Archive for December, 2014

We found out the video is not working on a tablet or phone. Probably due to copyright and the fact that Youtube only wants to show video’s if it can show ads before.
(The video was created with IPhoto on a mac. If you have an idea, how we can solve this please let us know.)
If you can see the video and you like it, will you like it on youtube, that is something my children see also.

 

Let’s look back at what the year that 2014 brought us…

  • Just like in 2013 we have published on Retroflection one tweet every day to make people think. Started on the 1ste of Januari 2010. In 2014, we added 15 people.
    A big thanks to our 73 people Retroflection team. (That said we always look for people who can bring new questions and statements …)
  • After the strong CoachRetreats year in 2013, Oana and me slowed down a little. That resulted in only 6 CoachRetreats in 2014. The good part for me, is that these happened without any support of me. Self-organisation at it’s best. Now it’s time to find more people to organize CoachRetreats in other cities/countries. A big thank you to Oana and all local organizers for all their work in 2014.
  • This year thoughtJockey.org  did not get much attention, although the trust experience still proves to be OK. And again, I can still stand behind what is written.
  • Who is agile in Australia (and New Zealand) was published.
  • I made sure that I don’t receive any royalties from the current local country versions of who is agile as the current books are also really self-organizing teams.
  • I failed in publishing my books on amazon. Shame on me.
  • As always I keep investing in myself, I spend 26 days learning new skills at conferences and training.
  • A big thanks to all the conferences that invited me to speak. Thank you for your trust. I had a wonderful time at each and every event I was. I was most impressed by a bunch of highschool kids that are using scrum to learn chemistry. (I learned about DOF from them.)
  • As you can see in this years video, I did a presentation with my 12 year old son at Failing.Forward. it was a real nice experiment, especially as he did not yet have English at school and the conference was in English. The standing ovation he received at the end, told us it was a successful experiment. You can read about it (in Dutch) here
  • I have stepped 4.730.443 steps this year. That is 5.795 km, or 601 km less than last year, probably due to the fact I did not run this year.  I also had two pair of shoes that completely broke down on me. Even when I was living of wellfare, I never had that. I guess the quality of cheap shoes has gone down dramatically… (Sorry Guido, I’m one of these men, who don’t like to spend money on quality shoes..) Or maybe that is because I did 5795 floors, which was 661 more then last year.
  • This year I found a developer helping me out to relaunch the PairCoaching community site. He has trouble setting up a wiki for the PairCoaching domain. Is there anyone who has experience with a setting up an open wiki, who wants to help out? The PairCoaching community will love you for it.
  • I started coaching CoderDojo and even took on the role of LeadCoach. My three children joined and two of them have brought in their own friends.
  • For my hometown Gent, this was a sad year, we have lost quite a few people that felt part of our town. I’m personally most shaken by the loss of Luc De Vos, an artists that I knew before he even made his first record, and that has inspired me in many many ways. It was also one of his songs that inspired us in 2007 to create our first New Years video. We do pray ourself lucky we saw his last concert at the Gentse Feesten. To remember him we also played one of his songs during a x-mas party with my son and sister. 

On a personal level, we now have 2 children with a double digit number.

  • Geike at age 7 already knowing very well what she wants and does not want to do.
  • Bent going alone to school by bike. Sometimes coming home alone and already studying before we come home.
  • Joppe going to a bigger school, 7 kilometers by bike with a bunch of friends. What made me most proud was he stayed with a friend who fell on the way to school, risking to be late for a test. Life is all about priorities. He has his priorities right.

 The plans for our new home got accepted and although we did lose a lot of time for multiple reasons. We did make a progress and looking forward to see the new house grow this year.

Yves

 

Last week I spoke at Failing.FWD
Although I speak regular at many events around the world, this was a special one for me.

Partly because it was about failing. Dealing with failure and seeing failure as something positive has been one of my favourite topics since I burned down my parents house in 1991.

Yet that was not the main reason why this presentation was special.
I had a co-presentor. Now for those who follow me, know I make a lot of publicity for PairCoaching, so having a PairPresentor is also nothing new. What made it special, was it was my 12 year old son who joined me on stage.
And we did the presentation in English. A language he did not learn at school yet. So his English is mainly “television & music” English. Ah, it’s wonderful to live in a country where most television has subtitles and is not dubbed.

During the day and the weeks before I received a lot of questions from friends about this presentation, I wanted to group some of the answers here.

How were you invited to this conference?
As Greet De Keyser said in her presentation, people should ask what they want.
When I saw the program of the Failing.FWD conference, I tweeted something like: Damned this is a conference I would have wanted to talk. And then Karen one of the organizers replied: oh you were on our list and we still have an open spot.
Getting what you want, is that simple!

