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Don't forget to explore - a small peek at our journey

One of the models we use while designing collaboration

- by Tommes Snels




An important part of what we help our clients and partners with is changing the way they think, feel, work and act. No matter if the challenge is about shaping a new strategy, figuring out how to bring a strategy to life, our developing capabilities to get ready for the fast and ever-changing world out there, we keep focusing on the individual and the group. To help them find out what they already know, combine insights, create intent to change the way they think about, experience and do ‘stuff’. 


Searching the unknown, encountering the unexpected, uncovering the surprise. 


One of the models that helps us – and ‘them’ – is the 5E’s of education (courtesy of the MG Taylor Corporation), In brief, the model provides language and focus on how we as humans learn. Explanations and Examples form the foundation of education, tying current models and knowledge into new ones. Experience raises the learner up to the level of Expectation. What leverages experience above expectation is the wedge of Exploration: searching the unknown, encountering the unexpected, uncovering the surprise. 


We use this model when we design collaboration – and about 27 more, but that’s a different story. What I wanted to share is the way we apply it to ourselves, in both a synchronous and asynchronous way. A couple of months ago, we started using a basic learning management environment, Chalkup, to help us broaden and deepen our knowledge. Chalkup allows you to design basic courses, provide the platform to plan assignments, open up knowledge objects, discuss topics, share insights and helps our team (and beyond) to increase our knowledge and experience. It’s not one of the most extensive LMSs out there, but we weren’t looking for that – this started more or less as a proof-of-concept, to see what it could bring us. It is by no means meant as a replacement of face to face interaction, thematic learning journeys provided by other third parties, action learning, and such; we look at it as an add-on to help us ‘up our development game’ and increase the pace at which professionals in this space usually learn (which has over the years been proven to take a lot of time, by loads and loads of training, coaching, learn-as-much-as-you-can events, experience, exploring and making lots and lots of mistakes – our domain combines about 80 different methods, philosophies, approaches and framework, you know…).


We utilise the platform not only for the ‘basics’ though, we are exploring ways to incorporate it in the actual work we do. What we have already noticed is that an atmosphere of excitement (is this the 6th E?) has arisen and we seem to be on the verge of an upward, exponential learning curve. How brilliant is that? Would love for you to share your thoughts – and don’t be afraid to express interest in getting access to some of the courses (even though you probably don’t have a clue what they are…) as we are also exploring opening it up to a broader community.