*

AYE 2006 Conference Schedule

Sunday Nov 5 - Wednesday Nov 8, 2006

This is the preliminary conference schedule for 2006, as of July 14, 2006.

Day

Time

Events

Sunday

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Registration

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Warmup Tutorial

Don Gray and Steve Smith

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Buffet Dinner and greeting old and new friends


Monday

7:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Registration

Buffet Breakfast in hotel restaurant with old and new friends

8:15 AM - 8:25 AM

The Morning News

Track

Team

Testing

Communication

Personal

Management

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

S08. Compensating for Distance: Strategies for Working in Distributed and Virtual Teams

S21. Testing: Setting Context and Identifying Oracles

S09. E/I, E/I, Oh! Improving Extrovert / Introvert interactions

S17. Satir Coaching

S13. The Savvy Project Manager: Dealing with Multi-Tasking

Esther Derby

Michael Bolton

Don Gray and Naomi Karten

Jean McLendon

Johanna Rothman

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Lunch on the patio

Track

Systems Thinking

Personal

Personal


Management

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

S14. Organizational Mapping

S18. Satir Coaching

S28. Putting Your Power to Work

Contributed Session

S12. Management Behind Closed Doors

Dave Smith and Steve Smith

Jean McLendon

Dale Emery


Johanna Rothman and Esther Derby

5:00 PM - whenever

BOFs, Dinner on your own or with others....


Tuesday

7:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Buffet Breakfast in hotel restaurant with old and new friends

8:15 AM - 8:25 AM

The Morning News

Track

Team

Personal

Team

Development

Systems Thinking

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

S10. Giving and Receiving Feedback (without making enemies)

S15. Reinventing Yourself

S20. Building a Strong Foundation of Trust, Respect and Understanding

S25. Development Mysteries

S07. Experience the Diagram of Effects Process

Esther Derby

Johanna Rothman

Naomi Karten

Dave Smith

Don Gray and Steve Smith

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Lunch on the patio

Track

Personal

Personal

Team


Communication

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

S06. Delivering Presentations with Confidence and Competence

S05. Congruence is the Foundation of All Effectiveness

S03. Exploring Tradeoffs: Quality versus Speed

Contributed Session

S24. Increasing Your Effectiveness as a Change Agent

Naomi Karten and Johanna Rothman

Dwayne Phillips

Steve Smith


Don Gray

5:00 PM - whenever

BOFs, Dinner on your own or with others....


Wednesday

7:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Buffet Breakfast in hotel restaurant with old and new friends

8:15 AM - 8:25 AM

The Morning News

Track

Management

Personal

Personal

Development

Communication

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

S27. Resistance as a Resource

S22. Building Writing Skill and Confidence: A Writing Workshop

S19. Stacking Your Own Deck: Strategies for Keeping Creativity Within Reach

S02. Software Development: The Board Game

S04. Communicating Effectively with Upper Management

Dale Emery

Johanna Rothman and Naomi Karten

Dave Smith

Michael Bolton and Fiona Charles

Steve Smith

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Lunch on the patio

Track

Systems Thinking

Personal

Team

Communication


1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

S16. Tranforming Rules into Guides

S11. Move Past Distractions: Give Yourself an Ice Cream Cone

S26. Agenda, Agenda. Who's Got The Agenda?

S01. How Am I Supposed to Act?

Contributed Session

Johanna Rothman

Dwayne Phillips

Dave Smith and Esther Derby

Michael Bolton


4:45 PM - 5:30 PM

Closing, All. A final session where we will connect with friends and colleagues, reflect on our conference experience, have a few laughs, and say our au revoir's.


Thursday

All day

Thursday is a free, all-day session for all members of Jerry Weinberg's Shape Forum who are staying over.

S00. The Warmup Tutorial

Don Gray and Steve Smith

At the first AYE conference, some people commented that a pre-conference tutorial, introducing some of this material, might be useful not only to those who had not encountered it before, but also to those who had. Since then, we have offered the "AYE Warm-Up" to make it easier for everyone to participate from a shared understanding of the basics. It is a big hit.

One thing that makes the AYE conference different is session design. At many conferences, the basic format is one or two presenters talking from the front of the room, to rows full of people seated in chairs. While there might be some of that at this conference, the emphasis is more on simulation and experience. We believe that this approach can be especially effective for this kind of learning, and we'll use it in this tutorial too. That means that you'll have a chance to participate in the session, determining what happens to a very great extent, and having a lot of fun doing it.

We'll introduce the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and several of the tools, techniques and concepts of Virginia Satir, possibly including items from this menu: triads, the five freedoms, the self-esteem tool kit, the communication stances, the change model, the interaction model, safety, and feedback.

