Communication, Thinking, and Learning
Episode #8 of the course “Creating creation companies” by Barry Mapp
In the introductory chapter of his book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, Andy Hunt (a software programmer) highlights that in his view, the two most important modern skills in an organization today are (1) communication skills and (2) learning and thinking skills (I would actually separate learning and thinking as two separate skills, so I’d say these are the three most important skills!)
One thing that sabotages effective communication, good thinking, and effective learning is fear. Fear is often rife in compliance companies fueled by command and control processes and the blame game.
Hunt is an advocate for techniques like mind mapping. Mind mapping is probably one of the best communication tools we have and is a great method for summarizing, planning, rehearsing, and showing the big picture simultaneously with important details (more about mind mapping later).
Hunt is a fan of the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition. Dreyfus suggests that following rules produces poor performance in the real world (and, as we’ve already discovered in this course, one of the characteristics of compliance companies is their focus on following rules). The model suggests that the best quality decisions arise from the application of intuition and tacit knowledge, when big-picture and systems thinking comes to the foreground. Following principles is more important than following rules.
The Dreyfus model helps us to see that in compliance companies, most of the staff are being treated as novices or advanced beginners. However, the ethos of a creation company treats staff as proficient or experts.
Finally, here is a mind map summarizing the key points from Hunt’s book:
“Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware” by Andy Hunt
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