Knowledge Café Principles: Engage in small groups At the heart of the Knowledge Café are small group conversations

Real conversations only happen in small groups of 2, 3 or 4 people. I have learned this through observation, and there is research to back it up see: The influence of group size on conversation If you have more than 4 participants, you do not have a conversation but a series of monologues. Also, it … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Engage in small groups At the heart of the Knowledge Café are small group conversations

Introduction: Small Group Conversations

Small group conversations are at the heart of Conversational Leadership. Relationship and connectedness are the pre-condition for change. Every meeting, every process, every training program has to get people connected first. Otherwise, the content falls on deaf ears. So small groups are an essential building block to any future you want to create. Credit: Peter … Continue reading Introduction: Small Group Conversations

The influence of group size on conversation More than five people and it is not a conversation

Over the years, in running my Knowledge Cafes, I have discovered through trial and error and observation that the ideal size of a group for interactive conversation is three or four people. At the most five. Anything more than five and the conversation does not work so well: one or two people tend to dominate; … Continue reading The influence of group size on conversation More than five people and it is not a conversation

Knowledge Café: Choosing the tables Small round tables are best

The best conversations are held when people are sitting in touching distance of each other. Further than that, it is difficult to have an intimate conversation. And the ideal number of participants in a conversation  is three or four. So the table shown below is an ideal size for a Knowledge Café. So is this one: Small … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Choosing the tables Small round tables are best

Collective thinking * Talking with each other beats talking to ourselves

There are two conversations. The face-to-face external conversations we have with other people. And the silent internal conversations or inner conversations we have with ourselves, in our heads. Thinking and spoken discourse are the same thing, except that what we call thinking is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on by the mind with itself without spoken sound. … Continue reading Collective thinking * Talking with each other beats talking to ourselves

Knowledge Café: Moving between groups Don't over complicate it

In a Knowledge Café, there are usually three rounds of conversation each lasting 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of each round of conversation, you need to ask the participants to change tables or groups. This request can be made overly complicated by prescribing some mechanistic way to move. For example, by telling two people from … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Moving between groups Don’t over complicate it