I’ve been thinking recently about “Lessons Learned”, and how widely that term is used and abused, both inside and outside KM and Organisational Learning circles. How often in the press do we see Government departments, Football managers, Chief Police Officers et al utter the immortal words: “we will be learning the lessons from this…”?
I wonder what this really means. Is a lesson learned when it is identified by a reflecting practitioner, after a specific experience? Is it learned when it is codified and made available for others, in specific or abstract form? Or is a lesson learned when another individual has applied it, and experimented with it?
That was the basis of Kolb’s learning cycle…
“A lesson is truly learned when we modify our behavior to reflect what we now know.”
Introduction – explain what you want them to learn; clear objectives.
Test past learning, build on the results of past learning.
Provide exemplar expectations – what would “good” look like?
Be accessible to different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic).
Be capable of differentiate to multiple levels of capability.
Combination of activity-based learning and theoretical-based learning, individual and group.
Have a list of accessible resources.
Conclude with a plenary to summarise and test what has been learned.
How do the lessons in your organisation measure up to that checklist?
Perhaps I should spend more time in the classroom…