Like all of us, a month ago I woke up to a new world. Since then, I have tried to keep my sanity through regular practices — from meditation to online exercises and listening to talks. I wanted to find meaning in these challenging times.
As I integrate meditation as a daily practice (and sometimes failing but I try to be gentle on myself), I start my practice with these four “soul” questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What I am grateful for?
- What is my dharma or purpose in life?
Recently, I woke up thinking about that last question. In these times of uncertainty and change, many of us who are lucky enough to have a comfortable place to shelter in place are asking ourselves the same question, “What gifts do I have that I can put in services to my friends, my community and more broadly, the world?” A very ambitious question, but worth asking. And I do have the beginning of an answer. My gifts are my ideas, my ability to facilitate meetings and work with teams to help solve challenges and getting unstuck.
In a way, I am uniquely prepared for this challenging time as my training in creativity and my work around innovation is focused on creating change. The first step is to help people to become comfortable with ambiguity. I usually do this in steps by building confidence in their ability to solve problems. It starts with some easy challenges and then moves to more complex ones that include training on how tools, process and a common language can help a team work together and be innovative.
But right now there is no ramping up. We have been thrown in the deep end of the pool of major changes in our personal and professional lives. This is challenging all of our assumptions in a very unsettling way. We all have to solve problems we never thought we would encounter and for which we do not have any simple solutions. From “how to get toilet paper?” to “how to pay my bills?” to “how to switch all my work or business to become 100% virtual” to the very complex challenges of solving the current medical, human and economic crisis.
With many businesses shifting to virtual meetings and online training, there has been little time to learn how to manage it effectively. Because my coaching work for the past 10 years has already included an online component, I can help facilitate online meetings in an efficient way, avoiding conflicts and keeping teams engaged. From the time I received my M.S. (an hybrid program with an online component) to my coaching work — I have worked with groups and individuals virtually to help them continue to learn and apply innovative skills, as well as provided online training.
What I Can Offer
I want to offer my training, facilitation and coaching services at reduced fee or no cost to organizations that are struggling and need help. My focus is on creating an impact by helping solve challenges that make people’s life better and possibly safer.
Here are some ways I can help support you:
- A list of resources to keep sane
For my friends and community, I have put together a list of resources of online activities that may be of interest — both physical and mental ways to keep our sanity and build a strong body and mind.
- Meeting facilitations, innovative process and coaching
For my clients, I am offering meeting facilitation and group and individual coaching to help navigate the uncertainty of this new world and the challenges that come with it. I can help by training teams to work better together in the virtual world. I use approaches like Foursight (you can check it at https://foursightonline.com.) to help teams understand their preferences for different part of the creative process, an approach used by IBM for their virtual teams for many years. I am also available to help teams solve challenges requiring innovative thinking facilitated online.
- Helping with this crisis by facilitating innovation process using design thinking and Creative Problem Solving
Finally for the world at large, I would love to help those who are working to solve the current global crisis whether as a facilitator for meetings or driving an innovative process online (there are great online tools that allow you to do the same work I would do in person including identifying a problem, ideating and developing solutions and creating a plan for action). I recently attended the Coronavirus forum from Singularity University (https://su.org/summits/covid-19-virtual-summit) ) and several speakers mentioned the role of design thinking in helping solve critical challenges. I am trained and have used design thinking in my work for years and would love to bring those skills to the organizations that need it most. Please reach out if you need help as I would love to be of service!
This last month I realized how much we are all connected as human beings and while viruses and germs can spread quickly, helping each other can also spread and make a difference in the world. Maybe it is a dream, but if I can have an impact I need to try.
Big virtual hug wherever you may be. Hope to be able to share a real one soon. Please be safe and let me know how I can be of service to you.