Jan 16 2014

Learning about fast learning

Published by at 8:35 pm under business models,Learning

Sean Murphy and I have been experimenting with a form of fast learning — and figuring out what we’re doing as we go along.  We’ve evolved from thinking of it as a clinic to something else. The current tag that I’m using on Twitter and in Evernote is mvpOODA.

At the very beginning the OODA idea wasn’t part of it.  But after sessions with Dixie Good, Terry Frazier, Phillip Grunewald, Eugene Chuvyrov, and a team from NWEI, we saw that the sense-making we were exploring in these sessions had a larger context.   OODA for Observe -> Orient -> Decide -> Act seems to fit the bill.

We see the “Orient” step as a kind of sensemaking that is crucial but subject to our cultural biases and blind spots.  Orienting or re-orienting either takes a long time or we have to rely on habits or existing maps when we are in complex situations (e.g., all situations where learning is required).  What’s interesting about the people we’ve talked to in this series is that they are subject to harsh time pressures at the same time that they are trying to break the mold somehow.  They are entrepreneurs.

Just throwing ideas about solutions at them doesn’t seem to help so much, so we are asking them to:

  • Describe what they see
  • Describe the vantage points or sources of data that might be available (or could be constructed)
  • Describe the interactions (including between people, process, platform, and practices) as they understand them
  • Talk about goals and outcomes

And we avoid giving advice: the Decide and Act steps are really not up to us.

Tomorrow we’re meeting with Rob Callaghan and Herbie Winsted to talk about a very complex business growth issue.

Hopefully we are helping our panelists and they are clearly helping us figure out what this process is about.

photo credit: Georgie Pauwels via photopin cc

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