Old blog

This is my old blog. It focused quite a lot around my book Solve Problems Together at the end, but has covered a variety of topics:

Presentation at Øredev tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m giving a talk at Øredev called the Five Keys to Successful Problem Solving. I will share lots of thoughts on how to lead problem-solving sessions that improves collaboration, helps you discuss complex topics, and creates clear outputs. I hope to see you there.

Look what I just picked up

I’m bringing some books for my seminar tomorrow in Växjö. There might still be some seats left.

Agile helps you say no

At my son’s kindergarten, they have practiced saying “Stop, no” since he started there. When they don’t like what another child is doing they are supposed to say “Stop, no” and put up their hand like a stop sign. This is to give them a tool to handle conflicts without starting to fight and toContinue reading “Agile helps you say no”

Get time to work

Most people I meet complain about too many meetings and too little time to work. One study showed that people managed to work on average 1.5hours per day. In one organization I had to book meetings at least three to four weeks in advance if I wanted everyone to participate. This caused lots of delaysContinue reading “Get time to work”

Create better visualizations to make it easier to solve problems

One challenge when solving problems together is to create good visualizations of the ideas or data that you need to discuss. Scott Berinato shows a simple model and some useful tips in his article Visualizations that really work. He has two questions that I think are really good to answer before you try to design a graph or image:Continue reading “Create better visualizations to make it easier to solve problems”

Where is the problem?

This weekend we met a friend who is a freelance musician. We talked about a lot of things but especially about practice and developing yourself and your skills. When she is practicing for a new piece she will usually find one or more places that are hard to play, that she will need to practice over and over again toContinue reading “Where is the problem?”

Team debrief

In this video I talk about team debrief which is a very powerful tool for both building a team and doing a retrospective. 

A quick overview of the book

I needed to remind myself about the different parts in the book and created this mindmap. It contains the parts I will focus on when creating more concrete tools in the upcoming months. The next step is to make this overview a bit better looking and make sure it contains enough information to be useful, while not becomingContinue reading “A quick overview of the book”

90 days to write a book

Exactly 90 days ago I decided to challenge myself to write the book I have been thinking about for a long time. And because I know that I need a way to push myself forward I decided to try to write, edit and publish it in 90 days. After I made the decision, I immediatelyContinue reading “90 days to write a book”

Books just shipped

I just got an email that the books I ordered for the Release party on Saturday have shipped. I was a bit scared that they would not reach me in time, but it is looking good. It has felt strange since I sent the final pdfs to the publisher. Suddenly I was done with myContinue reading “Books just shipped”

Write Everything Up

The best tip I have to improve all your meetings is to write everything up; to write everything that anyone says so everyone can see it. Our short-term memory is not very good, and we want people to focus on finding patterns, ideas, and solutions. Not to try to remember what everyone said. You canContinue reading “Write Everything Up”

Solving complex problems

I’m starting a new chapter today on solving complex problems and how you can’t expect to solve them with just a meeting: There are a lot of complex problems that we need to solve. Wicked problems are another name for this type of problems and what is so wicked about the is that we usually don’t knowContinue reading “Solving complex problems”

Team debrief of meetings

Team Debrief is a model developed by Kimberly Smith-Jentsch⁠1 to help teams assess their work and has shown to improve team effectiveness by up to 25%. She has shown that even though many groups evaluate their work,  it does not have an effect in man cases. One of the reasons she has found is thatContinue reading “Team debrief of meetings”

One-action meetings

Many meetings I have attended fit into one of two categories when it comes to their output; no-action or shotgun meetings. The no-action meetings are the ones where the discussion goes on and on and on. New thoughts or perspectives pop up all the time, or the participants get stuck in one detail and digContinue reading “One-action meetings”

1-2-All

Some more thoughts for the book on how to create better meetings with simple methods: Another simple way to get more out of your meetings and to make sure everyone speaks to give people time to think by themselves and talk with another person before sharing with the whole room. The process is simple: Ask everyoneContinue reading “1-2-All”

