Thursday, September 4, 2014

Does Socrates have a place in business today?

In today’s hypercompetitive business environment there is an air of constant change as companies scurry to catch up to, or retain relativity with, their respective competitors. Often they must achieve this with fewer resources. The speed of this change means that companies “must become learning organizations; places in which everyone learns to do things better in an age of uncertainty.” (Sonnenberg and Goldberg 2007, 54). While the authors mention a number of different approaches, they highlight the Socratic Method as being one of the best options.

Socrates famous Method is explained by Kachaner and Deimler (2008, 41) as the “practice of asking the ‘right’ questions to stimulate thinking.” They say that companies who do, end up with a higher level of engagement and ownership of issues. Skordoulis & Dawson (2007) agree saying that this process is particularly useful in times of change where the status quo is being challenged.

After reviewing the research in this area I developed and tested a model based on the Socratic Method with surprising results - after a single session participants recorded a marked increase and confidence in their own creativity and engagement with their company. Encouraged by this I am extending this research to a range of different organisations and will report back on progress.

If you're interested in participating or in finding out more, just send me an email with your details and I will be in touch.

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