I guess I hadn’t thought too much about what might be involved before arriving to M410. Per Diem and a week of hotels and HBO didn’t sound too bad, or too daunting. But in the first ten minutes, when the expectations were laid out, I knew the TV and my habit of exercising – and everything else – was going to be on hold. This class had demands.
Over the course of five days we were broken into groups a staggering 45-60 times, coerced into interaction. Shoot. It was rough. We had to get to know each other. Ice Breakers, job titles, interesting facts about yourself – yeah, some of that canned touchy stuff professional organizations implement, thinking it works. Call me cynical, but I usually leave those introductions angry with humanity. “For the love of christ!”. Oh, yeah, one more thing: if you’re not up to speed on flip charts, no worries. You’ll see so many f’ing flip charts you’ll consider tracking down whoever invented them.
Actually, I tried pretty hard for this class. We were asked to put together a five and a 15-minute presentation, with learning objectives we’d deliver to everyone. It was assumed this effort would lie outside the classroom (and there went HBO).
My five minute came together effortlessly because I decided to talk about my son, and what’s involved with babysitting him for an afternoon. The old caderino mentioned how it’s much easier to talk about things you care about. Cynic/smartass in me said to myself “Really, that’s just so freaking profound!”. But in reality, it’s true.
The 15-minute’er was more a stray dog I couldn’t quite latch onto. My attention span isn’t calculable, but if I had to guess, it’s much shorter than 15 minutes. So I’d have to assume everyone in the classroom was a lot more adept in that department. After eating the spicy chicken strips from Safeway and killing three hours in my hotel room, I looked at my diminishing time and went for it. I put together an outline, emailed it to my wife, and started building a PREZI. This is just a simple powerpoint for idiots, with a stupid, embarrassing-to-say name.
Creating Opportunity from Dissatisfaction was the title. I got pretty fired about the idea. “Yeah, its going to motivate people. This will be pretty cool”, I thought. I’m creating this thing right now, its just a big metaphor, right?
But I didn’t want to come across as that sleezeball douchebag who’s metaphorically building a tunnel like you’d find at a football game, one for all of my peers to run through as I shout “Go!” and “Yeehaw!”. Or the overzealous overacting-Chris Farley-motivational-speaker. I spent four hours that night in total, and two the next morning before presenting it to the class.
As the saying goes, I was happy when it was over. But this sort of class has a way of forcing you to think ahead, to plan and prepare. Part of my Creating Opportunity From Dissatisfaction speech involved picking the brains of my peers without them realizing what I was doing: I asked for Micro-Training ideas for the Crew I’m on. Reflecting back over the class, I see how I gained the tools to put those ideas into something real. And now, 1500 miles away and a month later, I contemplate the dissatisfaction of not acting sooner.
Here is a link to the “PREZI” if interested.