To continue to provide the best value to our customers and the greatest opportunities for our employees we have to always be learning. And given the rate of change in the world we have to learn faster, retain more, and realize greater and greater gains from what we have learned. To accomplish this we must choose carefully what learning we invest in and we have to divide and conquer the mass of the knowledge that we, as a company, have to sift through and acquire.
With this in mind. Every person in the company should be pursuing some form of learning on a part-time continuous basis. And if the learning opportunity will cost company time and, or, funds then we must agree on that investment up front to make sure that we have an understanding about where we invest and how we divide up the education so that we eliminate overlap and redundancies. To reach that agreement the person wanting to make the investment defines;
- the problem that the learning opportunity could solve for the company
- by solving the problem what company key performance indicators could be improved
- and what the investment will be to attempt to solve the problem and move the indicator
They then present their hypothesis to their Team Leader and if both parties agree that this investment is time and money well spent the person that is about to be educated queues a card on their respective team’s board, gives it the description above, adds points, and the learning begins.
Upon completion of that card the student of the education summarizes the key insights from what they have learned as they pertain to what we do. This is not a summary of everything digested but rather a synopsis of the “ah ha” moments as it pertains to how we as a company could improve what we do and how we do it. Of course our hypothesis for why we should pursue the education in the first place might be wrong and it’s possible no applicable insights are discovered. Although not desirable it is an acceptable outcome as there is no reward without risk. However if the hypothesis was correct and we did learn something that is worth sharing we then summarize our key insights, and for each insight the problem that we believe that insight could help solve, and by solving it what measure of success (key performance indicator) could be improved. And we include any related jobs to be done to recognize the benefit. For greater certainty we limit our education sharing to insights, and for each insight the problem to be solved, it’s measure of success, and if applicable the job to be done. If we have no insights from the learning that we should act upon we close our learning card and move to our next learning opportunity.
The summary of the key insights learned, what problems we could solve from them, and the jobs that we would need to get done to realize these lessons are shared with the student’s Team Leader and if they agree that we have gained valuable knowledge that we should act on the student publishes their summary on What We Have Learned and they present it at the next available Share and Learn in order educate the entire company so that we can all learn from the investment.
All published learning articles are open and public in the hopes that it might be of benefit to others outside of the company and as such we count these articles towards our Interpersonal Skill of being Public.
Of course not all learning will consume company time or finances and we as individuals can, and should be using our own personal time to continuously expand our knowledge. If in the course of that education lessons are learned that the company could apply the person can after the fact present their summary to their Team Leader and if agreed publish and share the findings as per above to add to their Public contributions.