Sometimes in role playing games something mysterious and delightful happens. A story that no one designed or wrote, emerges, seemingly of its own accord, from the interactions between the players. Rather than playing through a prescribed story the players discover a story through play.

A group of people walk across a field towards the camera.
A group of people walk across a field towards the camera.
Hailey takes a selfie with the team at Amble Camp.

It was gaming experiences like these that put the Amble twinkle in Hailey Cooperrider’s eye. As a longtime collaboration practitioner Hailey had high regard for the deep collaborative capacity of her role playing buddies. She wanted to find a way to bring that latent potential into the workplace.

When Hailey invited me over to design a…


Welcome to Amble: the role playing game. Amble Studio is a newly formed table top game design company and Amble RPG is our ongoing process of self-management - working out how we work together. It incorporates mutual support, getting things done, reflection and fun.

Amble is committed to agile ways of working (I’ve written about my experience of that here) and Amble: RPG is no different. It has been developed through a series of small experiments with input from all team members at various moments. …


Photo by Neroli Wesley on Unsplash

I breathe in, receive into the inverted tree of my lungs, the gift of green and growing things, oxygen.

I breathe out, offer up the by-product of my respiration, think of the gorgeous old camellia in the back yard, to her (and all those other growing things) I dedicate my carbon dioxide.

My breath, a fundamental act of life, is an expression of my interdependence. From the air in my lungs to the bacteria in my belly that digest my food, I am because we are.

Capitalism erodes social connection. It takes the things we used to do for each…


Photo by Karim Ghantous on Unsplash

When I first heard about agile development and rapid prototyping I didn’t get it. They seemed like trendy buzz words for something that software developers did. A way of working hard and fast, not suited to my peaceful and considered way of being in the world.

That all started to shift last year when I started designing board games with my friend, Hailey Cooperrider. She wanted to develop a board game that could teach people collaborative skills and I had some time on my hands so I offered to help out. At the end of our first session together we…


Part 3 of a series of reflections on my participation in the Practical Self-Management Intensive with Better Work Together. The focus this week was on deliberately developmental.

The Immunity to Change process has been profound. I thoroughly enjoyed the discomfort of discovering how comprehensively I sabotage my own desire to do work I love. I am testing my assumption that people don’t want to talk about feelings at work with this post. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Something that is alive for me from previous weeks is how accountability — the willingness to show up and be honest…


A week ago I showed up to a meeting weighed down with sadness. It was the middle of the school holidays and I’d just dropped my son off at his other home. Due to Covid 19 restrictions in my home city of Melbourne we had not been able to have the kind of adventures that usually leave us feeling connected and alive so our time together left us wanting.

I began the meeting determined to put my feelings aside but I could feel the sadness standing over me like a wave ready to crash. Instead of continuing I asked for…


Part 2 of a series of reflections on my participation in the Practical Self-Management Intensive with Better Work Together. The focus this week was on decision making.

A woman in a purple sparkly hat and black-framed glasses smiles at the camera. She wears a white t-shirt that says FREE HUGS.
A woman in a purple sparkly hat and black-framed glasses smiles at the camera. She wears a white t-shirt that says FREE HUGS.
Photo by Peter Turnbull.

This is my mum, Jill Bear. On Tuesday she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The specialists have informed us that it’s been there for some time, that it’s most likely ‘benign’ (not cancerous), that she is not in immediate danger, that it is 3cm long and 1 cm wide, that due to it’s location they cannot operate to remove it and they recommend radiation therapy.

I have been distracted this week. Life…


Part 1 of a series of reflections on my participation in the Practical Self-Management Intensive with Better Work Together. The focus this week was on roles and team agreements.

A book lies open with the middle pages gently folded into a heart shape.
A book lies open with the middle pages gently folded into a heart shape.
Image source: Flickr user: Kate Ter Haar CC-BY-2.0

Last year I got the chance to observe a men’s behaviour change session (for men who have used violence against their partner). The facilitator (Tori Cooke) explained to me that the twin pillars of their MBC program are accountability and compassion. Compassion without accountability is collusion — enabling poor behaviour. Accountability without compassion is punishment — reacting to the behaviour without considering the possibility of change.

The power of combining these…

Kiri Bear

Artist, poet, facilitator, wild one - read my thoughts www.humansarenature.com, work with me www.kiribear.com, playful collaboration http://amble.studio

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