleplay.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Workshop 6.30pm-20.30pm
Dinner 20.30pm-22.00pm – 10€ RSVP 5th Nov 2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Post-event dinner: 

egan Korean rice and veggies “bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free workshop. The meal is taking place after the event and is not mandatory to enjoy the game.

Negocards workshop 10th Oct 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

negocards

Acquire negotiation skills by playing an #OpenSeriousGame

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Wednesday 10th October 6 pm: Welcoming dinner
7.30 -10 pm: Workshop

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register.

Negocards workshop card game

The fundamentals of the negocards:
• Nobody is a born negotiator
• Negotiation is a skill that can be learned
• The negocards serious game allows learning by playing with negotiation best practices.
• Based on cards, best practice reference cards and role-playing session, attendees are learning by practising

The game material is available free of copyright to foster dissemination of knowledge. We recommend people willing to attend the workshop not to read the three last pages presenting the scenarii of the roleplay.

Coach and Mentors

What makes the difference between a coach and a mentor? Do they use the same tools and do they have different intentions?

Coach and mentors use similar tools: transactional analysis, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Non-violent communication, meeting facilitation, Cynefin, balanced scorecards, and a wide range of communication and self-development technics. Does it make them delivering the same service? We may explore the origin of the knowledge of the coach and the mentor to explore their difference.

Where does a coach get its training from? I often heard that it’s necessary to be trained by a coach to become a coach. A similar image is said about studies to become a psychotherapist: “ … before you start being a practitioner and deliver psychotherapies, you must first receive one”.
If that’s true, you still get a lot of online resources to train yourself to coach yourself, maybe you have already visited the “self-development” section in libraries. These are labelled as coaching resources.

So where do you get the resources to become a mentor?

There are plenty of success stories about mentors related to articles in Harvard Business Review and The Economist but where can you find a training on mentorship.
I’m not even sure that I could find a mentor in mentoring. Let’s assume it exists, for the minimum I would ask you to agree they are rare. Is that the difference between a coach and a mentor? I feel there is something more substantial to it, maybe we can continue to explore together.

Both are seasoned guides delivering educational content for professionals. A coach can deliver a few hours, few days to several months of coaching but a mentor would probably tend to be present for a longer duration.

Mentors will probably address one individual when a coach can help one individual or a large group. Agile coaches are familiar with the education of an entire tribe and groups of Agile coaches are collectively addressing swarms of tribes.

Alternatively, a mentor may educate a single professional. He illustrates his lessons with examples of his own experience, serving as a reference and a guide. A mentor relates to situations he experienced or witnessed similar to the one he tries to help with. A mentor will probably have a long-term vision of where he wants to take a mentee to.

Notice that if the mentor/mentee exists in the language, nothing equivalent exist for a coach. Coached doesn’t seem to be an appealing equivalent to the mentee. A coach acts less than a Sensei and more as a facilitator to help an individual or a group to discover a knowledge, a tool or a practice.

The listening skills are important for a mentor to succeed in delivering its knowledge. It probably makes the difference between an average and a great mentor.

But not a single coach can survive and thrive without great listening skills. There is not one but many ways of opening your attention to an audience, and that is maybe the most difficult coaching skill to acquire.

I’m interested in reading your comments.

 

Image copyright associated with https://workplacepsychology.net

Moving motivators card game

Thanks to the Management 3.0 Lab on 8th November 2017 organized by #Wemanity. We used the moving motivators cards in a coaching of a team of Product Owners to let them define their dream job description. https://management30.com/practice/moving-motivators/

Thanks to @Stephane Martinez Querol for rolling out this lab https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephane-martinez-querol-b524908

I’m interested reading your experience about moving motivators cards.