Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Muppets and Meetings

Posted by Helen Beal on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 @ 13:02 PM

I've been taking a friend with me to my consulting gigs lately - his name is Elmo.

It's not just that I get lonely sometimes when I'm travelling and need something to cuddle up to at night - he does have a genuine professional purpose!

Our clients enjoy our workshops, learnings and value stream mapping exercises for delivering real outcomes that help them progress with ways of working that improve their organisational performance. And we enjoy them too and learn a huge amount ourselves from the incredible people we get involved. Whilst we want to always encourage people to speak up and learn from one another, sometimes, as facilitators, it's also our job to ensure the team complete the tasks in hand and leave with what they wanted when they came into the room.

Enter Elmo - the muppet that helps me work. In this context, ELMO stands for 'Enough, Let's Move On'. Sometimes discussions do become circular, duplicated or go to a depth that will take time that we haven't got and go to a level of detail we don't need. I think I particularly like Elmo because I'm British and suffer sometimes from that infamous British politeness and he gives us a way of asking someone politely and in a light-hearted way to let something go for the greater good of the group. That said, Elmo has accompanied me far and wide and been welcomed outside of the UK, throughout Europe and the Middle East and America were pleased to see him too!


But Elmo's not just for me; he's for everybody! Whilst I am well-known for frequently Elmo-ing myself, anyone in the room can call out when it's time for Elmo to move us on. In our ways of working, teams are self-organised, autonomous and all equal. I had the cards above made for Ranger4 and take a handful wherever Elmo and I go so everyone at the table can hold one up when we need our muppet to intervene. Elmo and I never return home with any.

If you want some Ranger4 Elmo cards just get in touch at hello@ranger4.com and tell us how you want to improve your ways of working and we and Elmo can come visit you too.

Topics: LiftOff Workshop, Value Stream Mapping, Ways of Working, Ways of Thinking