Archive for September, 2013

What if you would use #agile 2.0  to build a car and create one in iterations?

23 people, who never build a car, have put a working car together in 2.5 hours. They did not get instruction how to build it, they did get test explanations…

  • OO in manufacturing …
  • publishing code of the car on github and ask developersin the world to make a change…
  • they reduced documentation by pairing
  • they film every demo
  • every thursday, the team gets to play with the cars…
  • automated crash tests
  • 100 dollar houses with a door, a shower etc…
  • When you buy a wikispeed car, you can be the ProductOwner of your car and change the priorities…
  • The future of car manifacturing: R&D will be part of the line
  • Our computer tests are so similar to actual tests, we don’t have to do fysical tests anymore
  • we practise radical trust: our shop is always open.
  • extreme finance: We try to have enough money in the bank for the next week …

Lets look at:

If you like what you saw, please donate 10 dollars to this project.

Ask me again if agile can be used outside software…

I guess wikispeed is one of these companies I want to visit as part of my RemoteCoaching tour

Hé ALE people: what if building a wikispeed car at #ale14 would be the kids program?

if you like the idea: vote for this 

 

 

 

As a coach one of the things I run into a lot is the limited budget that companies have these days for training.

I’m always looking for tricks (let’s call them hacks) that will allow my clients to get more value out of their limited budget.

When I ran public training with PairCoaching.net (Before I gave the domain away), I quickly discovered that hiring public training rooms upfront was not smart for my business. Either the rooms were not needed, when I could not sell a certain training. Or they were too small when I had a huge success.
The hack I discovered at the time was to not book a room and then a week before the training was due, to contact a company I knew, and ask them if they had a training room available for that day and offer them a free place in the class in return.

I discovered this hack, when totally unexpected, I received new subscriptions for a training a few days before it was due. I had no idea what to do with the request. I was ready to send an e-mail to reject the subscription. As a last crazy idea I ask the question on twitter, does anyone have a room available on this date? And less then 5 minutes later, Jo replied to me: I have a board meeting in 5 minutes, let’s talk tomorrow (it was 8 pm at the time)

My luck had turned, instead of rejecting an interesting order, I now would do a training, in an office that is close to my home.
Even better, their office was at 300 meter of my children’s school. I could park my car with my training stuff on their parking lot, take my kids to school, and come back and install myself for the training. But wait, that was just the start, it got even better, during the break of the training, I started talking with Vincent. Vincent had started to work agile at OneAgency. We stayed in touch -remember I give free life time support on every talk I have- and a few years later One Agency became a client.

I’m telling this story because I want to turn on the heat on this way of working.

I know that when I deliver agile training, it’s best to take a team offsite. Teaching a team in an offsite location, changes the dynamic totally.

1) Everyone takes the training more serious

Managers think that when they do a training in-house, they can find the people when there is an emergency. That is 3589% true. Unfortunately in most occasions the interrupts are not emergencies. Sometimes, they are urgent, yet not important. Sometimes important, yet not urgent. Over the 15 years that I give training, the times that an interruption was urgent and important I can count on one hand. And I’m sure that in these rare cases, the people would have been able to contact the people in the room if we would have been offsite.

2) part of an agile training, is also building the team together. An offsite helps in creating such a team.

3) With some of my training, we do crazy stuff. Play with lego or blow up balloons, even -dare I say it-, even talk about emotions. All that stuff works so much better offsite. People are not afraid that the CEO will walk in and ask what they are doing. Especially if the training room is a nice glass room.

4)…

Now in the current economics most companies can’t afford an offsite training anymore.

As a change agent, I understand this dynamic and I want to see if I can’t turn these disadvantages on it’s head.

What if one company would offer their training room for free to another company, that would in return do the same thing for the first company?

It’s like professional CouchSurfing …

What do you think? Are you interested in this?

 

Yves

 

you want to build cool thing: you don’t give them a cool environment.
you give them less time…

While driving back from the first European IgSummit (Innovation Games) I was thinking about what I like about this event and what is my prefered event.

  • A 2 or 3 day event with maximum 200 (preferable 160) people
  • The event happens in a nice environment, not a chain hotel:
    • koningsteen
    • SeminarZentrum Rückersbac
    • the organizers are staying at the hotel(except if they live nearby)
    • I can arrive on the first day and leave on the last day without having to loose another night not at home
    • WIFI is everywhere available for free (except in the restaurant, then people should eat and talk to eachother )
    • Coffee and other beverages are available all the time for free
  • the people:
    • 30% of the people I have never met on or offline.
    • 30 % of the people I only met online and never yet met offline.
    • 30 % I have met before.
    • 30 to 60 % of the participants are female.
    • 30 % of the organizers are female.
    • 30 % of the participants are not from the country the conference takes place.
    • 30 % of the organizers are parents.
    • 30 % of the organizers are single.
    • 30 % of the organizers are new to the organizer team.
    • 30 % of the participants are active developers
  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • at the start of the conference the law of two feet and other OpenspaceTechnology idea’s are explained and people are encouraged to use it all the time
  • a 30 minutes “keynote” from ThoughtJockeys. I have nothing against thoughtleaders, yet I prefer to learn from people who implement the idea’s from thoughtleaders and mix it with other stuff. Only 30 minutes as this forces people to prepare really well and to concentrate what they want to say. After that I want this keynote speaker to propose a OpenSpace Session in the afternoon, to have discussions about his idea’s.
  • Funny OHMPs (Official Half minute presentations about the talks)
    • a break of 20 minutes.
    • 6 x 15 min talks in 4 break out rooms.
    • announced 5 minutes breaks in between, so that people in the hall ways know when the next talk starts.
    • a one hour walking dinner:

      • that has food for everyone: vegies, carnivors, cheese lovers, allergic people etc…
      • people can take the food from different tables, not one or two lines.
    • a few 3 minutes lightning talks (without slides) in the mainroom.  No talks decided up front, no breaks
    • the rest of the afternoon, open space market
    • the event has a program for the children of the attendees. The childrens program is as much about fun as it’s about learning (just like the adults event)
    • the keynote speaker  of the first day has to deliver a workshop to teach the children what he talked the first day.
    • dinner with a stranger in the evening
    • second day keynote is delivered by a child, paired up with either a parent or another child.
    • rest of the day is like the first day
    • if a 3 day event, the second evening we do 3 hour games night
    • we end the last night (before the last day) with meetup at a karaoke bar where people use text related to the event instead of the original song lyrics.
    • At the end of the event a 30 minute keynote from a thoughtjockey that was at the event all the time and that has created a presentation, mixing thing she learned at the event
    • if the first keynote speaker was female, the closing one has to be male.
    • books:
      • everyone brings one book to the event and that is used in a swashbook reading session
      • a local book shop sells books, with a lot of books available of the speakers and participants
      • Authors offer Faq sesions on their books
    • During the full event an application is being developed that is put into production using contiunous delivery. The developer table is in the middle of the conference and dashboards about the application are visible at every location of the conference.
  • Feedback:

 

 

Yes I know this is THE list of the ideal conference for me. I am very well aware this is the blue sky scenario and these are only MY idea’s.
(Hey it is my blog )

One of my main drivers to start my own company was that I wanted more training than my previous employers gave me.
For 15 years I had a rule that I invested 10 to 20% of my revenue in training.
It was a combination of reading books, evening events, conferences, training & coaching.

The last years I have added community activities to that. I have learned a ton from creating

and mostly the teams that helped me with them.

Actually, I learned so much by working with great teams and their trust, that I decided that the next years, I want to experiment with how I will learn new things.

I want to learn by doing, instead of purchasing training. I will be helping multiple teams or organisations for a short while. This means I will contact companies that work in special ways or are doing stuff in a creative way. My current idea is to do actual work for them for a week.

