THE BLUE STOCKING SOCIETY PROJECT
On mastermind groups, accountability groups and the like… we’ve got one!
Mid-career women trust Karin Hoernig and me to create fun challenging (yet safe) experiences of empathetic, intelligent contact and support. We create a mix of fun events and facilitated conversation for women to improve their personal, professional and social lives.
The project has grown over the last 10 years starting with an “Article Club” as an antidote to book clubs, morphing into an Accountability Group, and now, a (lowercase) peer advisory group. You may have heard about – or participated in – Mastermind Groups, TEC Canada, the Young Presidents Organization and the like. This is different.
Here’s why: Participants joined the Accountability Group to get support for work-related goals: finding new employment, contracts, or business. We quickly found that personal challenges were actually at the core of our happiness and productivity. No kidding, Sherlock, eh? Having a safe space to laugh and learn helps us get our heads on straight(er) faster.
With this seriously playful group behind you, you can “project manage” the crap outta those toddler play-dates, MBA classes, mammograms, performance reviews, divorce lawyer appointments, and the late night emergencies involving your teenager or oldie. Don’t worry, only one has been arrested. Whew. Point for me. Still have to fire my assistant. Darn. Irreverence is the new black.
Learn more at The Blue Stockings Society Project on Facebook or send me a message via linkedin.com
Lifting you up by bringing us together.
Although we are shifting focus with THE PROJECT, you can find testimonials on my LinkedIn profile, describing the Accountability Group:
Received (18)Given (9)
Michelle’s work with us through her accountability group & ShiftChange was instrumental in helping Gugoiza launch. I highly recommend her abilities to work with teams & individuals to work toward goals & manage change. Michelle’s use of Liberating Structures provided us with tangible, actionable tasks for our startup. She also generously connects people in her networks to find resources they need. Professional and creatively, she is one of the brightest people in the consulting space I’ve encountered.
Founder at MediaCoin.io
September 27, 2016, Lee worked with Michelle C. but at different companies
Michelle is a born leader who can keep her eye on the big picture while working on the task at hand. Michelle’s Accountability Group was a great keeping our projects in focus. I joined the group to help keep me and my project on track. Because of the group, I was able to measure my progress in an objective setting. I would work with Michelle again, and found her to be innovative, intelligent and funny .
Joining Michelle’s Accountability Group in 2015 helped me to stay focused on my start-up venture, at a time when it felt like it was going nowhere. Thanks to this group, I received honest and pragmatic feedback to help me with start-up and workplace challenges. Our small group brainstorming discussions were respectful and supportive. I look forward to working with Michelle again – she is very approachable, with a wealth of knowledge, and a tremendous amount of positive, creative energy.
Occupational Therapist, Mental Health, Insomnia Treatment, Private Practice
September 19, 2016, Michelle C. worked with Judith in the same group
Michelle’s accountability group was an incredibly helpful resource that assisted me in launching my private practice. I joined the group to help me clarify the steps I needed to take and to keep my business plan on track. Through the group I was encouraged to take risks and push outside of my comfort zone to effectively promote my business. I would definitely work with Michelle again. She is collaborative, resourceful and creative in her approach.
Linda Craig, EMBA
Guiding leaders to Operational goals
September 19, 2016, Linda was senior to Michelle C. but didn’t manage directly
You can count on Michelle for enthusiasm, thoughtful determination to achieve our change management groups. I worked directly with Michelle on a bank-wide procurement system project (BMO SmartProcure aka Coupa, cloud-based spend management software), impacting 30K employees. She rolled up her sleeves – identifying issues/opportunities, providing solid strategic guidance, and working on tactics to execute our change management/risk mitigation plans. I would work with Michelle again, and found her critical thinking an asset to the team.
Penny Beazley, CMC
Business Strategy and Transformation Executive
September 15, 2016, Michelle C. worked with Penny in the same group
I am deeply indebted to Michelle for mobilizing a diverse group of people and creating an Accountability Group. Through her leadership and creativity we were challenged to stay focused, stay engaged and stay committed to moving forward in a healthy and meaningful way. I appreciated the wide range of techniques and Michelle’s pragmatic approach.
Change Marketer and fashion system specialist with 30+ years experience in new product consulting and strategy.
September 14, 2016, Michelle C. worked with Kelly in the same group
The Accountability Group that Michelle co-founded to help us get our individual goals met offered valued support for solo entrepreneurs. This community would hold my words accountable in tangible outcomes and give honest feedback to achieve realistic targets. I have referenced this group to other start-ups and I would work with Michelle again. As a business consultant, she offered me useful processes as well as liberating structures for better collaborative work.
Better late than never: 3 minutes of mindfulness for reducing stress
I’m late to this party. It has been going on around me for a long time, sometimes around the corner (literally a block-and-a-half from my house, sigh). Thanks to Diana Last and Mindfulness Everyday for teaching the 8 week MBSR class. I learned I am not my thoughts nor my feelings (and that has been HUGE). And, as one of the important voices in this area, Jon Kabat Zinn says at the end of the Breathing Space guided meditation: “It is already here, whatever it is. Let me feel it.” Give it a try if you are – like me – late to this party: three minutes at lunch time, while you are nuking lunch… maybe coffee time or even on the subway. Hope you find it as useful as I have.
The 3 minute breathing space by the father of MBSR…. https://youtu.be/8oWmGJc8NWI
Let’s remember to take care of ourselves – so that we are able bring our best to our care for others. (note to self).
Check out this amazing recipe book of “micro-structures” for facilitating meetings and workshops with the overarching values of respect, collaboration and allowing the content to emerge! http://www.liberatingstructures.com/ and on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/58955014 and don’t miss my favourite LS tool for creating engagement and collaboration: “1, 2, 4, ALL” https://vimeo.com/93869810
Classical music versus jazz, fixed versus free, planned versus improvised… which one is better for our creative process?
TED talks that I love that have influenced the way I think about things (including change management!):
The art of being yourself | Caroline McHugh
On vulnerability & shame:
Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame