To Action: Learning-Journeys

I talked about the exponential nature of learning a few weeks ago. Today – let’s look at how to actually keep your team’s attention during a learning session. After all – I’m sure I’m not the only one who instinctively yawns when invited to yet another lessons learned session on ‘what went well’ and ‘what didn’t’.

The problem with these types of sessions is that:

1)      Most people aren’t comfortable sharing their reflections in one arbitrary session at the end of a project when most of the time nothing they say is going to make a difference, and

2)     There’s normally an overwhelmingly one-sided perception of a project’s success, whether that be positive or negative.

Here’s how to have a different conversation.

Tell a group story. Create a Learning Journey.

The theory here is simple. We humans have communicated through story for as long as we have been human. Tap into this tradition by collaboratively telling the story of your change effort over the last week, month or quarter. Rather than trying to remember what went well – create an interactive, evolving plotline. To do so, create a shared space for your team with a simple straight line. Then as the month progresses, encourage your team to tell the story of your project on your interactive plotline. As an example, maybe you are 10 days into the month and your plotline is shaping up like the following.

I’m sure you can see the power of this. No more pulling lessons from people like you would pull teeth. This plotline tells the story of your change initiative. Its highs, its lows.

Ultimately, as you progress you will be identifying lessons as you are experiencing them.