Last week I came up with the name Au-PairCoaching for this and then asked on twitter what that made people think:

Here are the reactions:

Nicole Rauch: To me that sounds as if the coach would move into my house and live with me for a while.

 

  • Holger Oem: The coach is very young, has no experience on his job but is willing to do anything to help
  • Zurcherart: 19 year old learning a foreign language by coaching your children
  • George Dinwiddie Someone cheap to spend all their time babysitting the children (development team) for years.
  • Leo Exter :  Um. The stuff cheap-and-nasty romance novels are filled with.
  • RonJeffries: A young woman who doesn’t speak my language, won’t watch the kids very well and will get mixed up with my husband.

 

 

Nicole reaction, was in sync with what I thought. It’s not moving in in your house, yet moving in with your team/company.

Holger’s reaction is both good and bad.
– Although I still see myself as young, I doubt my children agree with that.
– I do have experience, I actually think I will bring lots of value.
– yes, I come to learn at the same time
– yes, I am willing to anything to help

Steve’s (Zurcherart) reaction makes me think, I burned down my parents’ house at 19. Not sure you want that 19 year old person in your company 😉
I consider working people as adults, I don’t want to treat them as children.
I want to learn, yet more the company culture then the language.

George reaction: mmm, not really want to be seen as cheap, usually people don’t listen to people they consider cheap consultants.

Leo’s reaction: I wonder if that is good or bad. these novels are popular.

Ron’s answer is really disturbing. (Thanks Ron, I like it when people push me.)
The part about not speaking the language will be true most of the times. I might miss local nuances. (It’s the main reason why we say that a CoachRetreat is done in the local language.)
I really want to do the job well. I wonder, is this the general experience with au-pairs or just rumors?
The last part; it took me 16 years to convince my wife to ask me to marry her. I’m not going to jeopardize our relation buy fooling around. And I doubt that is what au-pairs actually do. (Although It might be a secret wish of some men hiring an au-pair.) I will check with my wife to see if she has some similar concerns.

Do you know of other people doing this?
When I asked for help on the draft of this talk, I learned about a people who did something similar.

 

So Yves, how is your initiative different, how is it unique?

  • I’m talking about coaching, while most others was about programming
  • I have 3 children (and a lovely wife) that I want to give a lot of love, attention and support. This means I don’t want to go away for months in row. Just like with the training I want to replace, it’s maximum 1 week every 2 months.
  • I will be picky on the companies I pick. I want them to be a-typical. As I will have regular clients at the same time, I can afford that.
  • With that family to support, I won’t work for free
  • I will do paircoaching: One of the things I am really careful about is so called seagull coaching. dropping some shit on a team and moving on without seeing the consequences.
  • I give freelifetime support in this week
  • As I haven’t been part of what the others done, I don’t know, all the differences. I will write about it at the end.

 

Do you care if people are actually using what you are saying? You said it was about learning, so if you learned something and the company is not taking your advice, are you happy?

Great question.
Yes, it’s about learning, but learning as a coach: when I learn something that clients don’t use, I have not really learned anything. One thing that is constant in my life, is that I want to become more effective. Also  as coach. Not learn fake stuff, this is partly why this works better than training, I still have to be able to use what I learned in real life. In that sense, my learning will also be verifying assumptions that I already have.
or as Nicole rephrased it so nicely:
“Your notion of ‘learning success’ is when you learn something new, apply it and see that the other person reacts in a way that they feel helped. Of course, then you need the other person to be interested in what you are applying.”

 

You are talking about learning and you still want to earn money with it. Isn’t this some cheesy marketing scheme?

That is a hard question and one I have been struggling with for a while.
Let’s start by making clear, this is not about finding new regular clients. I will keep doing the work I am normally doing. For my clients in Belgium. If this blogpost is related to marketing, it’s about finding companies that I could learn from. The companies I am looking for, are different than my usual clients, if only because they are outside Belgium. For full transparency, the first of these companies I have already contacted and they have said yes. I will be helping them in October. After I come back to Belgium, I will do a retrospective with the coaches I have helped and plan a next iteration with another company.