S01. How Am I Supposed to Act in THIS situation?

Michael Bolton

"Act" is a word with a number of meanings and associations. There's the sense of performing a task ("let's act on that now"); of presenting a show ("I acted in a local theatre group); of putting on a facade ("he's trying to be brave, but it's just an act"); of a role in an organization ("she's acting CEO"); of behaving appropriately ("just act naturally") or inappropriately ("she's acting up"). Acting gives us a chance to see things from another perspective, to put on a new identity, and to take it off at will, and to explore relationships and motivations of other people--and ourselves.

Improv theatre is acting without preparation, without a script, and without a net; given a situation or an idea, improv challenges you to create, develop, and participate in a new reality on the spot. As such, it's a powerful means of learning, stimulating creativity, and building empathy.

In this session, we'll scratch the surface of improvisational theatre through a series of simple exercises and games. We'll take advantage of the safety and security afforded by the AYE community, so that people need not feel awkward or silly--unless it's part of the act. Session attendees are strongly encouraged to participate or simply to observe as their comfort level permits. Be prepared to drop your usual pretenses, to put some new ones on, and to have a few belly laughs along the way.

S02. Software Development - The Board Game

Fiona Charles and Michael Bolton

You’re a software developer. Pressured by customers, your management has committed to an impossible release deadline, and the sales people have sold new licenses for the product with features that don’t yet exist. Your stock options could make you a millionaire if the company does well. But will it? Can you and your team win by skill alone?

Or maybe you’re the CEO, struggling to keep the company afloat. The new product will determine the company’s fate, but the project is woefully behind schedule and the quality is doubtful. Success will depend on product quality and beating the competition to market. Will your development team pull off a heroic coup and save the company, or will they turn out a product that’s full of bugs? What can you do to assure they succeed?

Playing the Software Development Game will involve role-playing, teamwork, competition, and life-like interactions between skill and luck. It’s intended to be an entertaining way to experience the effects of general systems thinking, as we play through positive or negative feedback loops, and attempt interventions.

S03. Exploring Tradeoffs: Quality versus Speed

Steve Smith

We will explore the situation in which a product is designed and built to solve a problem. Parts of the product work as designed while other parts are defective. To improve the quality of the product, the defects must be removed, but if you spend too much time removing defects, your product will have little value in the market. You will be a member of a team whose job is to get a clean product to market quickly in order to beat your competition.

Learning Objectives

S04. Communicate Effectively with Upper Management

Steve Smith

Complaints about poor communication between employees and upper management is a typical problem for an organization. Employees complain that upper management's communication is pure spin, which leaves them dizzy and unsure about the organization's direction. Upper management complain that employees whine to them about difficult problems but offer neither a clear definition of the problem; actionable recommendations for fixing the problem; nor an explanation about why fixing the problem is more important than fixing other problems.

People in organizations with these complaints are stuck in a communication quagmire. How does does an employee release herself or himself? By learning how to transform their communication into a language that upper management hears and acts upon.

We will use both the Satir Interaction Model and Satir Congruence Model to 1) analyze the interaction, 2) reveal patterns, and 3) transform the communication to make it more effective.

Join Steve to close the gap between the employee communication as desired by upper management and as perceived.

S05. Congruence is the Foundation of All Effectiveness

Dwayne Phillips

Congruent communication is the primary change agent in the Satir system. Accordingly, it is both a means and an end to quality in relationships, performance, health, and spirituality. Congruent communication arises from your personal and contextual system of validation and esteem, and demonstrates that system to other people. Virginia Satir wrote in The New Peoplemaking (p. 369-370):

"I wonder what would happen if suddenly during one night, all five billion persons in the world learned the essentials of congruent living:

"I think we would wake up in a very different world, a world in which peace is possible."

Participate in this session and learn how to approach congruence, deal with incongruence, and convert incongruence to congruence.

S06. Delivering Presentations with Confidence and Competence

NaomiKarten and Johanna Rothman

Does the thought of giving presentations leave you cringing in fear, with sweaty palms and a squeaky voice? Are you able to present, but concerned that you can't communicate your ideas in a way that holds people's interest? Do you lack confidence in your material? Whatever your concerns, it's clear that your ability to deliver high-quality presentations to management, clients, colleagues, and others will help you advance in your career.

In this session, Johanna and Naomi, who have presented seminars and keynotes internationally to audiences of all sizes, will offer tips, techniques, and proven methods for improving your confidence and competence as a speaker.

Whether you're a novice or a long-time speaker, you'll gain ideas for improving your presentation skills.

