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4.19.2010

AMI consultancy implementation lesson: Learning is conscious experimentation

Implementation is the development of the ability to consciously learn from new experiences. This learning capacity is the catalyst for individual and collective growth. Individual learning is a process of choosing, experimenting, analysing and reflecting. This may be entirely clear and logical on paper, but in practice it's a bit harder than it looks.
  • Good choices demand insight and self-awareness.
  • Experimentation demands preparation and daring.
  • Analysis requires receiving feedback and looking at the facts.
  • Reflecting demands objectivity and drawing conclusions.
And then, you start the process all over again. And always document the individual experiences in a logbook. The transition from the "thinking mode" to the "doing mode" is a particularly difficult one. On the individual, personal level, the first insight can be a major breakthrough in itself. But it's easy to get sidetracked by the pleasure of the thinking side. Because without action, there can be no experimentation and no insight. Actions generate new energy, set direction and shape new possibilities.
The step from individual learning to a learning group (team, department or organisation) is something very different. The "learning to learn" from mutual knowledge and experiences demands a time investment and patient and ongoing training and practice of the principles of peer review. Succeeding here depends on the discipline of working on this as a matter of routine. In our implementation support, we consistently invest in building up and promoting learning capacity. With coaching-on-the-job, simulations, work assignments, process evaluations and peer review.

Raymond Maas is managing partner of AMI consultancy.

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