Hello distributed friends:

After giving a talk today, I started thinking about how often I challenge my assumptions. Why? Because we often have to challenge our assumptions when we are placed in new situations.

When do you even know when you are challenging your assumptions?

Or a better way to ask the question might be this: When do you put yourself in new and different situations?

Yes, I know, we have all felt "different" this last year. But we will experience "different" again as we get past this pandemic and start going back out into the world in ways that feel familiar. Actually, I'm hearing from people that have been fully vaccinated that it feels odd to be back in their office or being able to see some family and friends.

Normal isn't normal anymore.

So just stay with me on this question: When do you put yourself in new and different situations?

My answer is "today". I said I gave a talk. It was actually a conversation on the relationship between Open Space Technology and agility. I co-led the conversation with my friend and colleague, April Jefferson.

Thanks to Bao Feng for grabbing a screen shot and posting on LinkedIn.

Zoom meeting grid with Mark and April
Our chat on Open Space and Agile at Agile PM Roundtable for AgilePDX.

April and I challenged ourselves by having no slides and no script. We did have some concepts on our Zoom backgrounds (see the screen shot). I pulled up some pictures based on where the conversation went (this part was a little clumsy). But once people realized this was truly a conversation, they asked some great questions in text chat and then on audio.

Most of our part of the conversation was storytelling and how we saw stories link together. The links showed how people use agile approaches and open space approaches interchangeably in work and in life.

Then some magic happened. Others started sharing some of their stories. It truly turned into a conversation.

That's the magic of putting yourself in new situations. You need to approach things differently. It challenges your assumptions.

Try it yourself. You can even do a safe experiment. What is a slightly different situation you can put yourself into to challenge an assumption?

Let me know if you give it a try.

Hope it helps,