When I was eight years old, my family put me on a bus and sent me to camp for two weeks. I loved it. Living in the northern woods suited me right down to the ground, which happened to be the bare, exposed rock of Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains. I made jewellery boxes out of popsicle sticks, sang campfire songs in parts, swam in water over my head, and slept under the stars. Best of all, I learned to find my way in the woods using animal tracks, the sun, bird songs, the moss on the trees, and the smell of the wind.

Today, I can barely find my front door without a GPS. Time for a refresh.

So I went to camp again – Agile Coach Camp Canada. This annual event attracts people – mostly from systems development – whose work is to introduce new ways of working. The labels for the type of work they do are “lean” and “agile.” Their goal, as I see it, is to help teams be effective, quickly, without wasted resources. Their processes are highly people-centred.

My husband and business partner, who’s part of their world, suggested I come along. “For the drive?” I asked. “No,” he said. “For the conference.” Knowing this man isn’t crazy and trusting his assurance that I’d be welcome even though my geek credentials are limited, I signed on.

I’ve been back home for over a week and I’m still processing all the things I learned. The experience introduced me to some tools that help us find our way. I see real opportunities to apply these ideas and principles in areas beyond IT, particularly in communication. In the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some of them. They are, in no particular order:

To be continued . . .