Friday, 11 October 2013
Something I often make plain at the start of Lessons learned meetings, is that when identifying and recording lessons, we should think of them, not as something we have learned, but as something we can teach others.
This is a subtle shift in emphasis form looking inwards, to looking outwards, and from looking backward, to looking forwards.
For much of the lessons workshop, the participants are looking back at what happened. "We had a difficult time with the client", they might decide, and then follow this Observation with a whole set of reminiscences about how difficult the client was, and what trouble it caused. With good facilitation, they can reach Insights about why the problems happened.
However the facilitator then has to turn the conversation outwards, and ask - "based on what you have learned from your reflection on the client difficulties, what can we teach the organisation about how to better deal with clients". The participants need to stop analysing history, and start looking at generic learning they can pass on to others.
That is a critical value-added step, and it is that step, and the subtle mindset shift from passive learners to active teachers, that allows the participants to turn an observation and the subsequence insights, into a Lesson.