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Triangulating our professional development

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Base slides for a workshop at the 17th Annual NW Dispute Resolution Conference” that will take place next Friday and Saturday, April 30 – May 1, 2010 at William H. Gates Hall, University of ...

Base slides for a workshop at the 17th Annual NW Dispute Resolution Conference” that will take place next Friday and Saturday, April 30 – May 1, 2010 at William H. Gates Hall, University of Washington School of Law. Note: these slides will probably make no sense on their own.

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  • It is easy to dive deep into one's own area of specialization, increasing our proficiencies. But sitting right along side of us are adjacent practices and professions that can stimulate our own learning, give us a new perspective with which to reflect upon our own work and to stimulate us during those "plateaus" that we encounter along our paths. By hooking in and out - by triangulating - with other adjacent practices and networks of professionals, we can grow our own professions. Join me on a short learning journey of stories, pictures and practical suggestions on how to take advantage of triangulation to enrich your own profession.
  • I was invited to hold a hands on workshop with 8 mediators on graphic facilitation. We began to explore the intersections of our practices and professions and it was very rich. (This is not a picture from that workshop. Alas, I seem to have lost those pictures!)
  • http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PXcUZCtFmnsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA71&dq=learning+from+adjacent+professions&ots=sWDpMGyPIj&sig=h1MHN9_cWqwjfgjQkgSLFjZfXX8#v=onepage&q=learning%20from%20adjacent%20professions&f=false
  • http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PXcUZCtFmnsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA71&dq=learning+from+adjacent+professions&ots=sWDpMGyPIj&sig=h1MHN9_cWqwjfgjQkgSLFjZfXX8#v=onepage&q=learning%20from%20adjacent%20professions&f=false
  • How much of our learning is stifled, lost or blocked because of the structure of our organizations, professional associations and society in general?
  • This quote at first annoyed me. Then I liked it. Then I said, “yes… and” – the importance of having space and acceptance to “not knowing” and what that can bring us to know.
  • http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PXcUZCtFmnsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA71&dq=learning+from+adjacent+professions&ots=sWDpMGyPIj&sig=h1MHN9_cWqwjfgjQkgSLFjZfXX8#v=onepage&q=learning%20from%20adjacent%20professions&f=false The stuff near us, perhaps just out of our line of sight but which can complement our practice and profession.
  • Transdisciplinarity means seeing the whole, not just the intersection of the parts. Being willing and able to explore our practice from a potentially wholly different perspective. As we talked, we noticed the place of complexity in this conversation. Professional development is either treated as simple or complicated, but the context of our actual work is increasingly complex, or even chaotic. See the work of David Snowden and his Cynefin work http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin and http://www.cognitive-edge.com/articlesbydavesnowden.php
  • See also: http://www.interdisciplines.org/interdisciplinarity/papers/5/24
  • Let’s find some connection … between people, across modalities. What makes the “adjacent” visible and accessible? For more information on this exercise, see http://www.fullcirc.com/wp/2008/04/08/arts-at-nexus-for-change-2/ http://www.johnniemoore.com/blog/archives/000380.php http://www.fullcirc.com/2009/02/26/northern-voice-visual-recap/
  • Our paired drawings. We debrief how it felt, particularly in light of that often felt sense of “I can’t draw.” Safe. Fun. Unexpected.
  • Story about a visioning exercise and how it changed when we visualized it. Adjacencies can be experienced when we move modalities, from text to aural to visual to kinesthetic.
  • What are your adjacent practices and professions?
  • How does this apply to professional development? What do we mean by “adjacent professions?” Adjacent professions: facilitation, drama, knowledge workers, program managers, artists... Example lessons learned: * drama - how we say something impacts how it is received. Improv, role playing * knowledge workers - how we find information we need and make it available to peers and clients in useful ways (social media, etc)
  • Adjacencies
  • We then brainstormed and came up with MANY ideas. John is typing them up and will share
  • I had intended that we then take our spidergrams and notice where we were very connected to other professions by putting a dot closer to ourselves in the middle and where we were more “distant.” We never got there!
  • The blank spidergram I handed out.
  • So… we never got to the material from here down, so I’ve typed in a few cryptic notes in the slide notes area!
