Conducted a collaborative & interactive workshop on Work Productivity. The participants were heads of all departments at NotionPress, the book publishing company.
I love the unconference methodology because the team gets to open up on problem areas, growth opportunities and the best part is that they put their heads together to suggest solutions and strategies for implementing them. The team committing to ideas and solutions on their own is far more powerful than an external person telling them what they need to do.
I peppered the event with fun activities as a way to infuse in energy. We ended the event with everyone committing to areas of improvement for their team as well as themselves. We recorded these on audio as a reminder for the team and will be useful to gauge them when we reconvene next week for the second half of the workshop. Eagerly look forward.
The success of the first edition of the ‘Himalayan Blogging and Podcasting Retreat‘ was very heartening. The participants gave a rating of 4.8 out of 5.
This motivated me and Chetan Mahajan, the brain behind the Himalayan Writing Retreat, to plan for the second edition. The experience in the first edition gave us lots of confidence. The valuable input motivated us to revise the syllabi and introduce advanced topics. We aim to move the bar many notches higher for the second edition.
We increased the duration of the retreat from three days to four days. This way, we can go into greater details and dive in-depth into the subject. One important thing we realised from the first edition was that in addition to the technical nitty-gritties, the art of writing and scripting is equally important. Chetan, the ex-CEO of HCL Learning, a Penguin published author and a blogger himself, will lead the sessions. For the blogging and podcasting part, I dig into my two decades of experience in blogging and a decade in podcasting to share the best practices.
The dates are September 20 to 24, 2017. The venue is the beautiful village of Satoli in the Nainital district, surrounded by the Kumaon mountain range. Yup, the photo you see below is the actual view from the retreat venue!!
The first retreat was a huge morale booster for me. It motivated me to take the ambitious ‘1000 Days Blogging Challenge‘ which I’m very proud of. At the end of the Blogging & Podcasting retreat, I’ve also decided to stay back in the mountains to attend the one week long ‘Himalayan Writing Retreat’ from October 1 to 8. The main reason? It’s led by best-selling author Manu Joseph himself.
I conducted the ‘Deep Work Workshop’ for three main reasons.
1) I was looking for a good work productivity workshop that will help me work towards focused work. I found none. I decided to conduct one myself.
2) I’m no expert in productivity. So, what’s the best thing to do? Get together a passionate group of people who have the same desire as you in improving work productivity.
3) To use this workshop as a goal to read important books. In the last one week alone, I was able to cover four important books that I have always wanted to read but never got around to it.
DEEP WORK: Focused Success in a Distracted World. By Hal Elrod.
THE ONE THING: The Surprising Simple Truths Behind Extraordinary Results. By Gary Keller
THE MORNING MIRACLE: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM.
GETTING THINGS DONE: The Art of Stress Free Productivity. By David Allen.
I covered all these books in the form of podcasts, audio books, book summaries and YouTube videos. And importantly took notes of key points that I found useful.
Now, its very easy for me to put all these points into a presentation and take a 3 hour lecture. I’ve been a professor for over a decade and this would come naturally. However, it would not have been productive. When reading all these books, I realized a very surprising truth. Almost all the authors’s suggestions for productivity are common sense. Its something that most of us already know. So, instead of treating this workshop like a lecture or seminar, I made this into a free-wheeling unconference powered by discussions. All the participants would collaboratively list down all the ideas for productivity. Trust me, we covered so many ideas and techniques that it would rival any book.
I did have a light structure in place for the workshop to make sure that we covered the important areas but the session was flexible enough to cover the areas that the participants found useful.
Three hours flew by so quickly. I loved how everyone were very involved. Everyone in the hall was a teacher where they taught what was important for them. We touched on our failures. We touched on the many distractions that plague us. We touched on the benefits that we will all get if we were very productive. We agreed on the things that we intend to correct going forward. Loved the collaborative learning.
The key thing now though is Execution.It all boils down to this. Putting things into action what we learned is critical.
I intend to play the role of the catalyst and organize more such ‘Learning and Sharing Workshops’. If you are interested in attending these, do shoot me an email at Kiruba@Kiruba.com.
As a big supporter of Unconferences, I was super thrilled to see ‘Speed-Dating’ (or Match-Making) introduced in a traditional two day conference. At GlobalLocal, the Publishing Conference, they had allocated 3 hours each day for business networking. Each business had their own table. Then they were given a meeting-sheet with list of businesses they should meet based on their interests. Every 10 minutes, the businesses moved on to meeting the next. Amazing way to network and wish more conferences did this.
Something very interesting happened recently. I asked on my Facebook wall a simple request, “If you ever wanted to author a book in your lifetime, click the ‘Like’ button.“. To my utter surprise, 261 people showed interest in authoring a book. Over 80 people have even finalized their topic of the book. It is astounding to see the kind of interest that people have in writing a book.
However, even though people have the intent and desire to author a book, it’s a lot tougher to put that into action. When I started with book authoring many years ago, I faced that problem initially and I really wished there was someone to help guide me and motivate me.
Having authored four books now (and working on my fifth), I figured it would be nice to have an event to help people achieve their dream of authoring their book. Thus was born the ‘Book Authoring Retreat‘. It’s an intense, highly focused, two day book writing workshop which is part of the 100 day plan to bring out the book. The aim of the retreat is to encourage and help the participants publish their book by March 1st, 2014. Every participant commits to ensuring that their book gets published by that deadline.
It takes place in a lush green 9 acre farm in a beautiful village. You can get more details about the event at http://Kiruba.com/authoring