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Step 11. Caught not taught

The art of continuous learning

· 12 Steps

We know what you're thinking. What has continuous learning got to do with Flow, which is essentially a framework for delivering value? Surely you learn a set of rules and away you go?

Well, an Agile Coach we worked with put it better than we can: Flow is caught not taught. In other words you capture what you can from the intense social interaction that the modern workplace is going to generate (at least if they follow the Flow framework!). Caught not taught is the best way to characterise continuous learning for the organisation and it’s also a definition of collective intelligence.

You don’t sit down in a two day coaching session and hope to come out with a qualification like a Flow Master. Unlike other frameworks or methodologies that lead to a certification, Flow flourishes because of its emphasis on you and your colleagues and how you interact. Flow works because of all of our efforts at continuous improvement and the fact that we are able to capture some portion of what flows between us in public discussion and on our visualisation walls.

This wonderful surge of human activity not only means your workplace is changing, it also means that you, the person willing to learn, are at the heart of it. You are what changes.

There is no easy qualification or certification in Flow because our minimalist framework puts the emphasis on your willingness to keep searching for the right way to work; it emphasises the people around you; your interaction with each other; how you seek value together and what you can capture from that. In short it relies on your talent in action not on a certificate. It relies on continuous personal development.

In this chapter we are going to relate those principles to four things;

  1. How your organisation, wrongly, expects you to learn

  2. How to develop your personal learning style (where we will also talk about how roles in work are evolving

  3. Thinking about your learning objectives (where we will touch on our own personal learning styles)

  4. And developing a persona learning journal

If you want to go straight to the How-to jump to point 4 now.

1. Against organisational learning

You, the learner, face a contradiction. Organisations want you to be creative but also to learn the organisational way. Those are difficult objectives to reconcile because actually your value lies in how well you develop yourself, not how willing you are to obey rules. However, you are in an organisation so your learning experience needs to be shaped by other people; and in turn you need to help shape how other people learn and grow. But to do that in an organisational context you need the extra ingredient: value seeking and value creating goals.


We believe this simple realisation is the essence of what it means to learn continuously and therefore to improve the Flow of work continuously. Once the Flow is improved, everything passing through it benefits. But it begins with you, your interactions and the search for value.


An additional feature of today’s learning needs is that you need to invent. That’s not just about being creative. Along with your colleagues you will inevitably faced with the need to come up with totally new solutions to circumstances that people have not faced before. As well as being a smart person in some formal sense, you need the skills that allow you to participate in designing new ways to work.


Organisations have a variety of ways to train people in new skills - primarily the skills it takes to function in a process-driven world. That goes for Agile too. You can take an online course and become a Scrum Master and that fits you out for a role in the process of managing sprints. We’ve said from the start that we are process-lite. Flow is the minimalist framework for business agility. We don’t want all the rules that go with a process. Process is something that smart people decide in the Flow.


In the book Flow we went into some detail about the different learning styles and concluded that most effective learning is rooted in social interaction.


For example when people talk about creativity, they often overlook the fact that even the lone creative genius spends a lot of time honing an idea, often by suffering rejection at the hands of others. That’s not the nicest way to learn but people who make breakthroughs in the real world do it by interacting, disagreeing, arguing, honing and then getting it right.


Take the now maligned principles of peer review in science. For decades the way scientists have chosen to advance their ideas is by submitting work to the scrutiny of their peers. In return they are happy to scrutinise back!


Being able to refine our ideas in interaction with others is extremely important. However, most corporate training, and this includes Agile, is centred on specific process objectives and their metrics.


We are against this type of learning. It encourages people to commit to processes that prevent new ideas being easily incorporated into how we work. It militates against collective intelligence. It is too much based on old ways of work.


Plus learning is a personal obligation. If you cannot be bothered to stretch yourself intellectually, you don’t belong in a Flow team but frankly it’s also likely your career will go nowhere.


A final word on the background to learning. In many organisations people now think and talk about multidisciplinary teams. In Flow we talk about multidisciplinary people. We place a lot of emphasis on people being driven to get right outside their personal silos and take on new roles. We use Job Walls to facilitate that, encouraging people to put themselves up for new types of work.


To really deliver on your career and be worth their place in a team, people have to engage in continuous learning.