S07. Experience the Diagram of Effects Process

Don Gray and Steve Smith

The process for creating a Diagram of Effects (DOE) helps you see the dynamics of a system so you can design effective interventions to solve a system problem or, at least, mitigate it. When a team uses the diagramming process, it also helps members arrive at at a shared view of the system, which simplifies reaching consensus about interventions and provides the necessary logic for successfully proposing change to upper management.

A DOE concisely illustrates to colleagues, who know the notation, a particular aspect of a system. Jerry Weinberg uses DOEs throughout his four volume Quality Software Management (QSM) series -- with Volume 1, Systems Thinking, containing the most information about the DOE process -- to illustrate software system dynamics and interventions.

Learning to create a DOE is like learning to ride a bicycle. Seeing a DOE diagrammed by someone else will teach you how to diagram as effectively as seeing another person ride their bicycle will teach you how to ride. Although reading about the diagramming process will help prepare you, Don and Steve believe that direct experience with the diagramming process is essential to learning how to create and use DOEs.

You will receive direct experience during this session. You will be a member of a team who creates a DOE that show the dynamics of a system from the perspective of a problem; you and your teammates will create interventions that solve or mitigate the problem; and you and your teammates will share your work with other teams during several phases of the process.

Learn a valuable tool for intervening to solve a problem. Please join Don and Steve for a ride through the diagramming process.

S08. Compensating for Distance: Strategies for Working in Distributed and Virtual Teams

Esther Derby

Distributed teams seem to be here to stay. Through a simulaiton and discussion, we'll explore the challenges of working on a distributed team and look for strategies to compensate.

S09. E/I, E/I, Oh! Improving Extrovert / Introvert interactions

Don Gray and Naomi Karten

The introvert/extrovert dynamic is complex. Introverts and extroverts exhibit significant differences in behavior, interaction preferences and work style. They differ in what, when, and how they communicate. Such differences often lead to frayed nerves and ruffled feathers. Worse, they can create misunderstandings, reduced productivity and flawed results.

This session is for everyone who would like to learn how to work effectively with their more introverted or extroverted colleagues. We'll take both a serious and a light-hearted look at the introvert/extrovert dynamic, so as to:

S10. Giving and Receiving Feedback (without making enemies)

Esther Derby

I recently spoke with a colleague who was distressed that her office mate picked his nose throughout the day. "Have you told him his habit distresses you?" I asked. "No, I didn't want to hurt his feelings," she said. "I just avoid him as much as I can."

Even if you've never been in this exact situation, chances are you've been in a similar one--one where a co-worker was doing something that made it hard for you to work with him or her.

In this session we'll explore and practice the art of giving and receiving feedback peer-to-peer.

We'll learn some helpful guidelines about giving feedback and then practice giving and receiving feedback.

S11. Move Past Distractions: Give Yourself an Ice Cream Cone

Dwayne Phillips

I often find myself with

I easily slip into paralysis. A problem is that I have a paying job, and people expect me to be doing something instead of sitting around paralyzed with confusion.

In this session, we will do some exercises that may help

Sometimes this means giving myself an ice cream cone and then mowing the lawn.

S12. Management Behind Closed Doors

Johanna Rothman and Esther Derby

Great management happens one interaction at a time. Many of those interactions happen behind closed doors – in one-to-one meetings. So if great management happens in private, how do people learn how to be great managers?

Great managers consistently apply a handful of simple--but not necessarily easy-- practices. In this session (based on their book Managment Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management), management coaches Johanna and Esther will reveal management practices we (and our clients) have found useful, and explain how to perform them.

Note: This session is related to, but not the same as Johanna and Esther's new workshop: Behind Closed Doors: Managing One-on-One. For that workshop, see ManagingOneonOneWorkshop.

Learning objectives:

S13. The Savvy Project Manager: Dealing with Multi-Tasking

Johanna Rothman

Multi-tasking, whether it's the PM's multi-tasking or the project staff, or both--is a huge drain on projects. In my experience, multi-tasking can prevent an otherwise reasonably planned and executed project from completing. But in the face of too few people and not enough time, what can you do?

In this session, we'll experience some multi-tasking, and discuss and practice techniques to deal with senior management, the project team, and ourselves.

Learning objectives:

S14. Organizational Mapping

Dave Smith and Steve Smith

Organizational mapping is an adaptation of Virginia Satir's approach to family system sculpting. It's a powerful technique that can be used in several situations:

In this session, we'll learn the technique by giving each person a chance to map an organization of interest, with consulting from other participants.

