Everyone likes to think the company they work for is a “learning organization.” While this may be a buzz phrase from a decade ago, we believe that the goal still applies. That’s because—especially in this economy—smart companies continually learn, grow—and get better.
By continually reflecting on your past performance you can learn much about what to do—or what not to do—in future initiatives. But this reflection does not happen unless it is routinely built into a process.
What is a process? Something that requires steps. Something that is meant to be followed or it won’t be successful. Something that requires commitment. And you can do it individually, or in a group. I call it ‘my learning’. I even have it on my checklist I use for every training program I deliver.
I have been doing this process for years, and am always amazed at the insight I receive, after the fact, when a training class, meeting or project has been completed. Perhaps it’s the ‘go slow to go fast’ moment that helps. We do not take the time to sit back and reflect on anything in our high tech, fast paced world. But when I take just a few moments to check in with myself, or the participants, I receive a rewarding list of positives and potential elements for improvement. It just requires honesty, and some critical thinking. Doesn’t cost a thing … and creates high value at the end of the day.
Probably the most powerful aspect of the process is that when I review the list of things I have learned (things I make sure I want to repeat or definitely would do differently) the next time I deliver a training class, for example, I am confident I would not remember them if I had not documented them immediate after the initial class. Timing is everything in this situation. And the sooner you start on the process, the better.
By Diane Dudley