The World Cafe Community

Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Does the Future of Work lie in the workplace communities?

Ian Gee, former Global OD Director at Nokia Corporation along with his talented colleague Matthew Hanwell have seriously explore the topic in his recently released book "The WorkPlace Community: A Guide to Releasing Human Potential and Engaging Employees."  They cite that, "we continue to use the same structures and organize work in the same way as we have for decades, but is there is a more effective way to benefit from our collective intelligence."

I am thrilled to see the work of Ian and Matthew out for us to read. One, because the topic is timely and relevant. And two, because I know first hand the quality of Ian's work. He was my client at the time Nokia was exploring ways to develop new values that would support their new business strategy. The company chose the World Cafe process methodology paired with the Jamming process by IBM to bring to the surface the beliefs and yearnings of their mutlicultural and mutligenerational people over all regions of the world.  I am also proud of our the work we did in support of such a transformational initiative. We ran 16 World Cafes in the Americas from the USA to South America, in diverse parts of Europe, and in various Asian countries.  One of the many joys of doing this work with Ian and Nokia was the seamless collaboration among the company and its leadership and "cafe ambassadors", the World Cafe team of consultants, and IBM's Jam team.  This was one of those memorable experiences of emergent workplace community."  What if we were able to converse in a similar way as we did in the Nokia project driven by a shared desired to unearth the guiding values for companies, organizations, and communities that have proven to be both resilient and able to change through a century or so?  What if we use technologies that are available and appropriate to aid conversations that matter?

Get the book if you are interested in learning more about the approaches and tools Ian Gee and Matthew Hanwell have reserached and utilized. Or if you are more into a quick read, look at their article on the most recent journal of Personnel Today, called "Does the Future of Work Lie in the Workplace Communities." 

Our World Cafe is a living example of a great community that also inspires a sense of global connectedness while recongizing the particular gifts of differnet people, generations, regions, beliefs, etc.  

Enjoy the book if you choose to buy it. If not, keep building communities of concerned people who share a common interest on sustainable relationships, communities, and the present and future of the house we all share: our planet


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