S15. Reinventing Yourself

Johanna Rothman

Do you ever wonder what to do next? You're not ready for a coach, but you'd like some guidance on how to reinvent yourself and your career? Join us in exploring what you've particularly enjoyed in your career, what you haven't, and creating an action plan to move from where you are to where you'd like to be.

Learning objectives:

S16. Transforming Rules into Guides

Johanna Rothman

Our survival rules and rules about commenting are central to the way we participate in interactions. Rules are not to be thought of as bad; on the contrary, we should honor our rules for helping us to survive this long in a difficult world. Then we can acknowledge that our rules may need to be updated to fit the changing world--what was good for us at age four may not fit perfectly at age forty.

By transforming a rule into a guide, we keep the old possibility and add a few new ones. For instance, take the common rule, I must always do a perfect job. Analytically, we can see that this is impossible, but emotionally we may keep trying to be perfect all the time. When the rule is transformed, we can try to be perfect some of the time, when it is appropriate, and be free to settle for good enough when that is more fitting.

In this session, we'll demonstrate the technique for transforming a rule into a guide, while giving each participant a chance to surface some rules to be transformed.

S17, S18. Satir Coaching

JeanMcLendon

All of us are learners seeking to be more effective. Sometimes we need help. It can and has come to us from various directions: parents, friends, partners, clergy, therapists, consultants, supervisors, teachers, mentors, managers, owners, coaches etc. The form and quality of help available is equally wide ranging.

Jean McLendon, coach, friend, mentor, consultant, to many of the AYE community, has over 30 years of professional experience in helping people deal with change, conflict, and connection. Utilizing the methods and models of Virginia Satir, she explores both the inner and outer dynamics of her client's challenges. This session allows individuals, partnerships and teams an opportunity to seek Jean's guidance.

S19. Stacking Your Own Deck: Strategies for Keeping Creativity Within Reach

Dave Smith

The pressure is on, and you're stuck. In some alternate universe, you have options. But in this world, at this moment, your mind is blank. Where did the ideas go? How can you get them back?

In this session we'll develop and practice techniques for luring our creative muse out of hiding.

S20. Building a Strong Foundation of Trust, Respect, and Understanding

Naomi Karten

Why can't we all just get along? If only it were that easy. But we stand a much better chance of getting along -- and successfully working together -- if we build a foundation of trust, respect and understanding. A strong foundation makes it easier to persist and triumph amid uncertainties, complexities, and changing priorities. Although some amount of conflict is to be expected in any relationship, conflict is more likely to occur and more difficult to resolve in the absence of that foundation. Difficult as it is to believe when deadlines loom large and the ticking of the clock sounds like a jackhammer, developing a foundation takes far less time than repairing relationships damaged by its absence.

In this session, we'll explore the notion of a strong foundation and we'll compare views on what that foundation entails. We'll examine when to build a foundation and how to go about building it (as well as how not to). We'll use simulations and group activities to gain experience with techniques that can help to build a strong foundation.

S21. Testing: Setting Context and Identifying Oracles

Michael Bolton

Good testing depends on setting the context in which it's happening. It also depends on heuristics--fallible methods for solving problems--and oracles--principles or mechanisms by which we recognize problems. All oracles are heuristic; no principle or mechanism can guarantee that something is perfect--only that it may satisfy certain requirements for certain people in certain circumstances.

In this session, we'll pose some apparently simple puzzles and problems that exercise critical thinking, systems thinking, and context-driven thinking skills. While this session isn't strictly about software testing, those involved with testing and requirements are the intended audience

S22. Building Writing Skill and Confidence: A Writing Workshop

Johanna Rothman and Naomi Karten

Do you ever get stuck trying to put words on paper? Would you like writing to be more fun and less drudgery? Could your writing benefit by becoming livelier? Would you like to know some of the tricks and techniques used by experienced writers? Have you thought about writing as a way to build credibility and create name recognition? Whether you're interested in becoming more skilled in writing memos, reports, articles, books -- or email messages -- you'll get lots of tips, coaching and practice in this workshop given by wordmeisters Naomi and Johanna.

This workshop will offer ideas on what constitutes good writing, how to get past writer's block, techniques for critiquing your own writing, traps to avoid, editing do's and don'ts, ways to get the ideas to flow, and more. Whether you have yet to write your first complete sentence, or you are an experienced writer who wants to become better at critiquing your own work, this writing workshop is for you. Writing activities will be included, so bring paper, pen -- and your questions. Come prepared to take your writing to the next level.

S24. Increasing Your Effectiveness as a Change Agent

Don Gray

Change agents strive to move a system (person, team, company) from the current reality to a future reality. The path between realities contains multiple opportunities to derail the change effort; over-sights or mis-steps on the change agent's part, lack of (or dwindling) management support, the natural resistance of systems to change.

