Output Packet Design
I had very little planned for this output packet except that I was going to study and practice Nonviolent Communication and connect with people and organizations. Things happened in a very emergent and unexpected way. What went well is that it turned out that everything tied together. What was difficult was figuring out exactly how and translating that into an output packet. What I would do differently next time is start using the design process sooner, establishing clearer goals and referring to them often.
My vision for this project was that I wanted to show a personal transformation, share my vision for the future, and build a connection with a community of like minded people. I saw this as an emergent process, as you can't really pre-design personal transformations or finding the right community.
My objectives were solidified with help from my Coach at ELL, Mary Camacho. I made a plan for research to increase my knowledge. I wanted to increase my communication skills through conversations at ELL. By the end of the program I wanted to be able to tell my story and communicate my values in a way that I could enroll others in helping me with my project. I also wanted to create strong relationships with people at ELL that would last after the program ended.
To survey I collected a lot of information by reading several books, searching the web, and having a lot of conversations at Emerging Leader Labs about a wide variety of subjects. I also integrated the conversations I was having in Gaia University. While I was reading I took notes and I wrote about the conversations I was having in my Nonviolent Communication journal.
I analyzed by distilling the notes into key concepts and mind mapping all of the information in Metamaps. Slowly this wide selection of concepts began to weave together into a larger context. I had a series of conversations where I attempted to explain the overall image that I saw emerging.
The design of my project took many iterations, but Regenerative Dynamics emerged as a framework to have conversations about group dynamics. I wrote a paper about it and then began working on my output packet. First I created just a few simple pages and started putting up my resources and supporting evidence. I added pages and sections slowly, as I wanted to minimize the number of pages and sections because I don't like my output packets to seem cluttered.
For implementation I used freewriting to get my story down on paper, then began a process of editing, putting the draft up on the output packet so I could see it in context with the layout and pictures. I would wait over night and then read what I had written. Usually I would then re-write most of it. The core report went through about four revisions until I felt comfortable with it. I finished collecting supporting evidence and then began working on the commentary.
In evaluation it is difficult to write about my design process because I wasn't using it from the beginning. This was a very emergent process, as it had to be. I had no idea what I was getting into when I came to Emerging Leader Labs, which made things confusing and difficult to plan. The emotional catharsis and rejuvenation that I've gone through is also difficult to think of in terms of concrete steps. When I finish this commentary I will begin a self-review and then the ouput packet will be done, though the project continues as none of these objectives are ever really "done".
How I Integrated Feedback
My Main Advisor, Ariane Burgess suggested in the review of my last output packet that I use a design framework like GaSADIE to reflect more on the process. I made up my own version, VOSADIE for this output packet. She also suggested that I include more pictures, especially of myself, which I did. She suggested that I include my hardware and back-up method in the Digiphon, which I also did.
Simha Bode reviewed my Life and Career Review where I had written my story in the form of several journal entries. He suggested that I write more commentary on my experiences. I took more of a commentary approach with this output packet, but included my NVC and Emerging Leader Labs Journals as well.
Time and Commitment Management
It was easy to concentrate on my project because I was at Emerging Leader Labs. We came into the Lab, an old warehouse that we are in the process of renovating, five days a week from 9am until 5 to 8pm. We spent the mornings in group time, starting with a stand-up meeting or clearing and then doing whatever activities or discussions we decided on from the group Kanban board. Just after group time we updated our personal Kanban boards for the day and made requests of each other. I also made a personal Kanban board on the desktop of my computer, which I kept in congruence with my physical Kanban board.
In the afternoon we broke out and worked on our own projects. I spent about half of this time conversing or doing activities like art or swimming with other participants and the support team and half creating mind maps and writing for my output packet or preparing my speech for the ELL Showcase.
The review bus for this output packet left just a few days after the showcase, which meant that I was in a rush because I had been working so hard on my presentation. I turned in the URL for the output packet before it was totally done. I possibly could have done more work on it in advance, but I wanted to fully integrate the experience of the showcase, so I didn't want to write the core report until after it was over.
This ouput packet is hosted by Gaia University using the open source portfolio software Mahara. I am using an Inspiron 1520 laptop running Windows 7. I back up my data in Google Drive and a removable hard drive. I use both open office and microsoft office, depending on if I want the fancy formatting from microsoft. I used both Metamaps.cc and Xmind to mind map. I couldn't get iframes to work in Mahara for Metamaps, so I had to take screen shots using a Google Chrome extension for the paper on Regenerative Dynamics. The photos are uploaded into Mahara. The videos are hosted in Google drive and embedded with iframes. Putting together the output packet took about 20 to 30 hours of work, not including the metamaps, journals, and papers that I wrote.
This project was exactly what I needed right now, both personally and professionally. The process of putting together the output packet was just as important as the research and experiences at Emerging Leader Labs. It is valuable to have this as a record of my experiences and to help me share what I got from it with others. It was difficult to see how all of the information fit together and the significance of the experiences until I had to put it together for other people. For my next output packet I will think more about the design of the project and OP earlier, hopefully leading to a little clearer and more focussed OP with more tangible outputs.