Children think differently and are not inhibited
by things that may seem impossible
At ConsultingKids we are convinced of two things: Children can help adults solve complex issues AND benefit from the lessons learned for the rest of their lives. ConsultingKids involves children in problem-solving processes, allowing them to tackle relatively complex organizational and social issues. We translate the issues for a child’s world and use methods and techniques developed by leading consultancy firms, specially adapted for working with children. ConsultingKids harnesses children’s way of thinking and lack of inhibition. Based on the inspirational innovative ideas of kids we provide refreshing solutions that help your organization and our society overcome challenges and keep it moving forward.
1) Working on complex organizational and social issues...
A child’s world view is different from that of adults. He or she views the world with an open mind, asks questions that adults no longer dare to ask and come up with ideas that no longer occur to us. ConsultingKids harnesses children’s way of thinking and lack of inhibition. Inspired by their refreshing ideas we uncover inspirationally innovative solutions that help your organization and our society overcome challenges and keep it moving forward.
Issues range from ‘business strategy’ to ‘reducing poverty’ and from ‘governance for regional cooperation between decentralized youth care organizations’ to ‘developing new products and a sustainable market access strategy’. By no means typical children’s topics!
...resulting in refreshing solutions and first steps into action
• View their issues through children’s eyes
• Gain access to the creative ideas of children
• Are pushed forwards with inspirational solutions
• Opening possibilities to discuss sensitive issues and initiate action
2) Kids learn professional skills...
ConsultingKids Uganda provides children with a series of three workshops during which they can let their imaginations run wild and learn to solve problems. We do this using methods and techniques developed by leading consultancy firms and described in acclaimed management books (see picture), specially adapted by us for working with children. We teach them:
1. Probing deeper to find the root of the problem
2. Working together & yes-ands
3. Devising solutions from different perspectives
4. Prioritizing & substantiating a point of view
5. Evaluating & refining ideas
This way we teach children the problem solving skills we as adults all develop throughout our working careers but all wished we had learned much sooner in life...
... and have a fun and educational day
• Learn skills that can help them solve problems in their daily lives and school
• Have three unforgettable fun workshops
• Feel pride, are taken seriously, and gain confidence
• Are appointed junior consultants (including certificate)
How we work
Step 1, together we investigate the issue and reduce it to its essence
We closely investigate the issue together with our client. Which issue can use a fresh perspective? What is the scope and the ambition? What information ( figures, strategies, opinions, dynamics, research....) is relevant? What else do we need to take into account? Together with the client we determine the main question, do additional research and reduce the issue to its essence. Before moving on we evaluate the outline with our client.
Step 2, we adapt the issue for a child’s world
We adapt the essence of the issue into story form so that children can fully understand it. The story may read as a fairy tale, but it contains all the issue’s key elements. This process in itself often reveals initial insights. Before moving on we evaluate the storyline with our client.
Step 3, we collect inspirational ideas from children
Multiple primary school classes tackle the issue presented as an illustrated version of the story. This process is facilitated by an experienced ConsultingKids advisor, the kids generate inspirational ideas, and at the same time practice as real problem solvers. We encourage one or two of our client’s staff members to sit in on one of the three day’s activities to experience first-hand how children respond to the issues in question. At the end of the process we collect all ideas and the kids are appointed junior consultants of ConsultingKids (including certificate).
Step 4. we translate the ideas back to refreshing solutions for the adult world
At the end of the exciting workshops with the kids we translate the inspirational ideas into refreshing solutions for the adult world. The end product includes the essence of the issue, the storyline adapted for the children, the original ideas of the children in their own words and the advices for the client. We then present to and discuss all our findings with the client.
Step 5. together we refine the solutions and initiate first steps of action
In an interactive workshop we refine the solutions by using brainstorming techniques on the presented advices and original ideas of the kids. We determine which solutions are most suitable and take the first steps of action. So no difficult and dragging process of planning but action!
ConsultingKids Uganda team
Director & Consultant
Maarten de Brujin
The method that ConsultingKids brings to the world of consulting speaks to my heart. We use the creative and uninhibited thinking of children to come up with unique and effective solutions to complex problems, rather than providing organizations with predictable and ‘blueprint’ solutions to the challenges they face. After having received years of rigid university training, it is incredibly refreshing to work with these young problem-solvers. Besides us adults learning a thing or two from these junior consultants during the workshops, they are also provided with a set of tools to start tackling problems they may face in their own personal spheres. What I love most about my work is that ConsultingKids provides a win-win situation for both adults and children. By running ConsultingKids Uganda I hope to contribute positively to social and organizational change and make the world a better place. Let’s make it happen!
Advisor & Embassador
In the beginning of 2015, I co-founded ConsultingKids Uganda (CKU). Through time I noticed that the CKU program has a lot to offer. The values of ConsultingKids, that children and adults can learn from each other, are values that I cherish very much. In my eyes this is a natural learning cycle in which everybody can grow and benefit. First of all, it is good to see that the we contribute to the Ugandan economy and business development. Slowly it is getting more common to work together with external advisors and therefore the consultancy atmosphere seems to be opening up. Secondly, it is wonderful to see the smile of the empowered children. They feel part of society when working on a real problems and that their voice is heard. Besides this they learn skills with which they are trained to become critical thinkers, which in Uganda is not that common. And thirdly, the teachers and heads of schools seem to learn new methods of working with the children. Often the teachers make more notes that the students and ask if they can get extra support in learning the skills. Altogether CKU is one fun step in the direction of a participative society in Uganda. I am proud to say that we create jobs, empower children and create awareness in all layers of society while giving inspirational consultancy. I am the contact person for CKU in the Netherlands.