READ: 1 min AUTHOR: Robert Craven
The role of reflection is a powerful mechanism behind learning.
To learn how to run a better agency, you need to be able to reflect on what has worked and what has not.
This confirms the words of American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer John Dewey,
“We do not learn from experience…we learn reflecting on experience.”
This is an argument for you to spend more time reflecting. Much more time.
As evidence to support this approach, you should see Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning (Di Stefano, Gino, Pisano & Staats, 2016)
In this paper they ask,
They build on research on the microfoundations of strategy and learning processes to study the individual underpinnings of organisational learning.
They argue that once an individual has accumulated a certain amount of experience with a task, the benefit of accumulating additional experience is inferior to the benefit of deliberately articulating and codifying the experience accumulated in the past.
They go on to explain the superior performance outcomes associated with such deliberate learning efforts. They do this by using both a cognitive (improved task understanding) and an emotional (increased self-efficacy) mechanism.
I will close with a quote from Confucius –
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
This supports a reflective approach to developing your skills at running an agency.
For this you should also see the Inner Game of Work (WT Gallwey):
Where he suggests -
P = p – i
(Performance = Potential Minus Interference)
As a consequence, we need to understand what is causing the interference.
The majority of the interference is the monkey on your shoulder, your twitchy alter ego that undermines your best efforts….
His approach can be summarised in three words:
Gallwey’s approach suggests that we, as entrepreneurs, probably know the answers already. We just need someone or something to help us extract it.