Aug 27 2013

We’ve probably all been in a post project review or lessons learned session. How often have we actively gone out & actually shared what we learned? In dynamic organisations not only do we have processes & systems that make problems obvious and solve those problems quickly, we also share the knowledge gained from solving problems actively with other areas of the business.

This may be the actual problem & the solution we found, or it may be something else like a certain limitation that we were unaware of or a new technique we trialed for choosing the best solution. Both the problem itself & the process of solving it will usually provide new knowledge to an organisation. It’s up to you whether your organisation chooses to share that out with all, or keep it locked up so nobody else can use it.

While many organisations have “best practice” & “lessons learned” folders within their share drives, too many think this is enough. They think that by merely making information available, people will go & search it out if they need it. The problem with this is that when people need it, they rarely know it is there, let alone know where to actually find it.

When we learn something new in a dynamic organisation, we share that knowledge actively. This can be done through various forums; daily meetings, regular (weekly) sharing sessions & new standards, processes & systems that continue to make problems obvious, but also highlight the newly learned information.

What method do you use?

How many problems are solved repeatedly in your organisation? An old boss of mine used to say “do you have 20 years of experience, or 1 year’s experience repeated 20 times?” This says it all to me. Are we learning as individuals or as an organisation? Worse still, are we actually learning at all?

If you’re encountering the same problems repeatedly, or if your organisation seems to go through the same routines over & over again running into the same problems, are you learning? Is your organisation learning?

Jack Welch probably said it best; “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage”. Dynamic organisations do this by sharing newly gained knowledge actively.

 

photo credit: Tiago A. Pereira via photopin cc

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