Reflect, Don't Dwell
Most organizations don’t spend time in reflection. It seems wasteful. But it’s vitally important in an organization trying to make progress. Without learning, courses aren’t corrected and lessons aren’t internalized.
A favorite quote of mine by Soren Kierkegaard speaks to this point:
â€œLife can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.â€
This means to me that we must spend time understanding what has happened and most importantly, why. Understanding is the goal. But live forward. Remember that reflection has one and only one purpose – to help you improve your actions and decisions in the future.
Reflection is not about ranting and raving, whining and blame, or anything that doesn’t help you improve your own actions.
Consider when you reflect as well. The faster you are moving forward, the more frequently you must stop to reflect and learn. If you are in a jet moving 500 MPH and only stop to check your bearings every few hours, you could end up well off course.
Reflection is a key to unlocking mysteries of cause and effect, of what works and what doesn’t. Just make sure you are doing it for the purpose of future action.