50 Lessons After 50:


Most people do not learn as much as they could from experience

Though we all learn from experience, to learn maximally from experience, I believe that one must take a systematic approach and I have throughout my adult life and institutionalized the process I use in the organizations I have led. After every significant event, I got the leadership team together and asked what just happened? What class event was it? There are limited classes of events in any business or organized activity and if one doesn’t classify events, one cannot extrapolate what is learned. I then ask what did I (we) do that made the outcome more favorable and what mistakes were made. Once again, it is essential to classify both successful actions and mistakes to extrapolate the learnings in a way that can be used to do a better job with the next similar event. I also imposed these rules. First, the fact that many of the factors were outside our control was irrelevant. We made the judgement that we should take the course that led to the event, so we are accountable. Second, the sole focus had to be internal: what did we do right; what did we do that didn’t work? It is very easy to blame factors outside your control or others for failures, but focusing on those items assures that you don’t learn from what you did right or wrong. 

by Dr. Stan Crooke

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