Step 1 – Arrival & Registration: The COMETSA team has secured a standing venue for the monthly LEKGOTLA, with secured parking and welcoming amenities. The registration takes place inside the LEKGOTLA hall. There are welcome drinks. The environment, by the time the guests arrive is prepared and appealing. A soothing music is on, COMETSA branding is prepared, and the names of the guests with their details are ready. They are invited to come forward to COMETSA banner for collector’s item picture with COMETSA leadership and staff. The social media platforms are set. The online friends of COMETSA are being update throughout. This is just the continuation of daily interaction since the first day of sending the event announcements and invitation online.
Step 2 – Voluntary Pre-LEKGOTLA Networking (1 x Hour): The LEKGOTLA officially starts at 09h00, but the venue is open at 08h00. This first hour is dedicated to the Voluntary Pre-LEKGOTLA Networking. It is COMETSA tradition to encourage the guests to network with each other. This is the spinoff of all COMETSA face to face activities. This first hour is becoming famous, especially for the standing participants as they use it to catch up with other COMETSA friends. It is also the opportunity for the participants to meet with the guest speakers before the official session starts.
Step 3 – Checking-In (allocation of participants to the Mini LEKGOTLA): Before The 1st Main LEKGOTLA takes place, the participants are allocated to the seats in the various circles. This is the base on which The Mini LEKGOTLAs are formed. The participants that are coming from the same organizations or communities are encouraged to split and sit in different circles. This is to encourage them to meet and interact with the new people.
Step 4 – Setting up the 1st Main LEKGOTLA: The circles are dismantled and a big circle is formed in the main hall. The refreshments and any other eats are placed in the centre, so that people do not keep on going away from the LEKGOTLA for drinks. This is also symbolic of the LEKGOTLA tradition as practised in many African communities. So, the participants do not miss on deliberations trying to access refreshments and eats.
Step 5 – The 1st Main LEKGOTLA In Session (Conversations): The key components of The 1st Main LEKGOTLA are;
- Theme Presentation: Each of the LEKGOTLA is dedicated to a specific Theme which is defining the nature and focus of one of the many COMETSA PMS LEKGOTLA NETWORKS. The Host, Facilitator, and Co-Facilitator present the Theme and the topic that the Guest Speaker would be addressing. This is the beginning of the generation of the content for the LEKGOTLA.
- Guest Speaker Presentation (and Inputs): The guest speaker is always someone who is an expert on the Theme and the formulated topic for The LEKGOTLA. The guest speaker would have been officially invited, briefed and inducted into The LEKGOTLA Way Methodology. This is very important since the presentations are not supposed to be too academic and theoretical. They must be as close to the practical reality as possible. We expect the guest speaker to also make his/her own remarks and share his/her insights in the theme and the topic of the Network. After all it is expected that the guest speaker, once they are done with their presentation, if time allows, they will become participants during the Mini LEKGOTLAs and The 2nd Main LEKGOTLA. This is however their own choice. They do not have to stay on and participate. But the invitation is open and it is part of the incentive for agreeing to be our guest speaker.
- The LEKGOTLA Way Methodology Theory: The host, facilitators and/or any of the chosen standing participants, as members of The 1st Main LEKGOTLA, introduce the LEKGOTLA Concept and Methodology to the participants. This is to make sure that we do not exclude any participant who might be coming for the first time and does not understand the concept and methodology. The spirit of any LEKGOTLTA is to be inclusive. It is one of the key aspects of the African Ubuntu practice. This theory is necessary for the participants to be able to follow the next steps in The LEKGOTLA, i.e. demonstration, participation in the Mini LEKGOTLAs, and in The 2nd Main LEKGOTLA.
- The LEKGOTLA Way Methodology Demonstration: We now have enough information and theory to use as the focus of the demonstration of The LEKGOTLA Methodology and the actual practice. The participants are requested to reflect on the inputs from the Theme presentations and Guest presentations (by the host, facilitators, co-facilitators, and the guest speaker), and the theory on LEKGOTLA in this Demonstration. So, it is almost like doing practical work. It is demonstration and yet real and we are progressing The LEKGOTLA agenda of the day. So, every LEKGOTLA Session provides further learning on The LEKGOTLA Concept & Methodology, The Network Theme, and Guest Speaker Topic. We believe that this is the most comprehensive Adult Learning Style (ALS) we have ever innovated and are now applying, with the conviction that it is transformational in developing our LEKGOTLA participants.
Step 6 – Mini LEKGOTLAs Formation & Checking-In Guidelines: Our LEKGOTLA Programme is divided into Main LEKGOTLA and Mini LEKGOTLAs. The inputs and learning from the Mini LEKGOTLAs are consolidated into the Main LEKGOTLA in the form of a Plenary.
