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 provides children with an unforgettable day’s activities – a day in 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 now and in the future
• have an unforgettable fun day
• feel pride and are taken serious
• 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 the day’s activities to experience first-hand how children respond to the issues in question. At the end of the day 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 days 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!
The global team of ConsultingKids
Founder ConsultingKids International and Netherlands
I really enjoy making complex issues explainable in such a way that everybody can think along. So no “management jargon” and really touching upon the essence of the issue within its context and dynamics. In my previous role as a management consultant and during my executive MBA I’m at my best when I’m challenged to look at things from a total different perspective and come up with innovative solutions. And to be honest….I’m especially enjoying myself when this means providing advice which rock the boat and raise an eye brow with a slight but intriguing discomfort. That is also why I really love working at ConsultingKids, to come up with refreshing solutions for organizational and social issues based on the inspirational ideas of kids.
Co-founder ConsultingKids Nigeria
Simplifying complex concepts intrigues me and stories make it easy to simplify concepts. I realized that ConsultingYouth (the name of ConsultingKids in Nigeria) is a platform where top business management problems can be communicated to youth of all ages very simply through stories and youth can come up with creative ideas and solutions to problems that keep adults awake. I was drawn to this concept that recognized the potency of the human mind whether the mind belonged to an 8 year old or a 40 year old. It was exciting to see that if children understood a problem in their own language, they could provide inspiration for creative and exciting solutions to real problems. The ConsultingYouth methodology teaches youth problem solving skills in one day and these children can become innovators, inventors, business owners etc because they have been taught the fundamental skills of finding a solution to any problem. The youth also walk away with healthy self esteem as they have been part of solving a problem in the real world and have been recognized for doing so. In 2017, I cofounded ConsultingYouth in Nigeria and I am proud to be part of a system that teaches children life skills, builds their self-esteem and provides creative solutions to social and business problems.
Director and Consultant ConsultingKids Uganda
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!
Founding Partner ConsultingKids Tanzania
As a management consultant I do not believe in standard solutions. Every organization is different and deserves a solution that really fits the needs of the organisation, its employees and of course its customers. Using the innovative power of children (who are curious, fearless and creative) and translate their ideas to professional management advice is a method that helps organisations to overcome challenges and move forward. I am glad to see that organisations all over the world are recognizing their social responsibility. Through ConsultingKids, organizations get professional management consultancy and also empower children (our leaders of the future) in problem solving skills that will be useful for the rest of their lives; let’s all benefit!
The main goal of the advisory board is to help improve ideas and execution of ConsultingKids in order to optimize quality for clients and children. The advisory board reflects and is consulted on ConsultingKids vision, strategy and operation and helps to identify opportunities for improvement.
The advisory board consists of the following members:
Albert Jan Kruiter, founder Dutch Institute for Public Values
Raquel Smolders, Corporate Communications P&G
Bjorn Hoejenbos, Partner at Claassen, Moolenbeek & Partners
Jan Fokke Mulder, practice leader CGI
Gerben Vermeer, packaging specialist at Pakxo
Niels Smidt, business change manager Overstag Consulting
Paul Hartman, sports marketing executive Asics
Ralph Hanekamp, management consultant Hiemstra & De Vries