Set-up and Circle-up

Williston Geophysical NavCenter™ Facility

I'm starting a two week tour with Williston Geophysical. If things work out I'll stay on permanently in their NavCenter Facility. We're working on a project to restructure their ValueWeb™ network, in particular the distribution side of things. The results should streamline operations and grow the business. We're not planning on any layoffs but structuring the movement of people into the growth segments of our business instead.

I've brought a digital camera along to capture images of my stay, and in particular the unique environment I find myself working in. Each of us in the facility has a "hoteling arangement." Except it's a hotel on wheels. All of the furniture here moves, including the walls. Much of it folds up and tucks away as well.

I have my own Seadog™ assigned to me for the duration of my tour. The work surface holds my computer and swings out and away from the base unit that holds my files and tools.

(photograph by Cole Bellamy)

(photograph by Cole Bellamy)

This is where we held our circle up in the morning. It's a three panel curved rolling WorkWall™ unit that can also be called a small Radiant Wall. There's a technology chase along the bottom for power and networking, although the facility supports both wireless and hardwired networking.

Note the 11x17 Hypertiles™ palattes on the wall. They are magnetic on one side and have a light adhesive surface on the other to which paper can be attached. After the paper is marked on, it is removed and replaced with fresh paper. Some of our ideas get very visual! This makes complex information easier to understand.

Notes from our circle-up
We went over the schedule for the next two weeks this morning in a one-hour session. The Center Manager facilitated and someone else used a digital camera to capture the ideas we drew on the walls. There's a Project Status Map in the NavCenter facility that has all of the events listed on it and who's supporting what. We rolled that into the space for the meeting and then rolled it back to the "Cortex"--the area where the Knowledge Work Information Broker sits (the KWIB). There's also a mail-enabled database (Ten-Step Knowledge Management Process) that holds all of the information for each event and automatically updates all those involved when there are changes. We will use it as a project and information management tool for nearly everything we do. It's the same database format we use from home and on other projects.

The most interesting thing about the circle-up is what they call "stepping up." No one is assigned to do anything for the week. Everyone volunteers for what they want to do. But people are encouraged--even prodded--to stretch their boundaries and expertise by taking on new roles. Various team members take it upon themselves to buddy-up with others who stepped up to unfamiliar roles and help them through the experience. We drew a web of interaction on the wall showing who was doing what, and who was buddying up with whom.

It's tough to see who's "in charge." There's a list of Rules of Engagement posted on one of the walls--actually it's a poster of the rules superimposed over a game of Go in progress. One of the Rules is "Sapiential Leadership" which means whoever can best see, interpret and explain the situation from their vantage point is the leader. We'll see how it works.

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