2. Developing your personal learning style

The two of us have quite different learning styles but we’ve been around long enough that we can face one particular challenge with relative ease. Often when you are engaged in continuous learning you also face the problem of continuously feeling you don’t quite know enough. People become anxious in that position. They may have to speak about a topic they haven’t mastered or be encouraged to do a stand-up before they are ready and it becomes a source of anxiety that works against them.

The fact is you cannot avoid speaking in public about what you know and exposing what you don’t know. We’ll talk you through our personal learning styles briefly. Our goal is to help you develop yours.

An important part of the journey towards this more open and public way of working is to realise that the substance of roles is also changing, not just the delivery.

This is so important. It used to be you could come into work and learn the process, perform tolerably well and then push for promotion. Over time more obvious signs of learning became necessary, so people went out and became certified. They paid $1200 dollars and became Scrum Masters and over time upgraded their skills with similar short courses.

This type of training is inadequate for a workplace where people need to design work on the fly, where they need to uncover solutions in a two hour session at a Wall and then get cracking on a loosely described plan but with a commitment to “working it out” as you go along.

To set your learning objectives you need to know how roles are changing. And you need to know how to design work!

There are very specific new roles in domains like Big Data. You need people, for example, who know about data normalisation or analytics. But did you know that the lead at the AI program at American Express actually trained as a historian? Yes, and the reason why? Because AI needs forensic brains, people who are prepared to keep coming back to a problem and learning more about how to flesh out the solution, week after week. These are people who know the story is never fully written.

Here’s a few observations on the changing roles in organisations.

10 evolving roles in work

What are your personal learning goals? We don’t mean what are your learning styles because that’s different. You need learning objectives that allow you to grow each day and win the respect of peers.

The skills you acquire should allow you to participate in fast changing environments, places where the change factor might be a hundred innovations a day.

Here are some of the people who succeed in work today.

The initiator. We know of some great minds who continually get projects underway, quickly pulling in the resources and firing up the enthusiasm that has people ready to haul the wagon-train to a new destination. These people may not have the staying power or skills to manage a project long-term but without them, projects stay in committees and pipelines for an age. The initiator often has an insatiable need to know and to be on the edge. Initiators are broadly skilled and can come from anywhere in the business. They often end up as serial entrepreneurs. Their knowledge objectives? Keep ahead of the people around you.

The wrangler. Some of the early Flow projects, and Flow techniques, were shaped by people who were just damn good at never letting go of a problem. Asked to produce a new platform in a ridiculously short space of time, they batted off each other for three months to create a Flow of work that would deliver in an impossible time frame. People who lead these events tend to have honed skills that mean:

  1. they never let go of a problem until there is resolution

  2. they can take the rejection and occasional ridicule that goes with proposing answers non-stop and

  3. they know not to use any one example as the exemplary case; like a test batsman who has scored a hundred, they know when to scratch out their mark again and start over as if they hadn’t a single run to their name.

These people are ceaseless learners but their subject matter is right in front of their eyes.

The connector. Projects get greenlit because of this person’s political skills and knowledge of other people’s objectives. You marry people and ideas together. To do that successfully you need to develop perceptual skills. And you’re going to be helped along with some formal knowledge of how people’s behaviour reflects their underlying goals.

The coach. There are thousands of people out there carrying around a badge called Agile Coach. For the most part they are believers in some of the most valuable ideas to touch the business world, those captured in the Agile Manifesto. Trouble is the work practices are outdated. Problem is, they are too often confined to the IT arena when their role should be organisation-wide. Agile coaches know their work needs to change and they are hungry for new ideas. They want to break down rigid processes and replace them with invention and interaction. We love Agile Coaches. We know they would be great at Flow. But they need to get comfortable with invention on-the-fly.

The product or project guy. Very few people know how to take a blank sheet of paper and grow a project or a product from that empty space, under instruction from an executive decision. To do that you need to be able to iterate ideas from early beginnings into loosely described plans that give just enough detail to get people enthusiastic about taking on new roles. This is about imagination but also knowing the pathways good ideas take and being able to iterate them along that path with peers willing to take the ride. You need good self knowledge as well as economic, market and technical know-how but above all else that elusive skill of being able to define something that does not exist. You get there by participating, by taking on creative projects, by experiencing the evolution of creative ideas. Haydn does it with his creative writing projects and flow photography and printing. Once we had the final draft of Flow we then rewrote it a further 59 times. It’s kind of against our instinct to get stuff out there to our peers but some work is really about letting ideas mature and evolve. You need to learn tenacity.

