2012 – A Personal Retrospective

To make more of the future, we have to learn from the past. In order to learn from the past, we need to take time out to reflect. Only then can we can identify improvement actions effectively and do them. I might not like what I see when I look back but it’s always worthwhile.


  • Do at least one thing a day that scared me, from challenging the status quo to confronting my own incongruent behaviour
  • Playmaking: I say “Play once a day to keep the doctor and priest away” – Used play to repeatedly transform conversations and situations by helping people (re-) connect with each other. Watch my talk on infoq.com
  • Identify my goals and go for it: I set myself SMART goals and achieved them – including writing my first book and the first ever Agile Choose-your-Own-Adventure novel “The Dream Team Nightmare“, presenting an idea worth spreading at TEDx “Enterprise Gardening: Transforming workplaces into somewhere we belong” and growing a family of my own


  • Being too judgmental: This remains one of my top flaws. While making judgment quickly is a pre-requisite for an effective consultant, it’s also a self-limiting habit, especially for a coach who wants to improve herself. Going forward, I will focus first on facts then bring in intuition and experience
  • Slow to improve: In order to improve quickly, I will make every interaction a learning opportunity and apply what I’ve learned as quickly as possible to a) test its effectiveness; b) get in the practice of applying it; c) release the value of that learning
  • Too much work-in-progress: I find it difficult to prioritise my workload and procrastinate when it comes to less interesting work. Instead, I will work on one thing at a time and release the value of that item as quickly as possible before starting work on another


  1. Use what I know: It’s all too easy and wasteful to talk the talk without walking the walk
  2. Sustainable pace: Work at a pace that allows me to think fast and/or slow as necessary so that I can do what I love well forever. Working at a sustainable pace gives me the head space to think and act more congruently
  3. Be gentle with myself and others: Instead of expressing passion in terms of metaphors of violence and destruction, use nurture to help ideas and people grow
  4. Try things out: Experiment and put ideas to the test in order to see if they’re any good before casting them aside; challenge assumptions
  5. Help those who want to help themselves: When asked if we want to improve, most people’s answer is “Of course!”. This is often followed by inaction in spite of the individual’s initial response. Invest wisely on what, whom and how I spend my time to maximise the Return- On-Investment for everyone involved
  6. Slow down to speed up: As the rabbit said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get”. Check out Carl Honore’s talk on Slowness on Ted.com
  7. Follow my dreams: Only I am capable of realising my dreams. Figure out what they are, envision them coming true, then reverse-engineer what it’ll take to get me there and take one baby step at a time

Back to the Future

How was 2012 for you? What will you make of 2013?

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