by Vanessa Shaw
Recently we had a Management 3.0 facilitator retreat in Barcelona. The purpose of these retreats is to keep us connected, informed and to develop and maintain relationships within our Management 3.0 facilitator group and also with the Management 3.0 team. And of course we get to work on new projects together. On top of what we did, I took away some great lessons on how we did it.
Everyone had the opportunity to contribute to the retreat in whichever way they wished. The agenda was open and collaborative. It was clear that if you wanted to lead something – you could. Some contributed in very visible ways – like organizing the venue, restaurants and managing details of arrival/departure (Thanks, Jen!). Participation could happen in an active or relaxed manner. There was no pressure, just options.
Here are 3 takeaways I’m reflecting on after my first Management 3.0 retreat
Create the habitat for collaboration
The influence of space is a content module we are working on and the weekend retreat was a great example of how space can be adapted to match to needs. We needed a space for discussions, games, activities, drawing and decision making. We had comfortable chairs, ample and moveable space for different activities. We had snacks and beverage service that we did not need to manage. The location was also near to transit, Airbnb rentals and great restaurants. This was important because we had members arriving and departing at various times. If the retreat had been in a mountain getaway – it would have complicated arrival/departure.
The physical space you are in will influence the experience and results. For example cooking a meal in the forest will produce different results to cooking in a kitchen . You’ll also get different results when planning a vacation while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist vs. sitting in a cafe by the beach. Context matters. Let me illustrate:
Here are two meeting spaces
Now consider these two scenarios:
- You need to have a meeting with 10 department heads to make a decision about a round of layoffs due to budget cuts.
- You need to have a meeting to design a new version of your product.
Which room would you select? How would the results be impacted by these two spaces? *Note there is no wrong answer.
Listen for values
We had a discussion about terminology and words to use for some upcoming changes to certifications and new levels due to be released. We wanted to find a way to recognize the diversity of experience amongst the facilitator community. Present at the retreat were facilitators who had given over 40 workshops, and others who had not done their first one yet. As we discussed this, I reflected on the fact that the word “expert” is a complicated one. I was not the only who felt this. I appreciated a comment from Ryan who said “I don’t think of myself as an expert, but the insights and expertise comes from the whole group.” My own philosophy as a facilitator is totally in line with this thinking. Jurgen also commented that answering questions with, “I do not know,” often elicits positive results.
What can we take away from this discussion?
There is a shared value for recognizing diversity of experience – and also a value for humility. Self-organizing teams do not need experts, instead they should recognize contributions.
The team is still working on how to do this responsibly. One thing is clear – we have a shared value around the topic. I’m confident we will find the right solution – through the expertise and diversity of ideas in the community.
Make the big picture present
The Management 3.0 community is located far and wide across the globe. The way we first meet each other is usually online, so I had a bit of a shock when I met a few of the members – their profile picture looked so different from how they are in person!
For the main day of the event we had a professional photographer capture our interactions, activities and experiments. He also worked on headshots for our profiles. It gave a sense that this event had a larger impact than just supporting the people who were there. There was a greater purpose in coming together and consciously documenting the event was a clear reminder of the bigger picture. Stay tuned for the snazzy new photos rolling out soon.
I’ve participated in many facilitator retreats for other communities of practitioners. What can I take away from this one? Management 3.0 is community of people who have self-selected to be members. We have come together on a shared set of ideas, values and principles. There is a basis – but we are still flexible and able to shape to new ideas and members. The retreat was a bit like flan.
A solid base that holds us together, but still able to be shaken up and mold to new forms.
Hasta luego, until next time…!
Image credits: Raouf Abrougui, Drawing by Vanessa Shaw