The mediator. The work environment is becoming potentially conflict full. In the past we’ve been able to sit out conflicts, leave badass people alone, and plough our own furrow It won’t work anymore. We have to be able to confront behaviour that gets in the way of value. Groups work better when there is a good share of voice. But even then there needs to be people with good mediation skills allied to a level of knowledge and experience that earns respect quickly. It’s worth learning formal mediation skills to go along with your technical or domain experience.

The tester. All business at some stage becomes about a test or a metric. You’ve heard people say, if you cannot measure it, you can’t execute. This turns out to be wrong. You can test and measure close to your instincts. Flow often leads people to abandon formal reports and to rely instead on photographs of Walls. Testing becomes less of a formal framework and more a matter or smart people getting together and asking: Is this ready to go in front of a few customers? Having people in the test and measurement area who are ready take the formality away is a big advantage for customers but these people know their stuff. They are at the peak of their trade and they are prepared to take sensible risks. We believe that developers test and testers develop.

The detective. Teams need that forensic mind we referred to earlier. Many big projects are now broken down into multiple small projects. That’s true of IT in general - microservices leads to hundreds of separate software projects and packages all communicating with each other. It is also true of marketing. Unilever’s Foundry invites dozens of startups to interact with its business unit s in search of new ways to get product to market. Small leads to a new kind of complexity and having some folks to had who are delighted by the idea of identifying dependencies or digging out the real reason why a feature is not being well received by customers, or indeed someone with the patience to prioritise customer pain points or tasks on a Kanban Wall, these are very important skills that get developed through interests like history or part-time work on open source projects.

The tech guru. You want technical mastery of your area, even if you are in marketing. You want to be the person that can be a source of value to your peers through your knowledge of technique, platforms, functionality. Plenty of people in open source projects take that road.

The leader. In the book Flow we make a big point of underlining a leader’s need to show his or her willingness to learn rather than to demonstrate superior know-how. Being visible about learning is important and you can read more in Flow.

We hope you can see from this short list that a lot of what firms and teams need are people who are forging a distinct character and skill set through their willingness to learn continuously. They are prepared to risk looking foolish in order to advance an idea but they hope to have peers who know how chancy and hard it can be to raise your hand and take a guess at how to solve a new problem. They are more deeply social than people have been over the past 30 years or more in work. They can’t be contained by a silo. They want to initiate, wrangle, connect and lead.

3. Thinking about your learning objectives

Although we, Fin and Haydn, have different learning styles, we have similar learning objectives:

  • Continuous personal growth: We both want to grow on a daily basis; that is, we rarely end the day knowing more or less where we begin the day. In Ireland, when people are confronted with bad experiences, they often say: Well, at least I learned. That’s pretty much how we think. If we do nothing else, each day we can learn. Our friend Dave Gray over at XPlaned, has been drawing since he was a kid in school, and over time realised he had a mission to use imagery to explain to people how they were situated in the world, what challenges and what options.they faced. He has made a life’s-work out of learning how to use visual information to help people.

  • Making a difference. We don’t seek knowledge to show it off; we seek knowledge because of our life goals - being able to make a difference, whether that’s helping one other person to change or helping an organisation, we want people to enjoy learning. At one point Haydn had 1 million readers a month on Forbes but he gave it up because a) he felt it was changing nobody’s mind b) to maintain the audience he had little time left to learn.

  • Being a peer. We’re both able and willing to call out bullshit. There’s too much of it around and often it is not the obvious jargon but some of the most complex and respected management theories. For us, all good work comes down to the quality of interaction between people. You don’t need more of a theory than that. But quite apart from that ideas can become irrelevant quite quickly new methods and new ideas emerge that might be better. Being able to test those quickly is a social process where we rely on other people keeping us in check. Like everyone, we will bullshit from time to time and we need peers to call us out.

  • Durability. It is popular in the mobile, social media world to believe that change can be continuous and yet is somehow trivial. Our friend Bill Johnson is one of the world’s leading authorities in community management. Bill has grown with community management, never deviating from his belief that work is about communities rather than hierarchies. Peers like this inspire us to stick with stuff even when it feels nobody else is listening. A key learning objective is to stay with the information and be part of its evolution into something of value.

