I just did not feel like writing for my little blog this week, as my thoughts are focused both on my company, Geiger (www.geiger.com promo) and the interesting and fun components of the Promotional Products industry that I am gleaming from the great people here. So, external inputs had little input into my world this week.
To put it into a visual, think of a room filled with flip charts of drawings, text, snapshot pictures of people, applications, hardware, department and division names, roles and processes. That is what my head is filled with and yes, several pages of flip charts, because big thoughts must be on big paper.
So, what do I write this week that would provide something worthwhile and also have my perspective – rule #1 of a good blog. Well, without getting into too much trouble, it is that these first 45 days at a new company provide you a unique vision of people, processes and relationships between those two things. Why could we not capture this vision more than once, when we start with a new organization? There is a way I am learning, it is called un-learning and re-learning.
The book by Stephen M. Covey (son of Stephen R. Covey) called The Speed of Trust discusses the importance of un-learning. The first time you learn something, like I am doing now, you are exposed with very little bias to limit your learning. However, once you learn enough to get started (regardless of what it is), the rest of the training is slanted based on your initial biases which are difficult to avoid due to the manner in which our brain captures and interprets information.
Another book Pragmatic Thinking & Learning by Andy Hunt discusses in detail using the Dreyfus model how the brain learns. Mr. Hunt offers a way to train your mind; he calls it refactoring your wetware, to recreate these first 45 days of unique vision. I will let the few readers of this blog to explore those writers and their works for their own impressions.
But let me impress upon you this perspective of un-learning and re-learning on an annual basis. For us in the technology realm, it is critical for us to un-learn and re-learn so that we can provide the proper judgments of emerging technologies and their impact on our businesses. I know I have in the past become enamored with the technologies that took the team of people I worked with, months, if not years to design and implement. When new technologies emerged that could replace it, the review process compared the old technology versus the new technology instead of comparing what the business people and processes do versus what the new technology does.
Comparing it anew as if the old technology did not exist was not part of the process. But, it should have been. Because we continuous change the people and the processes adapting (evolving) the old technology to these change whole new ways of doing things are often not part of the process. Old technology evolves, it does not revolutionize as a new technology could possibly do.
The example of companies changing their marketing firms every 8 to 10 years comes to mind. Often the issue is not that the old marketing firm is performing poorly, just the customer company knows that a new perspective could bring better marketing results. The customer company un-learns by hiring a new firm so they can re-learn.
So a business can hire a new firm every few years to un-learn and re-learn, which results in us getting the benefits from this process spread out over far to many years and also ending close relationships that have served us well. Or, develop the process of internal un-learning and re-learning, along with a utilizing a new firm strategically to perform certain functions tactically that create a new perspectives and thus new options.
I strongly recommend The Speed of Trust (The One Thing That Changes Everything) and Pragmatic Thinking & Learning (Refactor Your Wetware) to help you understand more in depth these processes. For me, I am re-learning those parts of technology that I have experienced before by asking those around me to teach me anew, from their perspective.