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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Coaching and Social Change: An Experience with Ashoka in Egypt

David Dorn and Mike Rosenthal, two coaches from the Center, conducted a coaching session for a group of Ashoka Fellows and staff in Cairo. Ashoka is an organization designed to advance social entrepreneurship. Ashoka Fellows work in some 60 countries to address a wide spectrum of human need and social challenges.

The coaching session was intended to share our coaching approach and gather input on coaching skills development for grassroots leaders. The CCL coaching approach of asking questions rather than offering solutions resonated deeply with the Ashoka participants. They indicated that solutions to be successful must emerge from the people and can't be imposed from up or the outside.

This is a key idea. In India and elsewhere we've noted that the NGOs that are able to achieve scale are the ones that espouse inclusion within their organizations and in their engagements with the community. The leaders of these organizations understand that gifted individuals can be catalysts but change takes collective action. Change agents may be more effective when they act as coaches and facilitators rather than consultants and experts.

The experience with Ashoka was a powerful and an inspiring experience for the two CCL coaches. They were moved by nature of the diffcult challenges Ashoka Fellows take on in Egypt as well as their unique spirit and creative orientation to social problems. Insights from the Ashoka experience have helped inform our efforts with regard to NGO and community leadership development.

1 comment:

Eshan said...
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