Lessons Learned

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Lev Landau was a really famous Russian physicist; he even won the Nobel Prize in 1962.  He was co-author of  a "classic textbook" on Mechanics.  It was technically excellent, but was difficult for most students because it left out so many of the intermediate steps in the mathematics.  Landau was seriously injured in a car accident and suffered severed memory loss.  He struggled to re-learn even basic things he knew as an expert...and reportedly even had to cope with understanding his own book!

 

"If experience is such a good teacher, shouldn't old men agree?"

   Do you know that un-learning is one of the most difficult cognitive tasks?

"Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me!"

All these are examples of the irony of not capturing and preserving learning.  Learning is usually an expensive proposition (money, time, embarrassment, pain, regret...).  It may be surprising to you that the organization with leadership and expertise in capturing and reapplying learning from practical experience is none other than the United States Army.  The methodology they developed has been written up by top academicians and applied in top businesses. 

Here's more about the methodology, called After Action Reviews.


2002 Michael E. Doherty