The change house cleaner

July 21, 2007

Sonja & Aiden were the other tutors on this weeks accreditation course in Pretoria and they updated me on a narrative project they are running which has necessitated a lot of innovation additions to our archetype method, which I hope they will add into the Wiki shortly (yes the Wiki is up for practitioners on a test basis). They also reported on a great example of the ability of narrative to allow people to talk about things that they would not talk about directly. It’s the story of the change house cleaner. Aiden has a great blog and I suggested that he use it to share his experience, which he did here.

Conversation is an essential part of being human and we have many forms and practices, some new (the blogosphere) some as old as the hills (over a meal with friends). Conversation of course is also an evolutionary necessity; we were and are story telling apes before we are content creating apes.

The double programme this last week brought this home to me. It involved parallel teaching, shuttling between the University of Pretoria and the latest Cognitive-Edge Accreditation Course. I also had a chance to meet up with two old friends. We shared a house at University over thirty years ago and they are now married, living and teaching in Pretoria. Both their sons are philosophers and good conversation ensued late into the evening. In fact the whole week has been one of multiple conversations and exchanges ranging from the coming Rugby World Cup, to issues of diversity, the perverted nature of academic measurement, preserving minority languages (Welsh, Afrikans etc) and the role of religion in human evolution.

From a personal point to view the nicest thing anyone said all week, was when one person came to be at the end of the University lecture series and said I had re-energised him to complete his thesis on knowledge management strategy, I realised what my old Professor meant when he said the great pleasure in teaching was to create a thirst for knowledge, not to impart it.

I had a great week in South Africa as you can gather, good conversation and meeting old friends. More of the same this week in Sydney, Lismore & Canberra with Harry Potter day in between. I am writing at 35,000 feet over the Southern Ocean and have discovered that well over half the club class cabin are planning to buy a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as soon as we get off the plane; only four occupants of said cabin are children.

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