Leadership BITES

Leaders have to learn, with Guy Bloom

April 25, 2021 Guy Bloom Season 1 Episode 52
Leadership BITES
Leaders have to learn, with Guy Bloom
Show Notes Transcript

Why do leaders have to keep learning? Because according to Reg Revan, "Learning must be equal to or greater than the change that is going on around you". That seems to make sense, you are never done learning, not as an individual, a team or an organisation:

  • Why leaders have to learn
  • Tame and Wicked learning cultures
  • The 'interview questions' on learning
  • Thinking beyond the event horizon
  • Understanding wisdom as a leader

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i want to talk about leadership in the sense of why leaders should learn and why should they keep learning and how leaders learn in the sense of their not just learning for the moment that they're in but also for that unknown future and i think that's really key that that relationship with learning goes beyond just the task at hand and goes beyond just that need to fulfill what it is that is you're dealing with right now so i think that's a really key component of a person's relationship with learning so when i think about that the reg reverend quote comes to mind so reg reverend was the father of action learning and he had a quote which was or a statement which was learning should be equal to or greater than the change that is going on around you and i may paraphrase that slightly but learning should be equal to or greater than the change that is going on around you and i think that is massively relevant it's a sense that if you do not learn at a relatively continuous rate then the change will move past you it will overcome you i often think about this idea of it's really difficult to stay still in fast moving water and i think that's something that i have come to understand when i'm working with leaders their capacity to pay attention to what it is that they're doing but also what it is that is coming on the horizon ahead of where they are now so i think there's a couple of things that go with that one is curiosity and it's an inherent sense of wanting to know more than you need to know with the understanding that as things arise you may very well thank you jacqueline for saying that uh so true good to uh have you on um it's that sense of looking to a future that you don't know and having a toolbox and a sense of learning that goes beyond where you are right now and that i think comes you know if i was going to say what wisdom is wisdom might be insight it might be the fact that you have experience and you've done something for quite a long period of time therefore your knowledge and your capacity to interpret gives you a sense of insight but i think this idea of wisdom would be that you are able to see beyond what it is that you're dealing with and you're able to factor in truths that are potential truths and create plans and strategies that are bigger than just the actions in front of you so when i see leaders and teams and organizations that are getting this right they've almost got two horses running one is the sense of what it is that we've got to do to make these things work but also factoring in the what ifs the what ifs those can be good what ifs they can be troublesome what ifs and you know genuine hurdles and barriers and the capacity to hypothesize the capacity to have truths that you can sit with and plan for comes very often from a sense of learning that is beyond what it is that your organization or you are just dealing with so that interest not just in your market not just in your own product not just in your own service but what might be happening in other organizations in other markets that might seem completely disconnected to you this sense of what are other successful organizations paying attention to and when things go right and wrong what is it that's happening for them that we can take on board maybe not from the position of what they have to do operationally to navigate because that might be contextual to where it is that they sit but what are the mindsets what are the behaviors what is it that me as an individual we as a team might need to do and think and understand and know to handle these things as they um as they arise so for me this idea of leaders learning sits beyond process and task it goes do i know how to give feedback do i know how to write a project document do i know how to read a pnl right those are all in some respects the givens that's the the need to be competent in the craft of the role that you inhabit but i think the leadership mindset is a mindset that in this context sees beyond the event horizon and i think that's a good way of thinking about it where can i see up to and that's just like you're walking along the road and you look ahead and there's there's a line and you can't see beyond that that's called the event horizon but can i what can i know hypothesize and think about that goes beyond that and that has to come from curiosity it has to come from not a knowing the answer but from a sense of having enough of a span of thinking and experience and enough familiarity i think that's another word another familiarity with things that might sit outside of the role that if they come to be i'm not surprised by them we as a team we as individuals have taken our brains and we have thought about things that sit outside of what it is that we're dealing with today and we do that not just as an intellectual exercise but we do it with the understanding that in doing so we have a familiarity with that space so i teach martial