How to use Sticky Notes

I have spent the last couple of evenings trying to wrap my head around the structure of the book. Getting stuck in how it should be set up instead of the content. I am slowly wrapping my head around it again and I spent tonight writing more than 400 words about how to use stickyContinue reading “How to use Sticky Notes”

Visualizing processes

Continuing on what data to visualize to solve problems better, today a short text on processes and systems. Sometimes your problems are in your processes; it could be organizational, production, or other types of flows. Or your challenge is in a system you are working with, for example, software with a complex architecture or aContinue reading “Visualizing processes”

Visualizing data

Today I’m writing about the importance of visualizing data points in a good way. I’m not sure how detailed I have to make this chapter, and as this is a passion of mine I will probably stop it at this level unless people want even more detailed examples. Tomorrow I’m continuing with visualizing processes, events,Continue reading “Visualizing data”

Visualizing goal and context

I am starting on the visualizing data part of the book now, tomorrow I will share some concrete things you might want to visualize. Visualizing data during the meeting is not about repeating everything again but giving people a tool to create better insights and ideas during the meeting. The data you need for aContinue reading “Visualizing goal and context”

More thoughts on collaboration

Continuing my thoughts on collaboration and one of the most useful skills to have to be better at improving collaboration in a team. Tomorrow I will go into more practical details. Being open is the start of collaboration which means that being able to increase people’s feeling of significance, competence, and being accepted is oneContinue reading “More thoughts on collaboration”

Pictures and sketches

Pictures and sketches for my book that I will now try to write and publish in 90 days.

Making an idea concrete

Some thoughts on how to make an idea concrete enough to try. I will need to expand on this text a lot I think, but here is the overview. You have not finished just because you have found your highest priority ideas. Now the fascinating part begins, and some new conflicts will emerge: • SomeContinue reading “Making an idea concrete”

Prioritization

I’m finishing the second week of writing on my book with more thoughts on prioritization. The plan is to publish the book on November 26th, and it still feels possible: “I love to get a group to prioritize their work because it brings out all the right conflicts. Suddenly everyone can not get what theyContinue reading “Prioritization”

Subjective prioritization

I have written a lot of text tonight, but I have been jumping around in different parts of the text, and mostly written a sentence or paragraph here and there. I am not sure what to share today so you will just get this paragraph that I think is very important when prioritizing your ideas:Continue reading “Subjective prioritization”

Outputs from a meeting

Continuing to set up the framework for the book today. I realise when I’m writing that I will probably need more specific examples along the way but those will have to come later. The text for today is about the importance of deciding on what you want to bring from the meeting. Outputs The goalContinue reading “Outputs from a meeting”

PowerPoint is never enough

Day 5 of my book writing challenge and I wrote two short part today. PowerPoint is never enough Even if you have sent out the information before the meeting, it can be a good idea to point out some crucial points, and also make sure people get some cues, so they remember what they read.Continue reading “PowerPoint is never enough”

Day 4 and structuring the book project

I spent the evening structuring the book project in Scrivener and wrote in ideas and keywords everywhere. Not sure if this will be the final structure but at the moment this is the idea.

#NoAgenda

If you need an agenda for a meeting, then it covers too many things. The idea of an agenda is based on some assumptions that are not true: • We can not estimate and predict how long a certain topic will need to be discussed. Of course, you can choose to limit the time forContinue reading “#NoAgenda”

Preparing for a meeting

Day 2. Feels good that some draft text has been written on Preparing for a meeting. What do you think? There are two kinds of preparations before a meeting; the facilitator needs to prepare, and the participants need to prepare. These two preparations are completely different, and in many meetings, the facilitator is both aContinue reading “Preparing for a meeting”

A meeting has four parts

A meeting has four parts. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The part that most people forget though is the first part: Preparation At the moment, this is how I see the structure of the book, but it might change. I will add more text on this and improve the sketch ofContinue reading “A meeting has four parts”

What type of salad are you making?

You can find the original here and start following SMBC’s amazing comics: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4036  

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