12th March 2020. It is 6.30 p.m. in a room in the centre of Paris when the first participants - exclusively HR professionals - arrive. They have all come to learn more about co-development, a type of group coaching where participants learn from each other in order to grow professionnally and personally. What is it exactly? How does it work? The day's introductory workshop was led by Joanna Menezes, a coach and trainer who created the Cala Learning Hub network in January 2020, and Sara Bruzy, a certified co-development coach.

An approach based on collective intelligence

After the traditional introductions, the ten or so participants present began by asking themselves questions about collective intelligence: What is it? What are its benefits? Then the debate turned to co-development itself: What do you know about this practice? Have you already tried it? To come to the theoretical definition : "a co-development session brings together a group of people who share the same type of professional challenges and want to learn from each other". Together they learn and cultivate their "collective intelligence" through a process that structures talking, listening and thinking, and then encourages action.

A real-life experience of a co-development session

What exactly is the procedure? First the roles in a co-development group are clearly defined: there is a client, some consultants and a facilitator. Secondly, the protocol must follow 6 well-defined steps... Steps that the participants of the evening had the chance to experience in real-life conditions and in small groups. The feedback was immediate: "I'm delighted, I loved the experience" or "I'm really impressed by the power of the group" was heard after this flash session. Other advantages: co-development is a tool that can be used by anyone (managers, expatriates, entrepreneurs, etc.) and can be practised in a group inside or outside the company. So, who wants to have a go?