Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Melting Pot

Every time I attempt to update my CV, it feels like my whole life flashes in front of my eyes and my mind is in a flurry to make sense of who I am. Why did I choose to work in x and y at z point of time? Why did I not do x,y, or z at this job? Is that all I have done? And the reverse also happens, vow that is a lot I done:)

My 12 years of experience have made me a sort of jack in all trades. This time, unlike before,  answers to two questions: what do I love doing and what am I great at were not that different. So this time, when I re-started the consulting journey, I thought it would be easy enough for me to know not only know what I want to do but also tell people with ease what I do. Even within the basket of what I wanted to do, I was still sounding confused, dispassionate. "So what do you?", "Consulting, in what field, on what issues?", "Organisational change...what does that mean?" For once, I wished that I was someone who was good at just one thing and did just one thing and that is what I could say!

On advice of friends, I started listing down what specific things that I do. As I was doing this, I also ended up writing two things, how I like to do them and why I thought doing that was important! And it just fell together, like that. These pages became a melting pot of all the different ingredients that have gone into making the current me! I also owe it to Vibha from Genuine Contact Space, whose workshop on "Whole Person Process Facilitation" made me reflect on myself as a "whole" facilitator (my filters, my internal balance, my beliefs) which I realised had a lot to do with the "how" and "why" of my work.

The best outcome of this redrafting, was articulating my engagement philosophy. These were things usually on the back of my mind or questions that I would raise while engaging on any new work area, which came down to two key things:

  • Learning from systematic and participatory inquiry: it is refreshing for organisations to occasionally stop and ask themselves and others the bigger questions (how are we doing?, where do we/ you see us in future?, how do we know we are successful? what are we doing great?, what else can we do better?). The resulting reflections converted into commitments followed up with focus build robust and trustful relationships internally and externally and also act as a self-directed beacon to guide the organisation in its roller coaster of a journey. 
  • Alignment of purpose, projects, people, process and structure: if all these elements are in sync with each other, then the organisation will be in harmony internally and externally. Sometimes organisations review the overall vision and mission but not the program goals, all things are reviewed but a sense of understanding and ownership is not created across the organisation, the program goals are clarified internally without knowing the perception of the intended target groups. The greater the alignment, the greater the sense of balance within the organisation and that encourages all to talk in as similar a language of doing and thinking as possible. (thanks to the Organisational Change Facilitation program for introducing me to the organisational 5 Balloon model)

And the engagements I really enjoy (more details in the note, can share with ones who are interested):

  • Organisational strategy review and planning
  • Program/ project review and planning 
  • Process facilitation for issue-based dialogue within organisations and with others 
  • Facilitation training for organising effective, efficient and engaging meetings, workshops within organisations and with others  
  • Individual and team engagement

It is still not a short list, but that is one part of me now that I have come to accept! Short is not necessary better, nor fun:p

1 comment:

Sumer Seth said...

Hi Mana, you right well, you must continue writing.