An open space is a really cool space to be in.
Here’s a picture I drew the other week at #LCDU16. The idea was to introduce ourselves to the group using these self-drawn pictures hung on a washing line. It was my best attempt. I’ve advanced slightly past stickman level as you can see, but not very far!
But. It was incomplete.
The suggestion was also to include a motto on our drawings. But of all the potential motto phrases that rattled through my head, I dismissed them all as not being right. I didn’t know what was right, just that those were wrong.
I was inspired by the motto’s of others. I admired those that live by their motto every day. I admired the ability of others to think on their feet and create something on the spot.
Meanwhile, mine was blank. Nothing.
But actually I was comfortable in not rushing to fill that space. Just like the unconference itself an open space, not predetermined. But written over time through exploration and conversation.
My approach to the day was to be open, unplanned and going with the flow. I was open minded with a blank canvas to fill. I was just going to do what I could and do it well. Perhaps there the motto was hiding. ‘Do what you can and do it well’.
Sometimes open spaces are just what are needed when planning your continuous professional development (CPD). It can be about starting with the blank and filling in the precise words as and when they become clear.
The next part of your CPD then becomes very exciting and interesting. It becomes about exploration and discovery. It’s a case of walking in to an open space, seeing what people are talking about and using that to guide your CPD.
- What are people talking about that you don’t know about and would like to discover more about?
- What are people talking about that you agree with?
- What are people talking about that you don’t agree with?
- What are the hot topics?
- What case studies are people talking about that would fit/would not fit with your organisation?
- How are other people developing themselves?
- What challenges do others have?
- What can I help with?
- Where should my CPD be focused?
So you just need an open space with the right people in it.
Most Fridays nowadays, I am fortunate enough to walk into an open space. It’s full of some of the greatest people I know as well as new people I haven’t met. Friends, strangers, professionals but always people that care. I never know what they’re going to be talking about when I get there or whether it will be one big discussion or many valuable little ones. I never know what I will learn.
It’s free, usually with coffee and toast provided (and the distant mayhem of pre-school run Friday madness for me and it would seem others). And it’s fun!
It’s a Twitter chat run by @LnDConnect using the hashtag #LDINSIGHT. Every Friday at 8am a question is posted and whoever is around and inspired to join in, have a discussion on that L&D/OD focused question. Sometimes, it’s a question that I can dive right into, sometimes, I can sit back, listen and learn from others.
You’ll be surprised what you learn. #LOVECPD