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Over the years, we have engaged many interested organizational and leadership professionals as well as business educators who wanted to learn how to incorporate Pragmatic Inquiry into their work. We have developed a 1 day – “noon to noon” PathFinder Inquiry Leader Learning Lab where participants go through the Arc of Pragmatic Inquiry (API)on a project of theirs – most often the challenge they hope Pragmatic Inquiry can help them address – and learning the philosophy driving the Inquiry.
Educators HR executive development professionals and coaches have often used the Lab as a way to help them structure their own programs of implementation with their students and clients. As we often say, these educators and professionals can keep all the other curricula, tools and practices they have found useful, and use API as a “thread” for the students to reflect on their experience as they go through various programs. (See Presidio Graduate School case – “What’s the Big Idea?”.)
PathFinder Inquiry Leader’s Qualification
There is one fundamental qualification for a PathFinder Pragmatic Inquiry leader: You must be an inquirer yourself! You approach life with your actions driven by your values and vision and are open to new ideas, recognizing that you may not have all the answers. In other words, the Inquiry Leader must be a learner -along with their students and clients – open to the “truth we do not yet know, leading to the action we have yet to take”.
The experience of our Community of Pragmatic Inquiry Leaders has shown that the PathFinder can be used in many different situations, courses, and programs. But the common theme of its effectiveness is when it is put in the context of a decision to be made or challenge to be faced. In an even broader context, through the inquiry, we are putting the question in the context of a “story”, whether for an individual or for a group.
You are not the content expert – the inquirer is – even though you may be very knowledgeable about the Inquiry topic.
Therefore, whatever the question, the common denominator of all inquiries is that they involve answering some question that will lead to action. The perspective of the leader, then, is to be an educator (Educare Lt: to bring forth) – not a lecturer – a questioner and listener to bring or evoke knowledge and insight from the inquirer.
Every Inquiry Leader has the same experience: the great satisfaction of seeing inquirers thinking, reflecting and learning. The result is coming to better decisions and actions.
Of course, leaders of all ages are found in all kinds of organizations: profit, non-profit and government. Here is a sample. See more cases.