Creative Organisational Learning: Developing Awareness of Self and Place
Last week I facilitated a workshop for PhD students on the Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change.
The ADOC programme describes itself as one which ‘seeks to establish an active community of practitioners who, individually and collaboratively, contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of consulting and change…’ and who ‘Appreciate and demonstrate the ethical aspects of influencing in organisational settings as they apply to the individuals engaged, the organisation involved and the wider socio-ecological systems.’
My workshop aimed to give the participants an opportunity to combine different media in the interpretation and documentation of the local environment at Ashridge, developing multi-modal approaches through which to become more fully aware of their relationship with their environment, via a cycle of exploration, documentation and reflection.
I had put together some reading in advance on creative place-based approaches to learning, and how these can enable us to grow in confidence and self awareness, whilst supporting the development of greater empathy for others and an enhanced environmental awareness.
On the day of the workshop I shared images of similar work with teams of teachers, and with artists and community group leaders, and from my own individual practice, as an artist and consultant researching the value of creative, place based learning.
The group were then invited to move out into the Ashridge grounds, paying attention to their senses, their body, their emotions and memories, as they explored, and to combine photography, text and found materials to produce a piece of work that documented their multi-layered experience.
Lastly, we reflected on those experiences, with each member of the group sharing their work and their thought processes, drawing links between the methods used, the feelings and thoughts that emerged, and their own individual practice/research.