Did they agree on bringing your son?
This is a nice example of “asking for forgiveness instead of begging for permission“.  I’m a professional speaker. It’s my responsibility to make a great talk. I don’t need to ask people if the content or style of my talk is ok.
yes, I did tell Karen I wanted to bring my son and I told her it was possible that he would be on stage with me. I guess, she trusted me. A BIG THANK YOU to Karen, Ann and the full Failing.FWD team for trusting me.

How did you prepare?
The million dollar question.
After I got accepted and before I started to prepare my talk, I received an e-mail from Joppe’s school that the school would be on strike.  So I asked Joppe  if he wanted to join me in going to a conference -that was in English-. I assumed his English would have been good enough to follow a few sessions. He said yes. And he said yes with an enthusiasm, that triggered me in asking him if he wanted to join me on stage. Without blinking he said yes. I replied, you realise we will talk in English, he looked at me and said yes with a big smile on his face. Ah, the youth and it’s innocents enthusiasm.

I prepared this talk like I prepared all my talks.

– I created the draft of the presentation on index cards. (alone)
– Then I rehearsed the presentation using cards (alone) a first time. (And adjusted the cards.)

I did these steps alone, not because I did not trust him.

In 2011 he helped a lot in creating our joined presentation about our life in Bordeaux, I knew having helping me to create the presentation would be a great asset. I did it alone because he still had some large tests at school and my partner did not want that I distracted him. (WorkLife balance is also challenge for him…)

Then I created slides from my cards. I had +40 slides for a 20 minute presentation. Although that scared a few presenters around me, it’s part of my presentation style, which uses a mix of presentation Zen, Pecha Kucha and training from the back of the room.

I tried it a few times alone and then talked with Joppe about it. Just like last time, he had some great idea’s and the presentation grew. And then last Friday we rehearsed a few times & some more on Saturday. The first time saturday morning, was one of the first times the rest of the family joined in watching and he froze. he stopped after 5 minutes and refused to continue.
We talked a little bit about what to do when this would happen at the conference.
I still don’t know exactly what happened, yet I don’t want to pressure him in sharing something that scared him. I did tell him to not worry, if it would happen on stage, I would take over.

Next time we rehearsed the whole family was out. Although they came home while we were halfway, this time he continued and everything was fine.
In the meanwhile I was a more worried about the nr of slides (we had already 50 by now.) I got worried because a lama listening to the name Sofie (or is it a Sofie listen to the name Lama?) asked me about the speed of the presentation.
Sofie is the kind of women that with just a few words turns my world up side down (no, not that kind of upside down.)
I’m the kind of man that has a big EGO, yet I also know that I need to listen to women smarter then me. (I live with two of these)
In the dry-runs with Joppe, I realised that Sofie was right. In some places the speed was wrong.

So on Sunday, me and Joppe we worked on the pace and the order of one part of the presentation. Joppe’s help was crucial here, although at first I thought he did not well remember some of his lines, he made me realise that I got some parts mixed up.
So I went back to my walking desk and started to type out that part of the presentation. It was hard, now Joppe & Sofie were independently of each other partnering up “against me”, yet more importantly in favour of a great presentation.

It was already 15:00 and we needed to leave. I had agreed with the people from Failing.FWd we could do a try out on the real stage.
And then everything fell together, yet when we tried it out, I noticed again it was hard to remember the correct order (remember we had already been practising this talk a dozen times.)
And then I did the probably the opposite of what Sofie would have done, I added 3 more slides. And boom, it felt right. No time to rehearse the full presentation. I uploaded the slides to Slideshare, loaded the luggage in the car while dropbox synced and of we left for Genk. We were half an hour late, yet the lovely Ann Dries from Failing.FWD came out to let us practise on the real stage.

I wanted to do this, so Joppe could feel the stage and I hoped that feeling this he would talk louder. Joppe is rather introvert and when he talks to me, while other adults are in the room, I can hardly understand him. Ok, this is probably partly due to hearing loss as a DJ and some other ear damage, yet he talks rather quite. We practised a full Dry Run, without microphones and with my computer in front of us. I asked him to talk louder then he did and probably wanted.
We agreed with An that we would practise another time Monday morning , now with microphones etc etc..

Although lots of things went wrong (I’ll blog about these in the next days), we had a blast on stage.
Joppe spoke loud enough and it felt to me that the audience loved his style, right from the start.

So it was no surprise to me he got a standing ovation of the full audience.

Thank you Filip Bunker from Pitslamp for the great pictures

 

A few weeks ago, Lisette Sutherland contacted me because of my remote coaching initiative.
Here is the (remote) interview.

The one thing I forgot to say at the interview:

yes I know that for working agile, a distributed team is not the best thing, yet for me when you work distributed, then agile is one of the best ways.