In the past I have posted here and there how important it was to differentiate between a reaction and a response. A reaction is fast, impulsive, not consciously thought through. Most questions however, which we encounter during our private and professional lives, expect an answer: Aware and deliberate. I had become aware of this during my early years working as ScrumMaster at GameDuell and I have talked about this with colleagues ever since. During this year I’ve finally read more about this: Daniel Kaneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” is a revelation and justifiably has become a bestseller! An important reading recommendation. Only logical as well: We’re thinking each day all the time – wouldn’t it be useful to know more about HOW we think? Conclusion: Pause, think slowly, double check cognitive biases, respond. Especially during times like these, this might be more important than ever.
This has been one of the things I’ve learned in 2022, which guided me through plenty of conversations and situations. Aside of this, my personal 2022 year in review fades a bit in face of everything that (will have) made 2022 historical. While the personal restrictions of 2020 and ‘21 have been waived, our radius of activity still has been limited quite a lot. Mainly by two kids who were in daycare sometimes more sometimes less. 2022 has been characterized by good and hard times within the family and by fortunately stable and great relationships with long-term clients. This is also reflected by progress and stagnation of my life goals:
Agile Project Management
Working from home is still the standard. Most companies in IT or the IT teams of organizations in other sectors fortunately refrain from summoning all IT-staff to the office each day. This also makes remote work from different locations easier. In my case working from Berlin for clients in all central Europe. In 2022 I’ve had a lot of fun with D-LABS, short reunions with my friends from Tektit and a few (remote) trainings as well as (on-site!) workshops and retros for a handful of other clients.
- Short but intense business trips to Stuttgart, Zurich and Amsterdam
- New customer and a reunion (since 2017!) with Benny, with whom I’d work time and time again, any place
- Global Scrum Gathering Lisbon – On-site-conference!!!
- An “agile transition”, which against better advice, recommendations and imploring, split teams by function
Last year’s Scrum Gathering was something special: For the first time in 3 years, since Vienna 2019 hundreds of Agile enthusiasts gathered to share experience, inspire one another and learn with and from one another!
Traveling the world
The 2022 map looks surprisingly similar to the one of 2021! Only additions are the few short trips to Stuttgart, Zurich and Amsterdam. With those I barely had the time to see anything. Highlights were Denmark on vacation and Lisbon. Fortunately home also always has a lot of beauty to offer:
Acting in an at least medium sized theater
For the forth year in a row this life goal has to take a back seat. Yet there is hope: The kids have been to the circus! Their enthusiasm for stages and exciting stories is fascinating. My passion for the stage still goes strong. Currently I only come close to it through bigger moderation sessions. That’s not a start, but a welcome consolation in between.
Intense family and friend Relationships
As expected this point took up much space in 2022. For example with my spring-birthday-and-belated-housewarming-party: 28 guests for lunch (half of which under the age of 5) and ~70 people over the course of the day. Great fun. Years ago we partied from midnight to 10 in the morning. Today we party from 10 to midnight.
Great trips with friends to Denmark and holidays on Darß peninsula and loads of time with the grandparents provided a welcome and long due relaxation.
One recipe for success of 2021 we continued in 2022 was our private daily standup, happening as soon as the kids are in bed! We briefly talk about what we’re planning to do with the few remaining hours of the day and who’s doing what. Furthermore: What’s up next in private projects or whether to cozily bring the evening to an end on the couch. This helps a lot:
- supporting one another through feedback and/or active collaboration
- seeing one another by clearly stating current wishes
- holding ourselves accountable by “publicly” promising to get something done
One of these projects was “Getting married”. Project completed. A small ceremony with only closest family followed by our summer holidays was definitely the highlight of the entire year!
Active political or charitable Engagement
2022 was of course a year of glaring changes. Africa is plagued by drought and famine, while Pakistan has been hit by devastating floods ($30 billion in damage). It is undeniable that our way of life has a significant share in this, and yet warners and reminders are being dragged from the freeway ramps. To make matters worse, our 90s childhood memories, Werner’s “The Russians are comiiiiing…” has become a frightening, deadly reality and war is raging again in Europe. Sorry… Military Special Operation.
How can you get involved politically and charitably? Well… Every engagement takes time, money, or both. In 2022 I decided to get involved with money and supported Save the Children Germany e.V. For the DKMS, registration as a bone marrow donor is even more important than money. Both finally done in 2022.
Commitment beyond that has been difficult and will continue to be difficult as long as family life remains challenging. What we continue to cultivate is the exchange in the circle of friends and acquaintances. Keeping these discussions alive still helps to understand friends and acquaintances and to be understood. Of course, in the last year, talks with Russian and Ukrainian (former) colleagues have become even more important than they were before. Perspectives and opinions on this side of the Russian homeland media are unanimous across nationalities. In the end, this unity gives us a lot of hope.
The bottom line…
is that it has been a year that I perceived as shorter than usually. Mainly because all sick days fade away in hindsight while of course in the moment they are an excruciating drag. January to April: sick (kids). October – December: sick (kids). In between: Great highlights which create most memories of the year. Two of my life goals are running around here and continue to grow and amaze us. Others are on hold.
An outlook towards 2023 feels good: Speaking at a conference again, maybe even at the Global Scrum Gathering 2023 in Amsterdam. More C-Level coaching and organizational design. Further: More publications on my Medium channel. All that should be possible – let’s get on with it!
After the success of 2021 (15/12 books read) my 2022 year in review has been disappointing when it comes to numbers. The numbers however are misleading: “Only 7 of 15 books read”. Those books were almost exclusively formidable heavy tomes: Barack Obama’s “A promised land” is highly recommended. Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” I have read almost twice, simply because some chapters had been incredibly interesting. My discovery of the year, the “Stormlight Archive” by Brandon Sanderson! As is so often the case with fantasy 1200 pages in English turn into 1800 pages in German. Great writing. Links below in the list: