Two months in

Correction: Two months, not three. Feels like longer! And let me now (May 15th) preface it with something I posted yesterday on Facebook and LinkedIn:

I have fully embraced this online thing. Not for the first time, 3 continents – this time Europe, Asia, and Australasia – were represented in my workshop this morning, and the thought of doing that by plane like I used to suddenly appalls me. Even putting to one side the shielding issue (I have a vulnerable family member), that kind of travel will for me and I guess many others be the exception, not the norm, perhaps forever. And no bad thing either

It’s three two months since I got back from an Agendashift Deep Dive workshop in Malmö, Sweden. Arriving home after midnight, I gave the house a miss and headed straight to the “studio” (a nicely-converted double garage, my office by day and self-contained living accommodation for us when we have carers in for our daughter) and a week of solitary quarantine. Comfortable enough but weird! A couple of weeks later the UK was officially in lockdown, but for my wife and I the strategy was already clear: for our medically vulnerable daughter’s sake, catching the virus wasn’t an option.

I’m well used to working from home and am well set up for it. I’m fully reconciled to travelling very much less than before, if at all. I’m embracing a strategic shift here: instead of holding out for a return to how things were, Agendashift is (to borrow a phrase) digital by default. If physical presence is the exception (and perhaps a rare one), we design for online first.

Those Powerpoint decks? Screen-sharing a slide-based presentation over Zoom isn’t a great look, and the transitions between that and conversational group work is jarring, to put it mildly. They’ve been relegated to design documentation, just a tiny and steadily diminishing fraction of slides finding their way into other, more collaborative media. Out with my material, in with your shared workbooks.

In some ways it’s liberating. In the past week or so I’ve done whole workshops without sharing my screen even once. Similarly, a whole meetup without slides, live-chatting a few prepared quotes, links, and instructions for breakouts – definitely doing that again!

There will be things that I’ll miss about the old way, but having concluded that it’s a fool’s errand to try to replicate it faithfully online, I’ve moved on. Online is different. We’re making it work. We’re taking advantage of its advantages (and they’re real), minimising its weaknesses (yes they’re real too). We’re digital by default, online first, and honestly, that’s ok.

PS: While we’re here (it’s kinda related, in that the tech of online transported me temporarily to New Zealand), I was interviewed for the Joekub podcast early morning UK time last Saturday. Listen to it here:

And a nice bit of feedback:

I also have a friend who loved the podcast, bought Right to Left and she said she would start explaining agile in a different way now 😀

Related:


Upcoming workshops (all online of course)

With yours truly unless otherwise indicated:

For the latest workshop and speaking events check the Agendashift events calendar.


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