John Garnett spoke to participants in 1986 about his experience
attending the first Duke of Edinburgh Study Conference in 1956. His
advice on how to get the very best out of the experience was
summarised in 20 points, which still resonate for
CSCLeaders in 2013:
1. Search for the things you will do for the rest of your
2. Keep on looking for common ground for as long as it takes
because you will find it.
3. Don't stay with people similar to you, learn from people with
different experiences from you.
4. It's the words that matter so listen, listen, listen, talk,
5. Record what you learn , write it down as you go.
6. Get away from the PR people on the study tours, listen to
7. Break away from your group, fall behind deliberately, talk to
people one to one.
8. Don't ask big questions, ask specific questions like " how
are things different now from how they were two years ago?"
9. Problems are simple to pin down, getting the right answer is
the really difficult thing.
10. Argue in your groups about what you have seen.
11. Write a report for your employer when you go back to work
whether they ask for it or not.
12. At the end, identify your personal actions fast, when you
are exhausted, on the way home.
13. Don't keep the excitement and inspiration to yourself,
volunteer to talk to groups about what you have learnt.
14. Keep relating what you are learning to your professional or
private life, search all the time for what you will do
15. Don't get trapped into thinking what other people should
16. Avoid criticising what you have seen when you feed back,
always start with something loving or complimentary then talk about
17. When you feedback to the group, avoid boring general
overviews. Give examples, tell stories.
18. Keep a separate set of notes for yourself, recording what
you have learnt.
19. Keep discussing your conclusions with your group so that you
avoid getting the wrong end of the stick.
20. Study success not failure, seek out where have people and