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Maypop Learning - Be Helpful and Get Out of the Way

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Two goals.  Be helpful and get out of the way.  Goals?  Themes?  Guardrails?  You get the idea.


Coming up with the first Maypop Learning production roadmap to share took longer than expected because of near-dogmatic adherence to those two mandates, and I think we've done it! It feels great to commit to these standards fully to make the right contributions to our shared successes.


Be helpful.  The delivery side of my career has taught me that being helpful starts with what others need, and then matching what you have to offer.  The negotiation begins there, but the conversation is anchored in the needs of others, over any need I may have to highlight what I know and have done.  (That check has led to some brutal revisions!.)

Get out of the way.  Speed to utility is a metric I’ve self-applied since I started teaching in professional programs for universities as a side hustle.  If someone can use what I share in class the next business day, I’m in the green, consistent with how I deliver value outside the classroom.  My chosen disciplines are about getting things done together, so it fits as a quality measure.


I learned my trade to do and teach in parallel with confidence by spending a lot of time deep diving into different disciplines. I have participated in academic and professional development and education from pretty much every perspective you can have, architect, designer, developer, faculty/trainer, and of course, participant and student.


I’ve found that each of these “knowing” sources has the same problem to solve to be more useful to more people.  There’s an unmet need to aim outward more and be less self-referencing.     

The urge to know the right answer (which means we need to define one and elevate it), to convince of the right answer (which means we need to build a campaign around it) and to know more than someone else (which means we need to build a defensible hierarchy of knowledge) just creates more to peel back to be useful at work tomorrow.  


So, let’s do this differently.  I have a set of topics I want to share based on what I have found useful in leading teams through change.  Deep gratitude to my muses, the Maypop community members who helped refine our topics in service to your goals to focus your skills and knowledge and integrate leading for shared dignity.  You are who I’m here to help and then get out of your way to cheer your flight.  That’s my big why.


The topics fit into a basic structure for how you would use them to help your teams arrive at the answers they need, and that’s how we’re approaching developing and releasing them.  There are no enforced paths or journeys, just some logical groupings to connect with it.



First Launch:  Essentials

Essentials 1-8 is the starting easy-to-remember nimble toolkit for co-creating and agreeing on why we’re doing something, what that is, and how we need to go about it.  Any industry, any size effort can start here with clear conversations to understand why we are mobilized, what we’re trying to do and what it will take to get it done.  New project managers or experienced change champions can feel comfortable using the Essentials to start a good clarifying discussion on the road to baselined expectations.

Second Launch: Tools and Techniques

Maypop Techniques are specific method click-ins or stand-alone tools or templates that have stood the test of time and you won’t find elsewhere.  A take on learning styles, a RAID log that helps team morale, or planning a go-live, techniques like this convert opinions into decisions that move us along.  

Maypop Translates are our take on the classics.  Tuckman model for team performance? Problem trees and objective trees? Ladder of Inference?  With all due respect to trusted sources, let’s go a little further and get to using them with a light hand and good effect that brings everyone along.

Third Launch:

Critical Thinking as a topic has renewed importance in today’s world, and is one of the 23 attributes in the Inner Development Goals.  A core capsule on the subject, we get into what we mean by a well-supported opinion, and what standards we can apply to qualify facts and recognize fallacies as a team.  We connect design, systems and critical thinking into a logical flow that everyone can feel a part of.

Maypop Mastery builds on foundations with more specialized topics like designing project decision flows for funding and risk management, managing external resources, and change readiness and resilience planning. 


In parallel, topics from Maypop Personal Planning are in each launch, because our skills are important, but so is our motivation, confidence and self-awareness.   Coaching topics include career planning based on the impact you want to have, ways to balance what you choose to learn across your skill areas, and making room to maintain effective self-awareness critical to change leadership success.


So, that’s the “What”, and here’s the “How”:

To experience Maypop Learning as we are launching:


  1. Read the blog posts and articles on the topics, most free, only some by membership/subscription starting next year.  Those will come out first. Track in your own learning log with the topic and time you spent reading and doing any follow up research.  

  2. (Starting January) Listen to the podcasts starting next year, also mostly free, only some by membership/subscription.  At similar depth to the blog post, this is just a different mode to engage to be helpful and get out of your way.

  3. (Starting January) Register for the online self-guided practice.  Where it makes sense, we’re developing cases and clarifying activities to apply and try, including a video on the topic, a template if appropriate and an illustrative case with its example.  Complete the course and accompanying steps and receive documented acknowledgement.

  4. (Starting December-January) Learn as a team in a workshop.  Maypop Learning topics can be built into a team activity to connect while learning and getting things done.   We're also underway on a Seattle-location for hosted learning experiences!

  5. Sign up to stay informed and get involved as more content and events launch over the next six months and beyond.


More to come!


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