May 12, 2015

A Positive Lesson – An Endangered KM Species


When designing our LMH (Lesson Management Hub) software we decided to do our best for that KM endangered species, the positive lesson.  When a lesson is mentioned eg “We must learn the lessons from this”, it invariably is about something that didn’t go the way that was expected, a mistake.

In many instances value is being lost because things that went better than expected are not being exploited.

Within LMH, the user can tag a lesson with one of the following

  • Negative lesson – something that didn’t go as well as expected.  This lesson contains advice on how to avoid that happening again.
  • Positive lesson – something that went better than expected.  This is a lesson contains advice on how to replicate that success in a consistent manner.
  • Non compliance – this lesson isn’t really a lesson but rather something that happened because someone didn’t follow the guidelines already in place.

The functional lead can distribute the positive lesson, giving due recognition to the source, and encourage its adoption across the organisation.  Wouldn’t it be better to encourage people to do something that will save them time, money, effort rather than constantly telling them “ don’t do this” or “he is yet another example of how we got it wrong as an organisation”.

The non compliance lesson is particularly interesting as it is telling you that someone didn’t follow the current procedures for that task.  So the action arising from that ‘lesson’ is about understanding why someone chose not to follow the current company procedures and not changing existing procedures.

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