Empty Seats (Jon Candy/flickr.com)

Workshop culture

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

We live in a “workshop culture”. On the one hand, it is costly and exclusionary. Few can afford to travel, and the organization finds it more difficult to afford and justify the expense of moving bodies and materials to meet. Its outcomes are difficult to clearly identify, much less measure. They often contribute to communication overhead. Their format and content may be superficial or stiffen participants through overly formal approaches, thereby stifling creativity. On the other hand, occasions to physically meet with colleagues in the network are increasingly rare. “I meet everybody not even once a year,” bemoans a senior manager. In between, we have learned to blend online and face-to-face communication. Yet, we strongly feel that there is high value to those face-to-face exchanges, even if some of that value may not be immediately tangible. The formal work of a conference may itself be productive because of its process (including reflective practice) …