You're reading...

Serendipity Rules

So it’s the 26th November and we’re running a 3rd L&D Connect Unconference.  It feels like it’s been a difficult journey getting this community event ready, especially the marketing/promotion…  Who will come?  How do we best reach those who would be interested?  Will we have the numbers to pay for the venue?  My own fear perhaps more than any fact…

We trust in each other.  We trust in our instincts.  We trust in the bonds we create in our community & our networks.

The right people come – they always do.  We’ve reached a broad & very interested audience.  We’ve sorted the venue & costs just fine.  Not bad for a not-for-profit community event, supported by volunteers & marketed for free!

Even so, there’s delight & trepidation from the start.  So many new faces.  So many interesting people.  What a great group of people this has attracted, now.  Serendipity rules.

We have a structure for the day – it’s going to work well.

We have a Twitter feed up & running – that’s going to attract meaningful participation from inside & outside the room.

We have a great venue – that last minute change & recommendation was a perfect call.

The day starts.  There’s 4 of us facilitating.  It’s not about us – it’s about the content and perspectives that the community brings.  Fluffy? Not one bit – it’s full of difference, challenge, care & connection.

In the morning we’re using different approaches to take us out of our usual comfort zones and to create something different.  We’re not playing around.  We’re using these techniques with purpose, with real issues, in a trusted space.

Actually, I’m struck by how much trust there is.  Many of us have never met before but there’s something about what we’re creating together that engenders trust, fast.  It’s real, not false.

The Twitter feed connects us with others outside of the room.  The conversations develop and multiply.  Still, it’s full of difference, challenge, care & connection.

The morning rushes headlong into lunch and we’ve struggled to find space for all the conversations people want to have.  We manage a useful way forwards, together.  The afternoon is a continuing blaze of discussion and exploration.  The tweeting reduces as the participants get deeper into their conversations.  That’s great – it’s meant to be this way.

We’re pushing the time limits but everything still works just fine.  Another deep exploration as a group brings out another lively discussion and resurrects the tweeting.  We’re probably all fatiguing now but even so there’s no sense of disengagement.  It leaves us in a great place to start wrapping up.

Closing the day we reflect on what we created together but we talk more about what we can do next.  Our potential.  You won’t hear mention of those dreaded “happy sheets”!  There’s a real sense of commitment & explicit statements of support and endorsement  from the community to the community.

It’s been a great day and a great way to bring a unique community together.  We want to do more, to share more, to support each other more.  There’s no conversation about creating a “movement” – this isn’t about big gestures.  Yet, we know we can make an impact on L&D in organisations.  We know we can support each other to do this.  Together we’ve created a safe place to disrupt & learn.  Not fluffy – real.

That’s what serendipity gets you.

Freedom from rules & constraints.  Difference, challenge, care & connection.  The opportunity to make a greater difference.

Serendipity rules.


One thought on “Serendipity Rules

  1. I’ve just re-read a post I’d read on the way to unconference by Sam Burrough (@burrough). Though I hadn’t realised it at the time, subliminally his post must have influenced the title and possibly more of this post that I wrote on the way home! Take a read of it here:-


    Posted by David Goddin | November 28, 2013, 3:58 PM


%d bloggers like this: