When we began writing content for this website, we realized there was a lot we wanted to include. But we didn't want blocks and blocks of text. This podcast is a way for us to expand on many of the topics and ideas we introduce.This, the first in an occasional series of podcasts, is about why Syzygy exists in the first place. We hope you enjoy all of the 'casts and that you'll post your comments. After all, there's not much point in talking to ourselves.
B: Hello, I'm Barbara Saxberg.
D: And I'm Dan Oldfield.
B: People who do what we do often attach blogs to their websites. Given that each of us had a former life in broadcasting, we decided we'd do something a little bit different, that we would produce an occasional podcast instead.
D: And you'll see the transcript is provided on the site and of course, there's a place to comment. And we hope you will.
B: We plan to use this forum to talk about new ideas in learning and facilitation, new sessions that we're offering, our thoughts on specific topics, sometimes our response to news related to leadership, or working with conflict or group dynamics, or industrial relations. In other words, pretty much whatever is intriguing us at the time.
D: We'll even link you to other sites with interesting perspectives, we'll offer tips on working better together, and how to be the most effective leader you can be.
B: Before we get in to all of that though, we wanted to start with why we're here, why we launched this company, what drives us, and what we hope to accomplish.
D: So, this will be the first of the occasional podcasts from Syzygy Learning & Facilitation.
D: Barb, you started this several months ago. What made you decide to launch Syzygy?
B: I had been spending several years in adult education both in my workplace and within my union, I was very active in my union, and I saw the changes that happened in people when they took part in a lot of the sessions that we were doing, that at a certain point you would see that something would suddenly shift for people, that there would be a moment of clarity or some sort of change that would take place. And so, that had a lot to do with driving this move to setting up Syzygy Learning & Facilitation.
We need leaders. We need all kinds of leaders and it doesn't necessarily have to be the person with the title who is a leader, we have leadership in all kinds of forms but we need people who step up, we need people who are prepared to go forward, and so when I left my full time job a little over a year ago, I wanted to continue to make a contribution. It seemed to me that if we can help people be leaders, be better leaders, find better ways to address the inevitable issues that are going to arise anytime you bring groups of people together, then that would still continuing to make a difference.
So it doesn't matter whether it's workplace or community or non-profit or union, there are certain challenges in bringing people together that are going to be universal and it matters. It matters that we find better ways to do this, there are enough challenges going on in the world so I guess that's really sort of what prompted me to start this process in the first place. What about you?
D: Well, I think many of the same things. Seeing the lights go on, knowing you can make a difference. My motto has been finding peace one person at a time so this is a way of doing that. Also, after 40 years of negotiations, individual negotiations, collective agreement negotiations and all kinds of interactions with people and establishing relationships also one person at a time, meaningful and long-lasting relationships, and also being able to help facilitate the teaching of individuals in terms of resolving conflicts, so helping other people find those answers. In other words I actually believe after all that time, there's nothing that replaces experience. I indeed have something to offer. So I'm offering it.
Listen, this name Syzygy, rather interesting name, it's um, whenever I've talked to people about this, first of all they have trouble pronouncing it. You look at the word, it doesn't stick out so say a bit about that name.
B: Well, we spent a lot of time thinking about what to call this company, we didn't want something that was going to be ordinary or predictable. And we wanted to have a name that would allow us to grow as an organization. So we were tossing around a whole pile of ideas and it was one of those sort of moments of serendipity, I guess. I subscribe to a website called dictionary.com and every day they send me the word of the day. And on this particular day, the word was syzygy. I think it's the only word in the English language that three "y's" and no other vowels in it. And it refers to that moment when three celestial bodies come into alignment. We had just been talking about how we design courses, how they're structured, how we bring sessions together. We start with clear goals that are based on what at the end of it do we want people to know, what do we want them to be feeling and what do we want them to be able to do and how do we bring those three things into alignment.
A lot of the training that happens these days is focused specifically on knowledge transfer and on very practical skills and that's great. But in order for it to carry through, in order for people to feel committed to it, they have to feel it internally, there has to be something that has touched them inside so that they will feel that commitment to follow through. So I think that was really sort of the philosophy, that this word just seemed to fall into alignment if you will, with the kinds of things that we were talking about and how we design and structure.
D: Yeah, I like that theme of alignment because I think there are lots of things, you know, besides skills and values and that, there's the idea of aligning confidence with ability and those sorts of things so this idea of alignment is also one that appeals to me.
The other thing about is, what we are experiencing now is a world that is changing much much faster than say, when we entered the workforce. And people have to have a flexibility of skills to be able to cope with that, a variety of skills in dealing with each other, resolving their differences. I think what we can do here is hopefully, that we'll be able to, with our various offerings, enhance those skills, encourage people to come forward, encourage people to grow. So, I'm very much looking forward to it.
B: This has been The Occasional Podcast, from Syzygy Learning & Facilitation.
Theme music licensed from www.beatsuite.com.