  • The stories I did not get around to telling: I reflected on this question. Now I work a lot in large international non governmental organizations, complex non profits and organizations. I am most often working not with executives or top leadership, but with middle people, front line project managers and field managers who have important stuff to get done, but often little or token management support (or understanding for that matter), few resources, few to no colleagues doing similar work close to them and always, not enough time. The recipe for failure right? Well, either that, or the recipe for success, because these people are usually amazing, motivated people who need just a wee bit more to succeed... usually in the form of support, learning partners and reflection. And they needed validation to be taken seriously within their own organizations.. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opendemocracy/267705194/ Uploaded on October 12, 2006 by openDemocracy
  • I reflected on the patterns that led them to get these things they needed, and in many cases, what I retrospectively observed in my work was that with a client, I worked to hold up a mirror to help them see their own strength – the beginning of the reflective support, I connected them to an ongoing source of external domain and practice support – often a broad resource network and a smaller core, community of practice, and then I or others simply became an ongoing source of simple, human support. Their work was now triangulated out of being solely embedded in their organization, where time, attention and support for their work was scarce. They were tapping into what they needed without asking for more from the org. They were connecting to fellow practitioners to learn what they needed to learn. A little aside on the word “triangulation.” My friends in the human processes world raised eyebrows because this is one of those words used in many ways in different domains. I am not satisfied with it, but it gives something more specific than “networked learning.” It is the intentional connection of a few lines into this triangle of support, learning and validation. So bear with me until we can figure out a better word! Now I'm certainly not the first person to observe this practice, but I wondered why it wasn't more commonplace? Lilia Effimova surfaced how blogs helped this happen in the network of KM practitioners for example. The stories are everywhere. But I don't see this used as an explicit learning strategy. It is most often “user generated,” under the radar, skunkworks like. Why? Will surfacing this approach ruin it? Let's hold that question as we look at some of the elements within it. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/40344973/ Uploaded on September 4, 2005 by roland
  • The starting point is often a person's desire to either learn something from “an expert” (itself a loaded and often questionable term) or get an external perspective. What my colleagues often report is feeling alone and unsupported in their work. Some are so constrained, they refer to it as being imprisoned in a way that keeps them from really doing their work, or tapping into the deeper possibilities of their work. They want to go beyond “check the box” on the log frame analysis, but see little light at the end of the tunnel to do so. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onkel_wart/2487637968/ Uploaded on May 12, 2008 by onkel_wart
  • Being fully heard by someone else (preferably someone they respect and who has some external respect – that ties into the third point of validation) is akin to bringing light into the dark room, to illuminate both the substantive domain issues and they personal and often emotional contexts of the work. It is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about the emotional side of work in our organizations, but in my experience it has been crucial. Support means far more than a comforting “I understand.” Some of the elements including holding up a mirror so a person or team can see their own strengths in a new light. Asset identification and amplification. Identifying specific learning and practice needs in a very practical, task focused way. So the emotional part is woven immediately into practical work. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/muehlinghaus/240944635/ Uploaded on September 11, 2006 by [ henning ]
  • The support part of the triangle identifies what types of learning, resources and practitioner connections might be useful. This is the connection bit of triangulation. An external community or network is a fantastic resource because most often it does not impose more hard costs on the person's organization (which might very likely be vetoed), it provides expertise, a place to ask and answer questions and learn, a place to find resources and experience one's practice in a fuller ecosystem, rather than in the isolation of one's own job. The connection to a community of practice or wider network however, becomes the field out of which the fruits of the ongoing triangulation live and breathe. It can take over the role of the person who provided the initial support, and it can also become the place for external validation, the next bit. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathemagenic/4014282560/ Photo Credit: (And really interesting story) Uploaded on October 15, 2009 by Lilia Efimova This photo requires a whole of Creative Commons trail: - This is a piece of the photo made by Gauri Salokhe . - The original photo depicts a part of the visual summary of the huddle discussions at KM4Dev workshop made by several people , including myself. - I actually did the triangulation bit above and then others jumped in with coloring. - I think Nancy White was the one bringing triangulation as part of the discussion summarised here. Nancy also coached us on doing visual reporting. 
  • I want to add a specific note here on the value of the connection to the external network, particularly because sometimes when I talk in terms of NGO work, people say “this can't work in business organizations because of competitive issues. First, NGOs are hugely competitive, even though they have a supposed shared common good or outcome they are working towards. They compete for resources, often through branding and “WE DISCOVERED THIS HERE” approaches. These are survival mechanisms, but they often block the very learning and innovation that is required in the work. External communities and networks bring diversity of thinking that we need for innovation. Even when we can't talk about ALL of the specifics of our work, we can always talk about something about our work. So creating space and permission for these extra-organizational engagements is in fact an astute investment and the risks can be managed. Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/illustriousbean/571630048/ Uploaded on June 19, 2007 by illustriousbean iza
  • The third and very very important part of the triangulation is external validation. Folks in the middle often have a hard time getting their work seen, validated and thus supported for continuation or growth. Those beside and below them have little extrinsic or intrinsic motivation to pay attention. Those above them have little time, attention or motivation, especially in organizations where there is little latitude for risk taking, learning through “safe fail” (Dave Snowden's term) experiments (let alone FAILURES!) and when something succeeds, management more often needs to take credit for the success because thats how the politics of the organization work. One strategy we've used for external validation involves social media. When we – the people who are either doing direct support or the community/network members – learn about the success of the lone innovator in their organization, we tell the story externally. Of course, you check to make sure you are not messing with IP, rules etc. A blog post, a Tweet or a series of retweets shines a light on the work and success of the person. All of a sudden, “the boss” looks up. What's going on here? This is cool! Others think it is cool! Let's look into it ans support it. This external validation often best comes from credible people who work in the field. If X organization is having success, then Y is interested. All of a sudden, individual and organizational identity comes into play as a support of the learning, rather than a barrier. In the NGO “KM” world, the http://KM4Dev.org network has become an important player in this role. An added bonus, beyond the immediate support of the individual, is that organizations get a better line of site to where they are doing overlapping or complimentary work, and the motivated individuals from those organizations who are also members of the network start collaborating on both formal and informal learning and project work. Hey, think of the thousands of flowers might bloom! Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exalthim/2063912337/ Uploaded on November 25, 2007 by Mr.Thomas
  • So lets talk a bit more about the mechanics of getting and using triangulated support and learning. We don't have to get through all of them. We can stop and talk, share stories or whatever, at any point. This is not some great, deep theoretical framework, just a perspective from my practice that seems to be resonating when I talk about it with others. So today, that is what I'm offering – something about learning outside the “training box,” that place of formalized offerings that assume the offerer knows what the offerree wants and can deliver that in a neat (and often small) package.
  • How can social media help us a) notice adjacencies and b) connect to people and/or content related to those adjacent practices and professions? How can some of these tools do some of the scanning and visualizing so that we can ACT upon them. How do they affect our own identities?
  • Social networks help us “rub up against” those who are both similar to and different from us. There are practices and tools we might explore.
  • The social networks also raise the question of how, if at all, do we compartmentalize our personal and professional selves. What are the implications for our learning? Our profession? The “field” we work in?
  • How do we USE these social media and social network tools for facilitating triangulation and learning from adjacent professions and practices?
  • A story example looking at blogs from Lilia Efimova
  • I get to know you by what you link to and recommend as well as what you write.
  • Our learning is inextricably tied to our identity.
