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A Lesson In Online Workshops

[cross posted from @OneTeamGovNZ news, "Connecting Should Always Be This Simple"]

The OneTeamGov movement (for want of a better word) is one connecting those working within governments across the world as well of those working closely alongside, like myself.
We're a global community, working together to radically reform the public sector through practical action. We're driven by optimism and the desire to make things better, and united by a set of core principles.
From it's 2017 start in the UK its simple message of "We believe the public sector can be brilliant, and we’re committed to making it so" has taken off in here in Aotearoa / New Zealand with a core group of public servants hosting regular open meetups run along a Lean Coffee framework allowing for discussions and connections - come along to the next one.

Alongside these local meetups OneTeamGov teams across the world also hold full on unconferences. These are all great however you do need to be physically there, a middle ground is an online “Leadership workshop” series as created by a team based in Tasmania and New Zealand.

I attended an #OTGLeadership session and here’s my report … it was AMAZING!*

After thinking long and hard I believe it was a great experience for the following 3 reasons.

Firstly the tech used, Zoom. Ok, this isn’t the point of the workshop, much like the tables and chairs aren’t the thing to be talking about when attending a meeting … HOWEVER, the tech, if it fails, can overwhelm a workshop and become the centre of attention. Much like a meeting when you’re sitting on a wobbly chair it can become all you remember, tech has a history of being this ALL THE DAMN TIME!

With 45+ attendees from all over the world (New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada, and others) the tech was itching to be the only thing talked about … it wasn’t! Zoom just worked, perfectly. It has the few features you need (video, sound, chat) right there and nothing else in the way. At one point we broke off into smaller groups and went to “breakout rooms” to discuss topics, this worked perfectly as well.

So well done Zoom for being the finest video conferencing system I’ve ever used.

Ok, so the tech got out of the way, the second part in a massively successful workshop was Brigette Metzler, the key organiser and online facilitator for the 3 hours. Not only is Brigette a natural facilitator with visible skills taking us through the flow of the workshop but she is a Zoom Queen further hiding the tech away and just getting on with the job in hand, introducing speakers, facilitating discussions, and ensuring connections. We applaud you Brigette.

Thirdly, the connections made. It warmed my heart to see the breadth and depth of people with an active passion “focused on radical public sector reform through practical action”. It can be a lonely job advocating for change in large organisations, especially in government agencies, and to not only hear about but to hear from such a wide range of worldwide people makes such a difference - never alone.

Bonus: the speakers! From Duncan Young, Pia Andrews (Aus / Can) and Tim Kong (NZ) we heard stories of resilience, self care, team care, joy, focus, and challenges. Each of the speaker sessions were recorded and we will share them once they are released (follow us on Twitter, @OneTeamGovNZ, to make sure you don’t miss out).
Thanks to all that organised, attended, facilitated, spoke, engaged, and connected - HERE’S TO THE NEXT ONE!
source: spydergrrlđź•·️ @spydergrrl My sketchnote from #OTGLeadership by @OneTeamGov
“Amazing”, much better than my kids when asked how their day was, “Good.”