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Create awareness and value diversity and inclusion through facilitation

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In an online discussion taking place at the E-learning course of Future Learn ‘Understanding Diversity and Inclusion’ I was expressing my concern on how difficult it was to build and sustain relationships with people who are very rich when it comes to sharing meals, going to expensive clubs and dressing up accordingly.  Somebody confronted me online with a question, check how is it for people who earn even less than you?  Ask them, how it is for them to keep relationships with you. This question was really an ‘eye-opener’.  Although I have worked in more than 25 countries, there are still untapped areas and things to learn about diversity and inclusion.
The simplest definition of diversity is difference.  Understanding diversity and inclusion embraces acceptance, respect and empathy. It means we understand, that each individual is unique and this is okay.  The exploration of differences and diversity happens best in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. This means understanding …

Learning and talent development and why facilitation and coaching are key at agile workplaces

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Agile is an attitude and not a technique with boundaries. An attitude knows no boundaries. So you do not ask yourself 'can I use agile here?', but 'how do I behave agile in this situation?' or 'how agile can we be in this situation?'
Alister Cockburn, founder of the agile movement

Alister Cockburn calls himself a modern-day bard. He travels from continent to continent, to tell and share his stories of companies and organizations he visited.  According to Alister Cockburn, the key of agile is learning from each other and it is important that this process is facilitated by doing and reflection. Learning is actually a key by-product of a process, when you are producing a product or service for a client.  According to Alister Cockburn ‘Servant leader’ in this aspect is an outdated terminology. In an agile working environment Alister Cockburn is talking about the ‘Hosted leader’, somebody who is accepted by others.   Watch this video interview with Alister Cockburn
Agi…

Scrum, an effective way of working in an agile working environment for both profit and non-profit organisations

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Scrum
Scrum is a framework for developing and sustaining complex products. The method has been developed in the early 1990s by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Historically Scrum has most been used for complex products, such as software, hardware,  internet applications, technical devices, electronics, schools, managing the operation of organisations and other projects with complex issues.  Read more background material about Scrum at https://scrumguides.org/

Definition of Scrum
Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
Scrum is one of the techniques, that is applied in an agile working environment. According to the Agile Manifest, Scrum is most effective when;

People and their mutual interaction are preferred  above processes and tools;Working results are preferred above comprehensive documentation;Partnership with the client is preferred above contract negotiations;…

Talent development and diversity as crucial factors for being successful in an agile environment

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Within organizations, the responsibility for talent development is increasingly shifting from the HR department to managers. To date, the HR department had an important task in the field of talent development. She focused on the recruitment and development of talented people. These were often promising highly educated young people. Due to shrinking HR departments, managers are increasingly responsible for talent development. They are expected to take care of the talent development of their employees themselves. The expectation is that they not only focus on the high potentials, but that they also focus on developing the talents of all their employees.

Recently, I conducted a workshop on talent and diversity for a big enginering company, on how talent and diversity can be promoted and further developed in multi-displinary teams in an agile working environment. During the workshop each participant defined their talents and also received feedback, where colleagues observed hidden talents.…

Win – Win of diversity – Make the workplace more inclusive and utilize the talents of people

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In December 2018, Saskia Ivens and I (Simon Koolwijk) conducted a workshop about the win-win of diversity and inclusion at the workplace by applying participatory video. The workshop organised by Agile on the Fly, at Capgemini, discussed the challenges and opportunities of agile working at an agile work place. Participants did some creative video interviews during our workshop, which gained some useful insight about the challenges, opportunities and way forward on how to work on diversity and inclusion.

Challenges: Tight deadlines and high performance demands and limited time make it for many companies with an agile workplace a challenge to get to know each other and understand each other’s differences. Understanding each other with having different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, different mother tongues, different terminologies and different perceptions make it a great challenge on how to transfer consumer demands into a service or product in a diverse team. 

Another challenge is tha…

Facilitating video storytelling

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"Seeing our group of HIV/Aids-infected people for 5 minutes on video as long as our Mayor on video, gave us the feeling that we are recognized and seen in our community.”  A women’s leader in a community in Ethiopia expressed this feeling at a community dialogue, where self-developed video stories were shared amongst stakeholders in Ethiopia, when they discussed about the changes, that had taken place in the health sector.  “Seeing ourselves on video, shows how our behavior and attitude has changed in a positive way on how we deal with challenges in the health sector. It strengthens our commitment to continue this process of dialogue amongst the service providers and service users”

This story is an example on how video storytelling can make a difference in participatory processes. Video storytelling is a method, where people who have a common topic of interest,   work together to develop a film. The participants are the directors of the film. The purpose is to help to improve the …

Why is something working? Or not working? Qualitative Comparative Analysis as an evaluation tool provides some useful insights in the combination of factors

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How to explain why certain media products (television, radio, printed media, internet, social media) trigger an answer from powerful actors, and why do others not? This was the key question Valérie Pattyn , University Professor at the University of Leiden applied, when she conducted a Qualitative Evaluation for the Hivos Media Program in Kenya and Tanzania. The goal of this program was to increase the accountability of the government and the powerful actors.  The assumption behind the intervention logic was that, if you strengthen investigative journalism, the accountability will be increased. The program intervention was focused at financing critical investigative journalism and providing mentoring programs by coaching and learning by doing to journalists in Kenya and Tanzania.
Valérie Pattyn
 Which factors have an influencing role on the outcomes of the program and which others don’t? Valérie Pattyn applied for her research, the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). QCA is a social…