I once worked for a client who said his ambition for his firm was that it should become a learning organisation. That thought stuck with me. What if, through every action you took, you were learning. Every action could be an opportunity to learn to take the next action in a better way. Whether you are working alone or working with others, every day is an opportunity to learn and add value to your process.
The way to do this is through reflection. I use four reflective modes, loosely based on Kolb’s Learning Cycle.
- In action – when you are doing a piece of work, note down any thoughts on how it is going.
- Post action – when the work is done, look back at what worked and what you need to improve
- In theory – this is when, based on your reflections so far, you look up better ways of doing things and reflecting on these
- Pre-start – reflecting on what you are about to do, and how you can build on anything you have learnt.
You can make each reflection as short as writing down a few bullet points in a notebook. Or you can make the reflection a longer, more structured affair.
Working with the reflective modes, you aren’t just battling through your to-do list, you are making sure each day adds value to what you are doing.