What rules of thumb exist to help us with our change efforts? How do we mix and match old and new realities? What might work? What definitely won't? During this session, we will explore these questions and more about how to initiate and lead change. .

S25. Development Mysteries

Dave Smith

What's going on here? Are we on the same project?

S26. Agenda, Agenda, Who has the Agenda?

Dave Smith and Esther Derby

Ever find yourself sitting in a meeting wonder what's going on beneath the surface?

Let's explore.

S27. Resistance as a Resource

Dale Emery

You are a change artist, creative, intelligent and insightful. Part of your job is to improve your organization. You identify a need, envision an improvement, and make your proposal.

Someone to your right says, "But we tried that before, and it didn't work." Someone to the left says, "But we've never done that before." Right in front of you, a third person says, "But that's no different from what we're doing now." From the background, you hear a rising chorus of, "But we don't have time!"

You're getting resistance. Now what do you do?

In this session, we will explore an approach that works: Crank up your curiosity and empathy!

Whatever else it may be, resistance is information--information about the values and beliefs of the people you are asking to change, about the organization, about the change you are proposing, and about yourself as a change agent.

This session is about how to turn resistance from a frustration into a resource. You will learn and create new ways to interpret people's responses as valuable information, and new ways to translate that information into effective action to move forward with change.

S28. Putting Your Power to Work

Dale Emery

Do you want more power at work? Less power? Better power? Do you want to use your power more wisely and effectively?

Power can be one of the most fascinating and frustrating aspects in our working lives. In this session, we will identify what power is, and some of the forms it takes in people, relationships, and organizations. We will explore often-overlooked sources of power that are readily available to us, and learn how to connect with those sources to empower ourselves and others. We will identify and practice ways to use our power wisely, to serve our highest needs, the needs of other people, and the needs of the organization and the world around us.

Contributed Sessions

S23. Pay Attention!

Diane Gibson and Fiona Charles

In our working lives, we are constantly being interrupted: by noise, e-mails, phone calls, people stopping by to consult or simply to engage in interaction. At our desks, we may find it difficult to concentrate and be productive, particularly as we increasingly attempt to multi-task. In meetings, we may not be fully present and able to take in information or contribute optimally. Some "distractions" may in fact be aids to concentration - for some people. Others are just plain distractions.

In this session we will explore concentration and distraction, with the aim of helping participants identify what helps them to concentrate and what is distracting for them. We'll look at differences in learning styles, at "flow", and at the interaction of movement with concentration and learning. We'll also experiment with potential distractions and concentration aids, and have fun trying some physical exercises designed to enhance focus.

S29. Cognitive Illusions

Dorothy Graham

We are all familiar with optical illusions: we see something that turns out to be not as it first appears. Isn't it strange that some part of our mind knows that another part of our mind is being deceived?

However, we are subject to self-deception in technical areas as well: these are cognitive illusions. This workshop explores some of the ways in which we deceive ourselves, why we do it, and what we can do about it. A few examples will be given to illustrate what we are looking for. Other examples will be sought from participants.

Small groups will discuss their experiences of cognitive illusions: - when we have seen someone else who appeared to be deceiving themselves
- when we have experienced self-deception, and how we became aware of it
- what are the effects of self-deception on other people and on the self-deceiver?

After sharing from each group, we will discuss:
- what are the reasons behind self-deception (e.g. what kind of anxiety)
- how can we help people who are deceiving themselves?
- how can we become more aware of our own “blind spots”

S30. Creating Powerful Conversations

Stuart Scott

Maybe you write programs, maybe you’re a tester, or maybe you’re a management consultant. Whatever your specialty, you’re in the business of selling your experience, your vision. Your ability to get people places they’ve never been before. But what do you actually do?

You create powerful conversations.

There’s only one way to sell ideas and vision – through conversation. Sales conversations generate new possibilities. Negotiations produce agreements and alignment. Conversation is the medium through which people achieve cooperation and deliver results.

But many conversations have the opposite effect – they stifle the opportunities they seek to create. The message of many change initiatives is “Something is wrong with you and we’re here to fix it.” When you approach people with the intent to change them, you put people on the defensive. That’s a lousy way to start a conversation.

How do you create powerful conversations that create value? By paying attention to the ingredients of a successful interaction. That’s what we’ll explore in this workshop.

You will leave this session inspired and prepared to start a powerful conversation that’s waiting to happen in your life.

Extreme Teams

Erik Meade

Using a word game and retrospectives we will examine some of the ways size, feedback, and communication effect how people work (or stop working) together in teams, as well as how teams work (or don't) with each other.