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A Cafe Debate is a powerful way of triggering deeper conversations

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 29 March 2016



A Cafe Debate is a powerful way of triggering deeper conversations
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 189
Posted DateTuesday 29 March 2016 13:24 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

Although the context for a Knowledge Café conversation is usually set by a single speaker giving a short talk and posing a question there are a number of other approaches – a Café debate is one of them.

In a Café debate, the context is set by two people (or more) debating opposing views on a topic – the motion of the debate - that also forms the Café question. The Café then proceeds as normal and concludes in a vote being taken.

This goes a little bit against the philosophy of the Café as some people may hold on to fixed views in order to “win” the debate but this style of Café can be great fun if people do not take it too seriously and are prepared to “win” or “lose”.

The value is not in the outcome but in the conversations that are held at the tables and the insights into the issue that are gleaned by the participants.

I have run Cafés like this in the past but more recently I ran one at an open Knowledge Café at BAE Systems in Farnborough and I am hoping to run one at KM Legal UK 2016 in London in May. I just need to find a hot topic and two good debaters!

They work well - see here to learn more about the process.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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