Home For the Holidays!

What a crazy year 2020 has been for all of us. Many of us in the USA who used to go into an office every day to work, now work from home. We have had to come to grips with the fact that the holiday season will look a lot different this year. While the holidays would normally spur a flurry of office get-togethers, secret gift exchanges with colleagues and maybe a special holiday office party, this year things will be different. 

A Small Group of People To Spend Time With

As we approach the end of this turbulent year, what we have left is time with our ‘quaranteam’ those close friends and family who have become part of your social bubble. Where we would normally celebrate and party in person, we’ve had to ‘make due’ with virtual group chats, Zoom celebrations and our immediate family circles, at least that’s the case for most of us here in the United States. 

While we miss being with colleagues and our team, what we truly are missing out on is being able to put into practice all the things we know and love about team leadership. 

It has been a challenge – but not impossible – to ‘read the room’ virtually. It’s harder to keep up with friends and colleagues, but most of all it’s been really hard for those with newly gained leadership skills to put those skills into practice, virtually. 

Putting the Agile Principles you Love Into Practice

TeamCatapult recently launched a second cohort “Agility from Within – A Cohort Journey to Masterful Agile Team Coaching” to help Agile coaches gain true mastery in Agile team coaching through practice. You can read more about this cohort, and future cohorts here.

Putting agile principles learned in a workshop into practice to gain mastery, is a long-term process.

While you can learn concepts and practice skills of agile team coaching, real mastery is grown through practice – with real people and real teams in your real world.

When we think about training we tend to think of formal workshops, leveraging theories of adult learning, but training can also be in the moment, sharing context appropriate knowledge on the spot. The right information, at the right time, in the right way.

This has been a challenge for so many of us in 2020!

As you are at home with ‘real people’, we want to look at this Agile Principle from the Agile manifesto “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” and give you a fun home holiday challenge

Using Project Management at Home 

Whether you are a software developer, an agile coach, a scrum master or executive; if you are already familiar with and using agile methodologies at work, we challenge you to take these skills ‘home for the holidays’ this year to gain a bit of mastery! 

➡️ Kids love it.

➡️ Teenagers respond to it.

➡️ Spouses or Significant Others will be grateful for it.

Don’t just take our word for it, if you have a few minutes, check out this amazing TED talk

Family Stand Up Meetings

Can your family be agile, too? Can you create an agile team at home and use agile methods to get a holiday meal prepped, served and cleaned up? Can you take the stress out of prepping for a family holiday meal? Will your family trust you?

We challenge you to try using agile development techniques at home. This should be a fun assignment for you – and might make a great case study as well!

Going back to the agile philosophy of ‘empowering individuals and teams through trust and autonomy’, here is the challenge.

Call your first ever family stand up meeting with these words; ‘Let’s cook a family dinner!’ 

Team Members in the Kitchen

Before you can get started though you will need a buy-in from your ‘development team’. 

  • Some would rather be watching their favorite football team.
  • Another would prefer to watch a holiday movie.
  • Yet everyone needs to eat! 

What type of working environment do you have in your kitchen?

Your (family) agile team under normal circumstances would need to be carefully built to include the right people and skill sets to get the job done! Yet for this project, you get who you get! Everyone will be on your team!

Next, responsibilities need to be clearly defined before the beginning of this project. 

Here is what you need.

“The right people and skill sets” that means you need:

  • Hungry people willing to eat.
  • Someone who can read recipes.
  • Someone who can chop, peel and rinse.
  • Someone who can cook.
  • Someone who can set a table
  • Someone who can clean up.

Putting this Project Into Practice

Lay out all tasks associated with this holiday meal, and in order of importance. Then each family member will start working on what needs to be done.

Once the work has begun, there’s no place for micromanagement or hand holding. Trust the process. Trust your family. Have fun! 

Reducing Stress and Gaining Quality Time

We’d love to know if your family can be agile and come up with a holiday feast! The outcome of this challenge of course is for you as a family to have more time together, and less stress over simple tasks that can and should be shared.

Everyone eats. Everyone cooks. Everyone wins.

It seems so simple yet as we all know, that’s not always the norm in our kitchens, is it? 

Moving Forward. Working From Home in 2021

TeamCatapult, like most other companies, shifted to online workshops and virtual teaching in 2020. This brought new challenges yet also wonderful opportunities to show the world the magic of what effective collaboration can look like. 

We applied the same advanced techniques we teach in the Virtual Facilitation Masterclass to bring our workshop attendees the very best virtual experience in all our workshops.

We, like you, have been missing that magic of being together, of seeing each other, of being able to look someone in the eye, or sensing that things are good (or bad). 

Like you, we are at home, in our ‘quaranteam pods’, doing our best to hold onto old and at the same time, create new holiday traditions, a family feast perhaps? 

We wish you Happy Holidays and the best home-cooked meals your family can prepare!

Marsha & All of us at Team Catapult

About Marsha Acker

Marsha Acker | CPF, CPCC, PCC, ICE-AC, ICAgile Coaching Track Co-Founder, CEO of TeamCatapult, LLC

Marsha coaches leaders and teams, who want to work in a more agile manner and lead change in their organization. She is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF), Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Certified Structural Dynamics Interventionist through the Kantor Institute and Dialogix. Her coach training is from Coaches Training Institute and Center for Right Relationships.

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