Week in Review – Jan 20, 2019

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decorative - image of a hand drawn calendar with the words week in review

Staff Appreciation Event – Online! This was designed and led by our inimitable Executive Director, Mary Burgess. It’s a great example of her leadership style: people at the centre and an appreciative approach. There were 33 BCcampus staff in a BlueJeans session, everyone sharing a bit about a partner with whom they had a conversation in the past few weeks about their job. This was the process:

  • a few weeks prior, send calendar invite to everyone with
    • date, time and link for the online appreciation session,
    • list of pair assignments (people who don’t normally work together from across your organization) \
    • interview questions to get people talking and learning about each others’ jobs (ours were things like what are you working on today and tomorrow?, what do you wish people knew about your job? how do you like to be recognized?)
    • the clear instruction to ensure they have working audio and video.
  • pairs self-organize their own 1:1 meetings and have a conversation using the questions provided to help guide
  • everyone gets online, people share what they learned about the other person (2 min or so, but not timed) and NOT in order of the pairs – this was an important detail for me that the pairs didn’t go one after each other. It was also helpful that the organizer went first to demo what kind of sharing and how long.
  • It was important that video was working and we could see everyone. In BlueJeans we had to take turns because we couldn’t have all 33 visible at the same time, but it worked out ok.

I can’t recommend this strongly enough for a distributed organization – it really worked for us! On a personal note, I was very glad that my colleagues recognize me as being good with puns 🙂

Meeting with Kory Wilson. Kory Wilson is the Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships at BCIT and a leader I admire greatly. This week she came to our BCcampus Victoria office to meet with a few of us involved with projects and initiatives related to Indigenization/decolonization. It was really energizing and humbling think about ways we can work together to advance our shared goals of removing barriers for Indigenous learners and supporting Indigenization and decolonization in BC post-pecondary education. Also, as an organization, BCcampus continues on its own path of decolonization and we are lucky to have an opportunity to consult with Kory Wilson about our plans.

Welcomed a new team member! This is always an opportunity to examine what’s going on in your team and identify places where things (roles, processes, etc) could be simplified, clarified, diversified or unified. The “bucket” approach we are taking continues to serve us, I think, in terms of providing both focus and an invitation to think across buckets (themes), units, etc.

Met with Tannis to plan a strategic planning session for VPAs. This is a great project on a number of fronts – I love working with Tannis, I love planning and doing facilitation, and we’re excited for the opportunity it presents to provide support for strategic thinking around online learning in BC post-sec.

Lots else happened this week, like the Festival of Learning program was published, we met with our partners at the Disabilities Resource Network about ways to support accessibility at that event, I connected with some Liberating Structuralists about upcoming immersion workshops, I failed to honour my own meetings-with-self to get things done, but I successfully hosted a women’s circle at my house, and I may be starting to go too far in planning an upcoming trip to the UK (giant hand drawn maps taking over dining room table) and I made a meme with my cat, Benny:

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