“Last year it was about adapting, now we have to create the changes.”

22, June

Pseudo interviews with friends (nice conversations bah) Today Meli Jajamovich Meli Jajamovich is a serial ...

Pseudo interviews with friends (nice conversations bah)
Today Meli Jajamovich
Meli Jajamovich is a serial provocateur. Last year Linkedin distinguished her as one of the TopVoices, one of the 10 most influential people in the region. Granddaughter of the great visual artist Martin Blaszko, her different look is full of art. She is the author of Agility in 4 Seasons, a reference for the Agility agenda in Ibero-America. Half Argentine and half Spanish, she lived in Zaragoza for many years and recently launched a very special book. Reflections of a year working in slippers is not just another book. See why.

“Last year it was about adapting, now we have to create the changes.”
S: I know very well what this book is about and I know how different it is from Agility in 4 Seasons, but tell me about it.
The book is the compilation of part of what I have written in the last year. A curation of short articles. It has a spirit between MP3 and haiku. We are all very tired and we only have room for something fresh and short. Something between an intimate diary and a log of an unexpected year. It could have been the fifth season of agility (my previous book…) but it is a year in slippers. My head works like an MP3 player.
S: Your pandemic had writing as a common thread.
My dream was to be a writer. My father had a publishing house. I would go to journalism courses, writing workshops. As I started writing it became a kind of vice. I had many years of training and it comes naturally to me. It doesn’t cost me, I enjoy it. It’s my element as Ken Robinson would say. The pandemic was a very big challenge. I had to reinvent myself. LinkedIn played a key role. When I started to see that there was receptivity on the other side, I went into flow. It was accompanied by a process of awareness. I was finding my own voice. And if LinkedIn says it’s okay, let’s take advantage of it!

S: In your previous book the focus was on agility, in this one you added slow?
Yes, I made a stew. The previous one had to do with the fact that there was no Spanish-speaking voice in agile … but the concept was clearly not mine. I tried to bring something interesting to the Latin audience with my style. In this one I didn’t follow anyone. They were my own theories or reflections without looking for certainties but to open new conversations. It is more provocative than the previous one. That “meetings have to be dynamited” or “they put me in a meeting” is like, well, you want to take everything.
Last year was coming out of the automatic. The first book encouraged me to write in my own way, then I had to break everything. I can’t tell the same thing that’s already in the book, creative destruction again. This trip was to encourage me to tell something more of my own, in my own way.

S: This is not a management book and it has a lot of art in it, I say?
The aesthetics is related to the music, did you see that there are musicians who make albums that have nothing to do with the previous one? I wanted that. We got together with Maru Romero and we both lived in Zaragoza… we remembered Chema Madoz, a genius who makes visual poetry. And saving the distances we said to ourselves, what if we got some friends together with objects and made some installations? We got together, each one with 5 objects and Maru was taking pictures between individual mates that could not be shared. We were playing all morning. Nobody wanted to leave. My son made images. He already stated that we used some of his toys. S: It fits more than perfect, the pictures opened up more conversations.
When you get a lot of eager people together see what they can produce in a morning. It was a vic
io. A great game.

S: You raise the idea of embracing the human. How do you see the companies in the region?
I don’t know if there are big differences even with Spain. Some large companies have a very dehumanized look, but not in the sense of non-human, but in how much they rely on their processes. They have grown in an industrial model. One of the challenges for organizations is to rethink themselves, to generate frameworks for people to make their voices heard. How to get out of these false dichotomies. Start saying AND, get out of the OR. People and machines. Productive and healthy. It’s not economics or health, people or robots.
S: Navigating uncertainty
Context rules, when one said VICA a couple of years ago, it had to be explained. Today everyone is living it. Until now it was a spirit of survival. Conversations are changing.
People started to set the agenda for us. The timing was brought by the situation. Last year I did not talk about agility but I gave talks about everything you see in the book. We started with new topics but the challenge is to change the metrics. We are still measuring individual talent instead of collective talent.
We have to invent it ourselves. This year is about creating the changes. Are we willing?
It is social and cultural. Governments are being asked for certainty. When in reality what we need is to learn fast, recognize mistakes,… we spent months with children without leaving the house. We have many uncomfortable questions to ask ourselves.
I was interviewed for the book in different countries and the reflections are different because different things happened. The pandemic was managed differently, the vaccination phases, the return to work. The point is to stop looking for the magic recipe. We are artisans.
S: What a theme freedom is during this period of our lives?
You have to love freedom. We are all afraid of it.
What is human has to do with curiosity, with our capacity to be critical and create new things. We are historically censored. We start our lives creating and there is a moment in which the possibilities to create are cut off with this is right or wrong, it is nice or not. The educational system is designed for the industrial system. And companies at the training level follow the academicist model. It takes a lot of courage to change.
S: Why is it necessary to read this book?
We didn’t have the editorial timing because everything depends on the arrival of Leah (my daughter). I told my dearest friend that we were not getting there and he told me “make it copyleft”. But it also has to have a purpose. What is the good cause we vibrate with? Rural education. A few years ago I did a talk for rural teachers, I went with time, I talked to them before, I took pictures of them, then they were seen on the giant screen of the auditorium of the University of Cordoba. Sometimes you don’t know how to help and that is the last click of the book. It is a solidarity book: anyone who wants to can download it for free or contribute to a good cause (the Voy con Vos scholarship program for the youth of Chaco). In one week we managed to raise funds to give scholarships to two kids for a whole year for transportation, materials, emotional assistance. It’s a change for someone. That is why I am promoting it. We are contributing a grain of sand. It helped me to know that I can do something I didn’t know I could do. If I can help a noble cause, I will continue to do it. In the end the book comes back to me as a learning experience. It’s not that complicated. The closure is that, that everything has flowed. When things are done with genuine purpose, they flow. Let go, trust, and everything flows. My most critical proofreader (my dearest) made a substantial contribution with the copyleft and the contribution to the cause of rural education.

Download the book now at www.melinajajamovich.com
And whoever wants to make a donation to “Voy con Vos”, a civil association that makes it possible for children and young people from rural areas to access quality education.