Today I am thinking about culture. From the spot I am sitting at, I can look out over a hotel complex with pools and bars. Beyond that is the Atlantic ocean. The ocean at 20 C is warmer than the hotel pool, but no one swims in either. Instead people claim a sun chair and lie in it all day, sometimes dozing off, or maybe reading a bit. When the pool closes at 6 pm they get dressed and go to dinner. It’s a culture I don’t identify with.
Across the patio a group of sales engineers are drinking coffee and holding a meeting, with talks and presentations. Sometimes the speaker goes into overtime, sometimes a lot and later they gripe about it. I don’t identify with this culture either.
My culture is based heavily around sovereignty, taking charge of my experience and learning about what I need, what I want and what is good for me. This afternoon I will attempt to teach my culture to the engineers. The chosen format is a BarCamp.
BarCamp is a sneaky thing. It looks like it’s just another type of conference, even though what it really is, is a learning ground for sovereignty. The short explanation is that the participants provide the content and the organizers only the structure. The sneaky part is that participants get total permission to form the camp to their needs. If a session is boring they are encouraged to leave. If a session host goes over time they are encouraged to leave. If they need more time they are encouraged to find a secluded corner to continue the conversation. If they feel a subject is missing they are encouraged to hold a session. If they want to know more about something they are encouraged to hold a session to ask this question. Sneakily it is all about knowing what you want, what you need and what is good for you. Sovereignty in short.
I’ve been preaching BarCamp for the last two days, it’ll be interesting to see how far the infection has spread. And standing up in front of them this afternoon I ‘ll do my best to radiate the culture. In the end though, I am not there to manage their experience. Any and all learnings are welcome, even if it means they are unable to do BarCamp because of an ingrained nanny culture.1
- unlikely [↩]