The money part: can I charge for learning?
When I was at university, I had a friend who was studying at the conservatory. He practised playing guitar on the streets. earning money while he practised. He even told me, it helped him to practise longer and better. As long as he brought people value, they paid. I think that was smart. I’m sure you can find people around you that earn money while this perfecting their craft.
Update: It took me a while to realize his money scheme was different. His “customers” pay after the delivery of the songs. And they decide how much they will pay, after he has delivered. I will experiment with that.

 

Will you always move to the country, what about distributed teams?
Good question. I just finished reading: A year working without Pants from Scott Berkun. A wonderful book. In 2005 I was coaching an agile team that was distributed : partly in Belgium, partly in Yekatarinaburg. I loved doing that. I am interested in helping out a full distributed team like Berkun did. On top of it, it would be nice if I can work full time on my walking desk.

What do you hope to learn?

  • My current modus operandi; is to do long term assignments. I observe teams for a week and only then start giving ideas. Working for one week, I will need to change that.
  • Most of the companies that are calling for help are companies that want to change the way they are working. You can see it as a therapist helping people in trouble. I want now to work with companies that are doing great and that I will help to become even better.
  • I don’t know what I don’t know…

From the twitter remarks, it’s clear that the name au-pairCoaching is not the best name.
Will you help me find another name?

Current proposals:

  • BYOC (Bring your own Coach)
  • CoachOnTour
  • JourneymanCoach: invented by Olaf Lewitz
  • JourneyCoach: invented by Olaf Lewitz
  • CoachOnJourney
  • Distributed Coach
  • Remote Coach: invented by Olaf Lewitz
  • StageCoach: invented by Martine Vos
  • CollaborationArchitect: now used as part of Innovation Games certifications
  • CollaborationCoach
  • RemoteCollaborationArchitect
  • RemoteCollaboration
  • RemoteCollaborationCoach
  • CreativeCollaborationAgent: this is the name I have been using for a while…

Update:
After some soulsearching and discussing with friends. I decide to use Remote Coach. It fits well in all situations.

Do you know companies I should do this with?
Please tell me

 

 

One of the things that had a big impact on me and the relations (love, friendship and children) I had, was the aspect of an Emotional bank account. (Not to be confused with emotional accounting)

Gradually I used that idea in more parts of my life. I started to pay more attention to positive messages and ignored the negativity around me. When I was at a party and people around me, went into complaining mode (I’m sure you know people like that) I zoom out, loose attention and eventually go to the bathroom.

It’s not that I want to ignore reality, I prefer to focus on either the good parts or see what I can change about the negative situation. “just complaining” make me sad. Oh yes I know that complaining is part of the responsibility process and we can’t prevent it. It’s just that I want to move of that island as fast as possible.

When I was young, my default reaction was to play the devils advocate, and on social media I still have the same tendency. Problem with that, is that this gives too much attention to negativity. (And yes I am well aware that playing the devils advocate is creating negativity on its own)

Recently I have started playing a different game.

Let me introduce to you, the social media bank account.
Everytime I like, share or post, a message that talks about how bad or negative the world around me is, that bank account goes lower.

Everytime I like, share or post a message that talks about how great the people around me are, my bank account goes up.

yes, I know that most people have the tendency to mostly positive statuses on their FaceBook acocunts. I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about these repost about politics, about how screwed up our enterprises are, or how …..

From now on:

  • everytime I see someone posting about yet another nutcase beating up some lovely gay person, I’m going to post a message similar to the Dad who wrote a letter to his son.
  • Everytime someone send a message that she has a rough day, I’ll send some energy & hugs or connect that person to a Gandhi Hugger

 

I’m sure you can come up with better idea’s then this, so please join me, in creating a positive social media bank account

Because you and I got what it takes to make it, …

 

THANK you

 

To not always look for these video’s & stories, when I need them, I started a Tag on delicious.
It’s called PositiveSocialMediaBankAccount 

 

Some years ago, I started PairCoaching.net

  1. I wanted to make publicity for coaching in pairs
  2. I wanted to make publicity for workshops done in pairs
  3. making publicity for the brand “Yves Hanoulle”

Since 2007, I have distributed  more then 5.000 coffee mugs and probably +1.000 t-shirts.

