Learning from Africa

Alex Lindsay was in town a couple of weeks ago and I got to do my tourist thing taking him around the Peninsula. I was really impressed with his vision for Pixel Corps and the project he is busy with in Zimbabwe. You can follow his journey at http://alexlindsay.vox.com/.

One of the most interesting things was his view that the people who do all those amazing Zimbabwean rock sculptures are so skilled that they can sit down in front of a computer and be modeling 3D images in a couple of days. It really struck me as such useful connection between 1st and 3rd world.

It also challenged me to think about other ways in which we can learn from African traditions. One of the most obvious is of course in the executive coaching field. I remember years ago sitting one evening with a local tribe in Namibia. We all sat in a circle drinking Mohango Beer as each person told their stories of the day, their trials and tribulations and a conversation was held to support the person.

In our world we sit down one to one and do the same thing only we call it coaching and we do it for money. The commoditising of the process is a good reflection of the world we live in – not good or bad – just that things of value need to be represented by money and packeged in a way to fit our fast moving world – ‘confirming our next session, 8h30 on the 13th’ has replaced a timeless conversation at the end of the day with the African sun setting in the distance.

The world changes and it stays the same.

Author: Dale Williams

Dale is based in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa from where he maintains connections with people all over the world through his portfolio life.