University of Democracy

Sunday, November 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Last week I was in a workshop with the senior civil servant team of the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Namibia. People were reflecting on what they had learned over the past couple of years when we had helped them to cope with their leadership challenges better and more as a team. Like their counterparts in Indonesia, they talked about concrete outcomes on the ground, but also about their transformed relationships with each other (from mistrust to trust) and with themselves (to a higher level of presence and self-confidence). They also talked about having become better listeners and communicators. One of them referred to the Leadership Development Forum (a parallel learning structure in the form of leadership retreats every 4 to 6 months) as our “University of Democracy.” Democracy? Yes, because every voice and experience is heard.

I thought that was a really interesting term they used: to describe a governmental leadership learning structure as a “University of Democracy.” What if we could connect, leverage, and develop such an university of democracy across all ministries and sectors in all countries?

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