 

I think that it’s fair to say I succeeded in 1. A lot more people are considering pairing and the ones doing this before me, start to use the name PairCoaching.
Read the update I added on the PairCoaching video, to know who invented the term)

All using the same name, helps in selling the idea.
At ALE13, I explained I sponsored the t-shirts, because I wanted to promote 1. It was not about promoting the website with 2. (There are actually no workshops on the website at this moment. )

Figuring out if  I succeed in 2 is a lot harder. In a sense yes, I lived for a few years from those workshops. I still have requests based on the workshop on the website even if I don’t do any publicity for it. yet, my idea was to have lots of workshops and people on the website, with the only requirement, that the workshops were done in pair.

(Today I would add and using some training from the back of the room techniques.) If you look at the website, yes it contains lots of people, yet, the only person actively using it is me. Some years back I had some talks with JB, Johanna, Lisa and David (and others) about working together, yet I never fully went for it.

And I know why; although I’m pretty good at selling, I hate it. I could hire an admin to to all the boring stuff, still my business would be around organizing training. That would remove time from working with teams. These days I prefer to work with partners that organize the training and I create and deliver the training. On top of that, when I have an idea to get some great international person to Belgium, I drop a hint to my friends of co-learning, iLean etc, and they do everything. I don’t earn any money on this, yet they are much better at this, and we get all these great trainers to Belgium, which is more important to me.

I think with 3 the paircoaching website helped, but since 2010 years, my main website is htpp://www.hanoulle.be

Add to this that at events like AgileCoachCamps, Ale 2011/12/13 and CoachRetreat’s people ask me if there is a place to discuss paircoaching. So far my answer was: No not really.
After a lot of doubting, I’m ready to give away the paircoaching.net domain and have it used by the community for:

  • explaining paircoaching
  • discussing about how paircoaching can help you
  • give tips on how to sell paircoaching
  • maybe even some kind of public training offering (based on public services like f ex  eventbridge) (not just my events but from people around the world) >> to be discussed by the community
I will keep sponsering the T-shirts, and coffee mugs, making twitter publicity, yet I don’t have the time to work on the website.
If you are interested in helping out, leave me a message. If you think I am completely stupid to give away something I created say it as well.
If I talked to you about this the last years, I hope you understand, it took a while to take this decision. If you advised me against doing this (Yes, Johanna I’m looking at you. I hope you understand that for me doing well is more important then being business savy, …)
y

PS I don’t know if I had 50 coffees over the last 2 years, it sure feels like it…


Thank you Gino Marckx

With an interesting link between stress and cuddling. They create the same hormone.

People who spend time caring for others (while under stress), showed absolute no increase in dying. Caring created resilience.

Chasing meaning is better for your health then trying to avoid discomfort

 

From time to time I have friends who become independent and ask questions about what they should learn as an independent.
I actually become independent in 1998 , and created my current company at the start of 1999.  I still remember the feeling. The thrill, the excitement and the fear.

Here is the advice I wrote earlier this year:

Congratulations!!!

