The Voices of Student and Teacher

We often feel we are either a teacher or a student.

In my experience these roles are a paradox and reflect our tendency to think in polarities.

We think they are two separate terrains to navigate, but both roles are much the same and actually inform each other.  Both roles are about learning and growth.

The paradox is the creative tension between teacher and student that allows the voice of each to be gathered and amplified.

Holding the tension between the student and teacher roles is also what deepens our level of learning.  If we collaborate with what the tension is trying to do, it opens us up and expands our horizons.

We will not be able to be a great teacher unless we are a willing student.  We cannot understand the benefits of being a student until we have taught something of value to another person.  These roles are different versions of very similar skills.  Both are necessary.

Escape Either-Or Thinking

It is time to stop seeing these roles as things that are this or that.

When we escape the grip of either-or thinking we nourish wholeness in our self and awaken our full potential.  Whether we are comfortable with paradox or not, embracing both roles creates another level of knowing that allows us to think and learn together in more profound ways.

Reciprocal Teaching and Learning

We see these roles enacted at their best in mutual and reciprocal process of mentoring.

Effective mentoring involves not only the teacher finding the right student, but the student finding the right teacher as well.  In this relationship, not only must the qualities of the mentor be revealed, but also the qualities of the student must be equally revealed.

This is what allows the full voice of each to be expressed and illuminated.

I invite you to experience the gifts of being both student and teacher.

The Evolution of Mentoring

The shift from traditional mentoring to team mentoring is increasing the ability of organizations to transfer knowledge beyond a select few.

Traditionally the mentoring relationship relies on a senior leader guiding the career of a high potential person. This hierarchy limits potential growth at all but the highest levels of the organization because it does not allow for everyone to participate in learning.

Take a look at the mentoring visual aid 

See how Team Mentoring works and the kind of impact it is having on organizations ability to sustain the leading edge.


Rediscovering the Path to Soulful Creativity

It is as important now as it has ever been before to tend the fire of soulful creativity.

Our world, with all of its environmental,  economic and political complexities requires both individuals and our organizations to nurture the creative spirit and bring about solutions that add value.

This idea is about not becoming a person who is one-sided, saying, “I do what my job requires, go home, repeat.” There needs to be other aspects of self built so as to add flavor to the organization’s collective.

In return the organization should be interested about the other aspects of the person working in the collective. Asking, “what makes this person run?” and “How best can all of this persons talents be utilized.”

Both require a consistent practice, a daily tending.

As individuals it takes rediscovering that which you daydream about and for an organization it takes support and inspiration of the creative soul.

As a culture we are awakening to the urgency of this practice. As creatives’ we are determined beyond the snags and traps that lead us to say we will do it later to keep alive the handmade aspects of life.

I challenge you, on behalf of your wild and creative nature, to ask these three questions:

How do I honor and bring life to my creative spirit?

Is my organization interested in what makes me run?

Do my relationships support and encourage the new and unusual?

These three questions speak to the vitality it takes to keep this world, and each day alive and prosperous.

In the end, we decide which bridges will become strong and well traveled, and which will remain sketchy and empty.

Making a Case Now for The Learning Organization of Tomorrow

The world and the way business gets done are changing.

The business models that drove many businesses and industries in the past (especially since the market crash in 2008) are no longer working.

Most of the old models are no longer successful because they are focused on the past and do not represent the future as it is evolving.

Also, it is now more complex to determine the future.  Deterministic models, which drove previous business models, are not giving organizations what is needed.

What is needed?

In today’s business world, organizations need to know their strongest and most distinctive capabilities.

These capabilities need to remain the foundation of any new business models.

However, businesses need to use those capabilities to project multiple new business models that incorporate the needs of the changing marketplaces and world.

Being prepared for uncertainty

No one knows any more exactly what will work in terms of a specific business model.

This makes a stronger case than ever for all organizations to become learning organizations.

It is now clear that learning can and needs to come from all areas and all people in the organization.

This is the only way to have as a foundation what is necessary to survive in the future as organizations figure out what models and scenarios will work best for them.

Using uncertainty as a catalyst

Fostering learning is one of the critical elements of innovation, which is a fundamental requirement for anything new to exist.

This is why mentoring in teams at all levels in an organization has become so important to success in today’s world.

The smartest organizations are connecting people at all levels to transfer knowledge and grow learning and potential to compete in today and tomorrow’s world.