CHAPTER 10 LEARNING: SUCCESS LOVES SPEED

One of my all-time favourite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. I mention it here because it pops up in a great book that gives insight into how evidence-based leaders should inspire learning in their organisations: Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows. Discovering the following quote by Robert Pirsig at the start of Donella's book felt like serendipity, the convergence of the right ideas in the same time and place:

If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves …

Learning means course correcting

If we fix our organisational performance problems with the same level of thinking that created them, the problems will simply resurface later. We stay stuck on the same course, even though on the surface we see lots of action and change. But whatever problems we think we're fixing now, we'll end up creating them again in some form.

A typical problem many organisations have is backlogs or queues, where unfinished work is waiting for the next step. They might be unresolved help desk problems, unfulfilled customer orders, overdue project tasks, or unspent budget close to the end of the financial year. A common way to think about backlog problems is that ...

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