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What Will You? April 3, 2012

Posted by Jason in Management.
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Almost every project contains a “post-mortem”.  I’ve always disliked the concept, not just due to the connotation of death (especially if the project was indeed successful) but because it implies that the only lessons we learn are those at the end – and that they are in turn due to some failure.

Simply learning from failures is a reaction to outcomes rather than setting out to learn during the process.  Case in point: how many performance reviews are there that ask the question, “What did you learn from the experience?”  All retrospective.  20/20 hindsight.  No challenge, just facts (and hazy recollections of them at best).

Instead, try turning the question around.  Ask, “What will I learn from this?”  Now, you are on the leading edge, looking forward.  Failures are possible, but so are successes.  You are moving forward with intention, rather than being carried down the stream looking back.  You plan on learning something – anything – from your next experiences.  Lessons that may have easily been forgotten many months later can be recorded, recognized, and immediately taught to others.

The nice thing about will?  It’s free.

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