Kensho Education started in 2015 by Anthony Garone and Allen Plunket. The idea came to life when Allen wished to start a web developer boot camp program in Phoenix. This boot camp would be to support what he had been doing with his company, Phoenix Staff, since the early 2000s. Allen, wanting the support of Anthony, asked him if he would be interested in joining forces. Anthony declined his offer and said that instead, he wished to teach people in any field to think critically. After some back-and-forth, the two of them decided to develop a soft skill crash course. That course became the program, Pause, which is customized for leaders, teams, individual contributors, etc.
Kensho, a Japanese word that means “The initial moment of enlightenment that requires further deepening”; or, the ah-ha moment. Kensho aims to help people develop self-awareness and discover meaning at work. They do this through training courses in a few different ways: individual, small teams, large groups, and cohorts. This model isn’t the same as a typical crash course- there is no teacher-student dynamic. The material is all about self-discovery, and that is work that is primarily up to the person who is seeking out and comprehending the material.
Because Kensho is all about self-discovery, they do a lot of one-on-one training sessions that are highly tailored to each person. Anthony Garone, a founder of Kensho, says “I love doing this kind of work and we can go much deeper than we would in a group setting.”
In addition to one-on-one training, they do coaching for small groups. We’ve been able to work with discipline-based teams and cross-discipline project teams. The discipline-based teams are made up of a group of like-minded individuals and have similar strengths, but naturally, have their own personalities. Garone stated that “We emphasize values and fears, strengths and weaknesses, problem preferences, learning styles, and styles under stress so they can learn how to communicate better and tag team on work. For a project team, there’s usually less like-mindedness, so it’s more about communication styles and understanding expectations when collaborating on an effort.”
For large groups, Anthony Garone speaks to the crowd with activities interspersed throughout the session. The participation is different from their other models because of how large the team is, making it a more controlled environment. Lastly, Kensho offers their cohort model. The process is somewhat similar to enrolling in college, according to the founder.
“You come to our office once a week and meet with a group of people from different companies to work through the material. It’s tough material to learn and digest, and we make sure there’s homework every week. At the start of every session, we discuss the results of the homework, and we then continue to build on the learning as we progress through each learning module” said Garone.
Through these different programs, Kensho seeks to help Phoenix-based employees, specifically those in tech and IT, improve their mental health and find meaningful careers.
Be sure to keep Kensho on your radar as they are launching a new program in 2018 titled Destine. This model is meant to help individuals connect the past with the present to achieve a meaningful and exciting future. The program will focus on the psychology and patterns of our brains. It will also touch on the biases, irrationality, and decision-making processes our minds go through while living in an unpredictable and random world.
Kensho Education is changing the way that people view the work that they do, and in a world that is continuously evolving, understanding who you are and what you want to do is critical.