The following guidelines are issued to the participants before they break away into the Mini LEKGOTLAs:
- Chairperson: Appoint or elect a Chairperson to facilitate the Mini LEKGOTLA check-in and discussions
- Scribe/Spokesperson: appoint a scribe to record the discussions and give feedback at the Main LEKGOTLA (Plenary)
- Group (Mini LEKGOTLA) Name: give your Mini LEKGOTLA (Group) a name and explain to us why you gave it this name. What does this name mean or represent.
- Naming Methodology: share with the Main LEKGOTLA the Methodology you used in arriving at this Name
Participants Checking-In: Let each member of your Mini LEKGOTLA introduce themselves by answering the following questions:
- What is your name (and surname) in full (traditional and African, where applicable)?
- What is the meaning of your name(s) and surname?
- Where do you work and/or what do you do for a living?
- What is your position (job title), if applicable?
- Where do you originally come from (village, town, township, municipality, district, and province)?
- Where do you currently live/stay (village, town, township, municipality, district, and province)?
Step 7- The Mini LEKGOTLAs In Session: Now the participants reflect in closer details on the inputs from the beginning to where they are, with all deliberations, inputs, decisions, recommendations, classified into the following categories:
- Theme: Host, Facilitator, and Co-Facilitator Presentations, Inputs, Perspectives, Views and Opinions
- Topic: Guest Speaker Presentation, Inputs, Perspectives, Views and Opinions
- Theory on LEKGOTLA Concept and Methodology
- Demonstration on LEKGOTLA Concept and Methodology
- The Inputs from the Mini LEKGOTLA, including the Exercises
- Reflection on the Diversity in your Mini LEKGOTLA
- Strategy you are going to use in making Presentation (Feedback) to the Main LEKGOTLA
- Recommendations you are going to use in making Presentation (Feedback) to the Main LEKGOTLA
- Take home applications assignments for the entire LEKGOTLA participants
Step 8 – Reconvening of the Main LEKGOTLA (Plenary – Report Back): The Programme Directors facilitate the session, and make sure that it follows the following guidelines. This is the Knowledge Consolidation Stage of the entire LEKGOTLA. It is the climax of the LEKGOTLA and most exciting part
- Introduction: The scribe/spokesperson greets the entire LEKGOTLA again, and bring some fun into the session with light moments interjections
- Scribe/Spokesperson Name (Self): The scribe/spokesperson introduces himself/herself in full, and share the experience of being both the scribe and spokesperson.
- The scribe/spokesperson introduces the name of the Mini LEKGOTLA
- Tell LEKGOTLA why this name was chosen
- Tell the LEKGOTLA who was the Chairperson of the Mini LEKGOTLA
- Were all these portfolios filled via appointment (consensus or voluntary) or election (process)?
- If by appointment (consensus or voluntary), how did that come about
- If by election (process), explain the process and the lessons learned to the Main LEKGOTLA
- Introduce the participants (Members) of the Mini LEKGOTLA
- Describe the Diversity of the Members of your Mini LEKGOTLA
- Tell us your take from all of the above Check-In points at your Mini LEKGOTLA
Step 9 – Announcements (Next LEKGOTLA and other matters): The host and/or Programme Directors make announcements to the LEKGOTLA. This includes the announcement of the next LEKGOTLA, the Theme, the Topic, and Guest Speaker.
Step 10 – Checking-Out: this is the stage for the goodbyes, but before that is done , the following structured Checking-Out is done by each participant, either in two, threes, or individually, depending on the time available. The Programme Directors must always keep in mind the importance of allowing for at least one hour for Voluntary Post-LEKGOTLA Networking
- Confirmation: What was confirmed for you by the LEKGOTLA today?
- Aha Moment: At what point during the LEKGOTLA did you experience an Aha Moment?
- New Insights: What new insights or lessons have you gained from the LEKGOTLA today?
- Take Home: What are you taking home (to share with the family members, colleagues, friends, community, etc) from this LEKGOTLA
- New Behaviours: What are you going to do differently from today onward, as a result of your participation in this LEKGOTLA
Step 11 – Voluntary Post-LEKGOTLA Networking (1 x Hour): at this stage the participants have connected with each other. The last hour is made available for those who want to finalise their Networking initiatives to do so. It is the last opportunity to reach out to those participants that they could not reach during the LEKGOTLA. It is our tradition not to rush the goodbyes. Those who are pressed for time are allowed to go. We want the members and participants in our LEKGOTLA to fully benefit from the Network and build lasting relationship privately and professionally.
Step 12 – Departure: What is left is to leave for our different homes fully inspired and happy to face the outside world.
Step 13 – Social Media Postings & Collector’s Items Photos: Throughout the LEKGOTLA we would have been posting on social media platforms and taking photos. This is the opportunity for the participants to continue with the reflections and connect with the broader COMETSA online network. We also post the photos in the Network WhatsApp Group, COMETSA Lekgotla Network.