Congratulations

Start by adding everyone you know in linkedin. I don’t think that can be wrong.
( I actually hope you have already done that, you did not need to be an independent to do that.)
Update your LinkedIn profile and add you are now freelance, add your phone number visible, so people can contact you directly.
Start giving recommendations on LinkedIn to everyone you can give a real recommendation to. (No fake cheesy ones, people see that) Everyone means your former colleagues too. (Who else can you give recommendations to?)
I assume you now know a lot about the work you do, so this year, only read about the business part.
this is new, give yourself the time to learn.
Make sure you have a coach someone who has a similar business as yours for a few years that you respect and ask her to coach you.  yes, I think everyone should have a coach and especially if your job is coach.
🙂
Now as for payment , you can’t afford to pay a coach yet as you did not make any money. You can do the opposite as I do. (which is the same)  offer an hour for an hour.
You help your coach with one hour of other work in return of one hour of coaching.
Money:
The only way to get rich or even survive financially, is to spend less then you earn.
That is true also (or even more) as an independent.
As an independent, cash flow is also important. As a result, I don’t spend money if I don’t have it on my bank account. Even if I send out a big invoice today and I need something urgently, I’ll wait till the money is on my account to buy that urgent thing. (You’ll quickly find out, it was not that urgent or even needed.)
If you old employer gave you a car, laptop, cellphone and whatever:
Don’t rush of buying them all new.
See if you can work a while without them: aka that old computer you have, might work for a while .
Most larger clients want you to work on their computer anyhow. Use that to your advantage .
Same for cellphone ,  you don’t need that shiny new iPhone Galaxy 69
A car might be harder if you don’t have any. When I went I depended I bought a very cheap second hand car.
Drove around with that for a year or two.
Investments
This does not mean you should not invest in yourself. yet everytime, ask yourself, is this a real investment or just a fancy way to show off. Do you really need that expensive car to score a job. And if you do, is that the jobs you want?
Taxes
I have no idea what the taxes are in your country, yet make sure you set the right % aside the moment you get your invoices paid. Yes aside means a separate account. Or if it’s VAT, you might pay that directly. I don’t like to prepay my country, yet I prefer this over not having the money around when I need to.

Safetynet
Set aside a % of your income as safety money.
If you can live of 100%, you can live of 90%.
As you have never learned to live of this kind of income , I would advice to set aside a bigger %.
My company, has never set less then 30% aside every month. Not even when I had cheap paying clients. There were event moment my company was setting aside 50% of it’s income.
And that is 30% of revenu after I set aside the tax money.
I set the money on an account I can acces, and it’s temting to use it, especially when the amount becomes large, yet limit the reasons for taking money out of that account.
My main reason is, when I say no to uninteresting jobs. This buffer, helps me to stay honest to myself and my values.
And yes, on already 2 occasions that money was almost reduced to zero. As I really wanted another job.
In both occasions I was right. On both times I got that job I was waiting for  and on both times it was the right job for me at the ime.

This has two advantages:
You learn to spend less on your business.
You set aside a larger amount for a safety buffer when you will be between jobs.
yes, I said when not if.
Yes there will be moments in between. And that is fine. That is ok , I would even say that is great.
Yet you can only enjoy them when you have a buffer aside.
I prefer to have a buffer of at least 6 months to a year.
I wanted to write: learned to spend more is easier then learning to spend less: as I struggle with the First part, it’s probably about as hard, yet I prefer my struggle, it’s less risky for my business
🙂
Marketing:
Tell everyone you know, that you are now independent.
Think of something you can send to people to tell them.
The old clients, for who you have not worked in 5 years (aka those you can safely contact without hurting your ex employer ) and that you would love working again?
Send them a book or something else valuable . Show them you still care about them (again only if you do)
(I personally send books on a lot of occasions, even to people I think I will never work for. It my way of telling them I like what they are doing. And I ask them to thank me by paying it forward and send a book to someone else.)
Thirdparty connectors
For some clients you will need to go through third parties.
Find the good ones in your area. ( avoid being hooked up with the bad ones)
And the get into the databases of all these good ones.
For me it took a few years before that actually paid of so start this ASAP.
What area are you looking to work in?
Threat the looking for a client as a job:
Work normal hours, make a personal Kanban board with everything you want to do, and prioritize…
Share
I hope you wil share your knowledge with your community (or create your own communities, like I do)
And most of all enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what your doing. Find a way how you could enjoy it.
Y