arts and i particularly focus on reality-based self-defense so self-defense and the one thing that everybody hates generally speaking is being taken to the ground when you when you're practicing nobody wants to go to the ground nobody wants to be taken to the ground so what do you have to do you have to train for being taken to the ground because what you need is a familiarity with the thing that you almost don't want to have happen so if and when it does happen it's not a place of fear it's not a place of anxiety because we're already used to being in that place so i think that's one of the key things and one way of really getting yourself into that headspace as an individual and a team is by asking what i use a lot which is the interview question if i was at an interview and i was asked about how i approach learning if i was in an interview and i was asked how i get my team to approach the idea the concept of learning what would i say what would i say that would show that i have a capacity that goes beyond what it is that is in front of me and how i get my team to look at being able to hold the truths of dealing with the day job but also have an eye to the future and even a familiarity with it so as these things arise we're operating in a future state just as much as in some respects we are in the present space and that's a really powerful way of challenging yourself do i have an answer for that because if i don't have an answer for that and i don't have a fluency around it then not only would i maybe not do very well as an interview but what it would be saying is i haven't thought beyond a very very linear way of thinking which is actually what would i want to get across in an interview that i'm very very good at dealing with the stuff that's in front of me or well no of course it's a given that i can do that but me and my team or the team i'm in and i will contribute to actually can hold another set of truths that sit outside of what it is that we're dealing with right now so from that point of view think about the interview scenario think about how you would answer it but also maybe think about how you would want somebody to answer it think about if you're recruiting somebody into the team and you wanted to have a sense of their ability to stay red reverent learning must be equal to or greater than the change that's happening around you think about how you want people to respond to the question how do you stay current how do you ensure that you are being left behind how do you maybe bring the outside in and help us look and maybe see the back of our own heads it's that jahari window stuff right the stuff that we've got that we're blind to how would you bring that knowledge in and you know if somebody responded oh i wouldn't do that i mean you showed me the job and that's what i'll do and you know other than that i'm not really paying attention to the world or depending on where they're operating you may very well have a sense of this may or may not be the person for me i mean the market is probably full of people that can do a job but what you might be looking for is somebody that can do the job and have an eye to those unknowns and we can talk about a vuca world we can talk about tame and wicked which i think is another great way of leaders and teams having to think about what he's learning about so rital and weber propose this idea about tame problems and tame problems or things you've tamed we've i we you we've done this before so we have a template for it and we can approach it through a lens over either i've done it you've done it or if we combine our truths we'll we have an answer because it's a tame problem and then you've got these wicked problems these are the things that we haven't dealt with before these are the things that i don't i don't have the answer and actually you probably don't have the answer either so what is it about us that is going to help us deal with those situations so i think that's really key i think there's a a capacity for have we trained ourselves that we can learn at pace do we know where to go do we know who the experts are the books we might need to read the podcasts we might need to listen to the experts that we might need to reach out to the forums that we can pull upon the the network of people that we could reach out to that would sit maybe outside of our own initial kind of group of people that work in the organization but um give us the capacity to reach out maybe globally at pace because within our learning we have interacted with other people we have created relationships with other people and we know where to go and who to look for and to activate that only when it's needed is quite tricky it's like realizing that you've got to run okay for some reason you've got to run quickly and then going right i must now get fit well of course you know good luck right it's not that you can't get fit and then start running but you need to be able to run now because you've put the training in or you have a certain capacity to do so so learning isn't just that willingness to learn it's the familiarity and the connection that everybody else has with you around that that then enables you and a team to then move forward at pace when it's not a tame situation it's a wicked one and we now need to do it now so who do we know where do we learn this from who do we reach out to who've already got connections to that's already there because there's a fluency and there's a familiarity with it so on that note this is the first live broadcast i've done on linkedin see you again soon thank you very much take care