Wednesday 25 March 2015

The five benefits of reflective team learning

I have just returned from a four-day lessons capture exercise from a major multi-million dollar project, running several group Retrospects. Listening to the team members as they discussed the value of this capture exercise, it struck me that there are actually 5 areas of benefit from this sort of team reflection.
Image from pixabay

  1. Firstly, the team members learn themselves. By listening to the reflections and analysis of their colleagues, they gain new learning and new insight which will help them improve their personal repertoire of skills and understanding.
  2. Secondly the teams identify improvements they can make to their own team process. By reflecting on the past, they can improve their own ways of working together. 
  3. The conversations and analysis can be recorded, and turned into valuable learning material for other teams.
  4. This documented learning material is not only an asset in its own, right, it also allows other teams to know what lessons have been learned, and who to contact to learn more. Documented lessons are often of most value when they are the catalyst for conversations (and we know that conversations are approximately 14 times more effective than written material in transferring knowledge). 
  5. Finally the lessons and experiences of the team can drive improvements in the way the whole organisation operates. In this most recent exercise we identified 30 major learning points, and about half of these were associated with requests of recommendations for Headquarters, to embed the lessons into new process or new structures. 

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