Mike Merrill: I’m Mike Merrill. I’m here with Cathy Boeckmann, Managing Partner of Kenning associates. And we’re talking about Kenning’s new podcast Knowing Kenning. Can you explain the title, Cathy?
Cathy Boeckmann: The title is calling attention to our name. So, the word “kenning”, it’s not a name. It is a figure of speech, basically, that combines two words to create a new metaphorical meaning. “Ken” is your understanding in Old English and a “kenning” is a term that creates new meaning that adds to your understanding. So, Knowing Kenning is essentially our invitation to get to know us, but also to make new meaning together with us.
Mike: Cathy, can you tell everyone what we’re trying to accomplish here?
Cathy: To me, this podcast feels like a really natural extension of who we are and what we do. Kenning is a leadership and development firm, and across our partnership, we have decades of experience providing support to a lot of different kinds of organizations, for-profit businesses, and non-profits, educational institutions.
Regardless of what kind of organization we’re working with, we have a really interesting vantage point on what’s going on within these organizations. We look at what people need to learn and develop and thrive and reach the next level in their careers. And we also get engaged in what leaders can provide to shape a culture and create a context where everyone can contribute their best.
Mike: So, what do you hope to actually do on the podcast?
Cathy: Part of what inspires us to launch this podcast is that we have a real focus in the work that we’re doing. That real day to day work on meaning: how people frame the meaning around what they do and why they do it; how people construct the stories that they tell about what’s possible for them; how they reframe those stories to make more possible for themselves. And we also really focus on significance, what people take away, how they share what’s meaningful to them with others.
So all of that leads pretty naturally into an impulse that we have to share our story, to share what’s meaningful to us with other people. That might take a lot of different forms. We might provide a window into the work that we do. We might talk about the things that we’re learning. And also, we’d love to spotlight some of the talented people that we get to work with.
We have some interesting stories that might be helpful to people. The things we’re learning, things that people can try, practical learning frameworks, that kind of thing. We’re hoping that each episode in our podcast will be interesting in and of itself, but we also hope that our listeners will find something that they can take away for their own efforts to grow and learn.
Mike: How does this fit into Kenning’s larger strategic approach and goals?
Cathy: We’re hoping that by doing this, we’ll meet some new people, reach more people, maybe deepen some relationships with the people we already know. And also, I just think we’re going to enjoy it. You know, conversations are powerful and they’re fun. And that’s what podcasts are. We think that we’ve got some ideas worth sharing and we’d love to get them out there so we can bounce those ideas off some of the ideas that other people have.
Mike: You folks write articles, you’re out there talking to people… Why podcasts? Why do you think the podcast form is particularly relevant to what Kenning does?
Cathy: Fundamentally, the work that we do is about conversations. So much of it happens through conversations. For instance, executive coaching–that’s really what executive coaching is. It’s just a sequence of conversations between a coach and a client. I think podcasting gets really at the heart of, the nature of, what it’s like to work with us.
It also is the case that we focus a lot on interpersonal dynamics and the interplay between people. What really would be better than having Kenning people talk with each other? Listening in on a conversation between two Kenning people talking with others. I think it really captures who we are and what we do in a really intimate way that I’m hoping people will find enjoyable.
Mike: What are some of the types of shows that you would like to do?
Cathy: The episodes in this podcast series are going to have some variety. The focus, the format and the voices that you hear are going to be different from one episode to the next. There will be some episodes that should be pretty practical, focused on sharing tips. We’ll also have some episodes that are a little more high level, looking at some of the core frameworks that we use in our work.
And we’re going to be doing some interviews. We’d like to bring in some people from our network who we think are doing interesting things and hear what they have to say.
Mike: That sounds great. What are some of the topics that are coming up soon?
Cathy: Coming up soon in the Knowing Kenning podcast, you’ll find me and my colleague, Jen Lachance, are going to discuss how to get the most out of a year-end performance review. My colleague, Jerry Stauduhar, is going to be sharing some tips for successful live virtual training programs, which many of us have experienced in the last 18 months and which I think are likely here to stay. So it’s good to get them right. And Mark Ledden will be talking about four steps for changing problematic behaviors.
Mike: That sounds great, Cathy, I look forward to joining you on many of these podcasts in the coming months.
Cathy: We’re happy to have you along for the journey and, really excited to be putting this podcast out there.
Mike: We hope you’ll follow us wherever you get your podcasts.