  • I have worked with an open source project to develop tools for professionals thinking about using digital tools and the implications for their identity. The NGO one is here: http://www.fullcirc.com/2009/05/19/digital-identity-workbook-for-npongo-folks/ The Librarian one is here: http://wiki.sos.wa.gov/PeerLearning/Digital%20Identity%20Workbook%20-%20This%20is%20Me%20.ashx What would one look like for a person in your profession?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/watz/1472273440/ Uploaded on October 2, 2007 by watz

Triangulating our professional development Triangulating our professional development Presentation Transcript

  • Triangulating Our Professional Development: Learning from Adjacent Practices Nancy White Full Circle Associates Seattle, WA [email_address] http://www.fullcirc.com Session Materials Wiki: http://onlinefacilitation.wikispaces.com/Triangulating+for+Professional+Development All materials in this session are Creative Commons, Attribution license
  • Three Agenda Items
    • How do we learn as professionals? (and a thought about connections)
    • Situating our learning in the context of adjacent professions and skills (aka “ transdisciplinarity ”)
    • Networked professional development (aka “ triangulation ”)
  • A POINT OF DEPARTURE… SUMMER ‘09
  • HOW DO YOU LEARN ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
  • CONTEXT, POWER & PERSPECTIVE
    • Disciplinary knowledge (university, formal programs) Experiential knowledge (practice, formal, informal)
    • Caveat: Context, Power & Perspective
    • Where/field of work
    • Who holds the power
    • The diverse views
    • “… be sure they can answer these questions: Why am I learning this? How is it relevant to the world I live in now?” ( Drive , Dan Pink)
  • CONTEXT, POWER & PERSPECTIVE
    • Disciplinary knowledge (university, formal programs) Experiential knowledge Adjacent knowledge
  • TRANSDISCIPLINARITY
    • Discovery….
  • Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach . It applies to research efforts focused on problems that cross the boundaries of two or more disciplines, such as research on effective information systems for biomedical research (see bioinformatics ), and can refer to concepts or methods that were originally developed by one discipline, but are now used by several others, such as ethnography, a field research method originally developed in anthropology but now widely used by other disciplines. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transdisciplinarity
  • CONNECTION: Paired Drawing… Bridging….
  •  
  •  
  • “ ADJACENT” PRACTICES
  • Project Managers What is adjacent to your work? Knowledge Workers Visual Artists
  •  
  • “ ADJACENT” DISCOVERY…
  • Host Counselor Facilitator Designer Writer Program Mgr Dispute Resolution
  • Program Mgr Facilitator Counselor Host Designer Writer Dispute Resolution
  • Dispute Resolution
  • WHAT IS TRIANGULATION, ANYWAY? So… we never got to the material from here down, so I’ve typed in a few cryptic notes in the slide notes area!
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/opendemocracy/267705194/
  •  
  • Alone... isolated
  • Hopefulness…support
  • Connection
  • Innovation…
  • External Validation
  • How?
    • External support person(s)
    • Learning Connection to a domain-related network or community
    • Intentional external validation
  • What are useful networked learning strategies?
    • Network tools
    • Network practices
    • Identity
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/silvertje/3582297307/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting/4412472230/
  • What are useful networked learning strategies?
    • Network tools
    • Network practices
    • Identity
  • Social ecosystem Lilia Efimova http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/06/10.html#a1235 getting to know W reading
  • Social ecosystem
    • Linking as personal recommendation
    Lilia Efimova http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/06/10.html#a1235 W W W +
  • Social ecosystem
    • Distributed conversations
    Lilia Efimova http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/06/10.html#a1235 W W W W … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . . … . …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . . .. …… … . …… …. …. …. .. . …. … .… .. . ..,,.. …. … ……. .. . …… . .
  • Social ecosystem
    • Connecting with a community
    Lilia Efimova http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/06/10.html#a1235
  • What are useful networked learning strategies?
    • Network tools
    • Network practices
    • Identity
  • Identity! http://www.flickr.com/photos/gauri_lama/3039881498/
  • Our notes and photos of drawings/flipcharts are here: http://onlinefacilitation.wikispaces.com/Triangulating+for+Professional+Development I’ll add the post it notes when John sends them around!
    • Photo Credits: Thanks to Lilia Efimova,Roland, Open Democracy, Mr. Thomas, [Henning], onkel_wart, illustrious bean and Mathemagenic for sharing their Creative Commons on Flickr.com
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/watz/1472273440/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/opendemocracy/267705194/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathemagenic/4014282560/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/illustriousbean/571630048/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/onkel_wart/2487637968/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/muehlinghaus/240944635/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/exalthim/2063912337/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/40344973/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gauri_lama/3039881498
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/silvertje/3582297307/
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting/4412472230
    • Nancy can be found at
    • http://www.fullcirc.com
    • http://www.Twitter.com/NancyWhite
    • Nancyw at fullcirc dot com