Blog Post

Teaching Ourselves

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 January 2020



Teaching Ourselves
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 235
Posted DateTuesday 28 January 2020 17:38 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

Almost 10 years ago, I discovered that Mireille Jansma and Jurgen Egges of the then ING Bank Academy in the Netherlands had adapted my Knowledge Café process and were using it as part of their Challenging Minds programme.

I also learned that ING was working with CoachingOurselves (CO) - a Candian company founded by Henry Mintzberg and Phil LeNir - on the evolution and expansion of CO's learning philosophies and materials.

You can find the full story in my blook including a joint paper Connect, Connect, Connect written by ING and CO.

Over the past few years, I had lost contact with Mireille until we reconnected recently and she updated me and Phil on her work since she left ING.

This is what she had to say:
We are developing a program with and for youngsters and young adults (17-27 years) who have lost their way a bit or didn't yet find it. Quit school, do odd jobs, if any, have aspirations but don't know which exactly, nor how to get there. And our format: CoachingOurselves & Knowledge Cafés!

I am so grateful to you both, David and Phil! It is our cross-fertilization of ideas, approaches and passions which has led to this new route.

Our first module is called 'Dreams, Goals, Choices'. I didn't make up this theme, but discovered it by doing some workshops with young people: they set the path.

I'm also now running workshops (6 of them) at a secondary school for pupils who have to do their end-exams, have low grades and are demotivated. And guess what: they love it (their teachers didn't expect this at all).

Their feedback: 'Wonderful to talk and learn about and from each other', 'Love the freedom and space to talk', 'Enjoyed having time to reflect and think'. 'Learned so much about others, while I thought I knew them'. And so on.

Yes, friends! I've always known that CoachingOurselves and Knowledge Cafés are not just for managers and professionals. And now I've stumbled across a wonderful opportunity to take your brilliant ideas, experiences and insights to youngsters to help them grow, reflect, see, and discover their own path to their own future.

And so much more to do and think about. Like Teaching Ourselves. Imagine that: secondary schools with pupils in small groups, going through booklets which explain step by step about biology, talking and reflecting and connecting at the same time.

Thought travels faster than action and may leave less a wake, nevertheless I wanted to share what I was thinking today.

Thank you both, Phil and David, glad to be in touch again, and best regards, Mireille

Credit: Mireille Jansma

I have highlighted a few of Mireille's words. As she says "Imagine". This is the power of peer-learning methods like the Knowledge Café and CoachingOurselves

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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