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In times of crisis and rapid change, exploring new ways to foster group learning is fundamental. Research has determined that o ne of the most effective ways to promote learning takes place in small groups.  A  study from Eastern Michigan University  confirms this assertion. It investigated different learning methods for students who were learning statistics.  The study determined that students improved their scores through collaborative learning (learning in small groups) by up to 23 points on tests based on a scoring system from 0 to 100 as compared with with traditional lecture learning. Collaborative learning is acknowledged to work extremely well [...]

Focus on Culture! In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus , he was able [...]

PMG is a medium size company specializing in the manufacturing of automotive parts.  New management was recently hired to lead the organization into the next phase of the company's development.  After a review of the business, the leadership embarked on several strategic change initiatives. How could the management be better prepared to guide these initiatives in an effective manner? Taking the Fish out of the Water A fish does not know what water is until it is taken out of the water.   Similarly, leaders and managers in organizations often do not see the water around them either – until [...]

True Change comes from within

True Change comes from within

The influence of over 300 years of traditional thinking patterns is being swept out faster than we think. It’s happening right now, step-by-step…Our blog The Ensemble Enabler aspires to explore this shift in thinking and what its means for all of us – both in the world of business and our daily lives. Each blog post of the The Ensemble Enabler will explore the “shifting sands” of our challenging and complex world by sharing stories and insights about organizational culture and its networks, their impact and importance. Our aim is to have each of our blog posts add a “grain [...]

Fighting Ignorance with a Fact-Based Worldview

Fighting Ignorance with a Fact-Based Worldview

I would like to reflect  on food for thought which I received from a DGUV International Strategy Conference on Safety and Health at Work where I was serving to facilitate a portion of the event. A comparison with a survey from the Handelsblatt confirms that we are living in a world of a surprising and very disturbing paradox.  From a global perspective, the state of human well-being has never been so good as it is now AND not since the 1930s have people’s views of the future been so bleak. The opening speaker of the conference was Matthias Horx of [...]

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Networking

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Networking

The Peer-to-Peer Networking process combines state of the art management content with the benefits of social learning. This approach provides a cost effective way to develop people and is easy to implement.  Employees can either have a face-to-face experience in your organization's meeting rooms or participate in a Peer-to-Peer Networking module virtually with other colleagues online. Your business can take the following three steps to introduce this process into your organization: 1. Test it with a team   If you are intrigued by the concept of the Coaching Ourselves approach by Henry Mintzberg - try it out.  Select a team for a 90 minute [...]

Inspiration from scholars in the field Ensemble Enabler is continually exploring new approaches to capture the wisdom of the crowd to support strategic initiatives, foster creativity and encourage innovation. Our experience has demonstrated that a key factor in this process is the intentional use of dialogue and conversation. A broad spectrum of scholars have explored the conceptual underpinnings which make Peer-to-Peer Networking an effective process. We would like to share a compact selection of authors who have informed our thinking on the value and impact of its use in organizations: Lifelong Learning through conversations Coaching Ourselves© is a process for [...]

In the wheat growing areas of the world, grain is stored in large towers known as silos. Each silo rises high into the sky, independent of the other silos. Multiple silos are usually required. This colorful metaphor that has become commonplace to describe separation and lack of coordination in organizations and in society which is not necessarily understood across the entire world. Silos are not to be found in rice based economies. When in 2005 the newly appointed CEO to Sony – Howard Stringer (an Englishman who had led Sony’s North American operations) – made his first strategy speech in [...]

Emotions and Leadership As we prepare tomorrow's business leaders, not enough is being invested in teaching them the basics of what it means to be human.  Their preparation typically consists of an on-going accumulation of factual knowledge combined with the acquisition of a spectrum of business skills.  It is apparent when looking at this kind of work preparation, that the focus is on the content and the process of the work to be done. Much less is invested in the ability to relate to whom they are actually leading: human beings.  Learning to work with and lead people is for the most part often left to be learned on the [...]

In today’s digital world there is an increasing spectrum of ways to connect with each other digitally: virtual groups and teams, communities of practice, zoom meetings to name just a few. As a result, it is difficult to imagine work getting done without harnessing the power of networks in our organizations. However, when it comes to organizational culture, companies have a tendency to under utilize the power of their networks. The abstract nature of culture may be one reason why this dynamic component of culture is underestimated. Transforming a culture is a difficult enough challenge for CEOs and leaders in [...]

More than 100 different topics offered  Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University (Montreal). This peer coaching concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in peer coaching sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture.  What to do if your topic is not found in the CoachingOurselves© Library? [...]

Feedback loops are often an untapped resource to enhance creativity and innovation in companies. Astute organizations recognize the value and use of feedback loops to stimulate learning and innovation at all levels. Why? Feedback loops lay down the foundation for an organizational mindset which is favorable for scalable learning and innovation throughout the organization. Through the cultivation of an environment which intentionally promotes the use of feedback loops, an organization benefits from the wisdom of employees which is harvested to reap productive insights for the business. Definition of Feedback: Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a [...]

From time immemorial, leadership has been associated with learning. Put simply, leaders are always learning.  The caliber of any leader is revealed in the way they deal with uncertainty and/or novel situations. Especially during these moments, leaders must learn as much as possible about the environment which they are encountering. Their capacity to learn and adapt is closely correlated to the quality of their ability to lead. "Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other."                                                   [...]

Lifelong Learning Knowledge is accumulating at an ever increasing pace in today's world. As a result, fostering lifelong learning is regarded as essential for a company's on-going success. Individuals need to continue learning throughout the course of their working lives. Companies support their employees' learning journey by offering a broad spectrum of courses and training programs as part of their management development programs. Normally such formal courses and training programs are based on an established template which are carried out repeatedly. External experts with specific know-how are often engaged present this knowledge to the participants. This top-down approach may provide [...]