On the educational excursion held on 19. April, 2019, ‘hosted’ by the Selye János University of Slovakia, the participants had the chance to meet a new method organised by our Slovakian partners, which they called “World Café”.
The World Café is a methodology developed for thinking- and talking together by the American organisation development specialist Juanita Brown. Her starting point was that the basis for all significant change is the understanding and accepting atmosphere of community discussion.
We may consider World Café a change management process, during which participants share their feelings, thoughts, goals, ideas, and such. Reason being, the actual key factor in any and all change is the dedication to the target and route of change. The most important element of dedication is trust, and by extension, consensus, which are easier to form if we leave the bounds of the organisation, and allow participants to close in on each other’s perspectives in an unbound and flexible context.
In recent years, organisational culture created the techniques embedded into enterprise form, by which they aimed to strengthen the thought process of leader experience exchange towards innovation; meetings, workshops, brainstorming, trainings, forums, etc. These are all wonderful techniques, but in general, all are used to realise operationalised goals. The World Café, unlike these work methods, doesn’t design target goals. Goals, cooperation and matching perspectives are the by-products of discussion. They can also be re-integrated into the formal system of the organisation and its processes. Creating results in this form isn’t a direct goal, which means it’s not advised for situations where quick problem solving, and the creation of a specific plan framework is necessary.
The most important part: coffee shop dialogue, creation and reinvigoration are all achieved through discussion.