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Friday, January 19, 2018

Lean Quote: Learn From Past

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"We can draw lessons from the past but we cannot live in it." — Unknown

Look back at the previous year. Assess what went well and what didn’t, and find takeaways from both, the mistakes and successes. Review your business plan and make updates. Were there big moves you wanted to make last year but didn’t? Take a hard look at where you’ve been, and perhaps where you wanted to go but didn’t, so you can better know where you should be heading.

Unless people reflect on what they learn, they run the risk of completing a string of disconnected activities.  Try these tips to enhance learning:

•Before an activity, tell them what you believe they can learn from the experience.
•Talk with them about what they are learning.
•Use effective, open-ended questions to help them fully realize what they learned from the experience.
•Discuss with them how they will translate what they learned into new situations and opportunities.

Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. History, recent and otherwise, is filled with examples of successful business models and spectacular business failures. Think about what the people you admire do well, and consider what went wrong for those who end their careers mired in scandal or disgrace. Lessons can be found everywhere.

Great leaders -- indeed, great people -- are constantly learning and always trying to improve themselves. There’s always something that you can work on or a new skill to master. Be sure to keep your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.

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