Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Argyris and intercultural settings

Last Friday I attended a the M&O conference 'samenwerking in allianties en netwerken' (=collaboration in alliances and networks). I think it was my first real conference, you're never too old to attend your first conference... and immediately I can join the unconferencing movement. Can't say I was impressed by the general level of presentations and sessions. BUT a real treat was the presentation by Chris Argyris. And it was really cute that he was using a good old overhead projector with slides (see picture). That did not diminish the power of his presentation. It was impressive how he told a story and explained both theory in use versus espoused theory as well as model 1 and model 2 thinking and behaviour, and I felt like he had explained the book I read (knowledge for action) in less than 30 minutes. He stressed that model 1 behaviour is universal behaviour.

One question I have is whether working in intercultural situations helps to move towards model 2 thinking and behaviour. Model 2 is behaviour where you try to make your assumptions explicit, check them and ask for feedback. Unfortunately I didn't dare to ask him (even though I spotted him in the corridor)..

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