  • Knowing the detail. We are to differing degrees interested in the detail of what’s going on around us. In Fin’s case, as a leader he can’t possibly know all the detail but what he can do is be broadly enough based in his learning that he can give permission for the right things to happen. In fact it is a hallmark of his leadership Fin is one of the great permission givers. He allows new things to happen in work, with the proviso that there is some test of its value early on. Haydn is more likely to get involved in long iterative knowledge projects. For example he has been working on understanding human ecosystems for about a decade now and regularly puts out research to test on people in public settings. You can be broad and you can be detailed at the same time. Product owners and business analysts both need that skills combination.

  • Vision. Vision, for us, comes with a small “v”. We both have a vision of how things can be different, particularly in the creation of a much more social, and enjoyable work environment that is nonetheless more enjoyable because it is less rigid and less structured. In Fin’s case the vision is also shaped by his belief that good outcomes can be shaped by applying common sense. Wisdom lies in the things we all know to be true but often don’t take enough time to reflect on the world around us ro are sometimes just too scared to speak out against an orthodoxy. Common sense know-how is a seam of gold waiting to be mined btu very often people, leaders, are too grand or lofty to see it.

  • Spiritual gains. Fin runs multiple marathons each year as a way of setting and meeting personal goals that stretch his physical capabilities in a context that also creates spiritual gains like calmness and detachment, with an opportunity to let ideas just grow. Haydn hikes around some of Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges for pretty much the same reasons. Often work puts us under so much pressure to deliver that these spiritual journeys help recharge us. Ideas pop out when you are on the 30th kilometre of a race or taking a breather at 10,000 feet.

We said earlier, the two of us have quite different learning styles. And there are peers we know who are different again, people who prefer to develop new techniques rather than follow what’s written in a book, people who do it through visualisation rather than words. Flow is a very adaptable framework in which to learn and develop.

We pointed out in Step 6 that all this thinking, learning and interacting is in pursuit of value and value can be addressed in numerous ways. Primarily we need to think of learning as a way to address the value challenges we face. So as much as we have emphasised your personal learning goals so far, the overall objective is value. But what about techniques?

Like all CIOs Fin is pretty busy but he also builds in time for a number of formal learning opportunities. Here’s his short list:

Fin’s learning style

1. Podcasts

I listen to everything from Amazon Web Services podcasts to shows about Life Hacking and Exponential Innovation. Admittedly it takes time to find a rich vein of gold but believe me it's there.


This is a great source of free events run by and attended by enthusiasts in certain topics. My meetups range from DevOps, UX Design, Big Data and Alexa Development to Blockchain.

3. Thinking time

Running, walking and swimming are great opportunities to exercise the grey matter. I know that Haydn enjoys these types of activities, as do I, and I get some of my greatest ideas when just walking to the office.

4. LinkedIn, Twitter etc

In amongst a lot of irrelevant information, I get great nuggets of interesting topics. But sometimes you have to work hard to find them!

5. Standups

In my company we run standups across a range of domain groups including executive standups, formal agile standups and learning standups. I always learn from colleagues at these.

6. Conferences

I try not just to attend conferences but also to speak at them. Apart from the buzz and a little bit of ego massaging (!) speaking forces you to do homework. You have to revise and structure your thoughts. It represents a kind of learning milestone.

7. Debriefs

However, improving the Flow is not always about adding new stuff. It is crucial to reflect at all stages of the framework and learn.

In our first book, we talk about retrospectives and the different methods one can use. This is a great source of learning and improvement.

But I've been trying to increase the opportunities for reflection in order to learn more "in the moment" and hence gain more improvements. Then I came across a technique used by the Red Arrows Aerobatic Team which they use after every flight. The Debrief.

Simply, you can use this after every meeting, every event and every stage of a project. Everyone on the team has the opportunity to say what we should Stop, Start or Continue doing. Even a small improvement to a humble regular meeting fuels the aggregation of marginal gains/improvements.

Try it and you won't be disappointed. It really powers great teams, and the Flow, by implementing what you are continually learning.

Learning Walls

Learning Walls are a way to process these different techniques and to get some kind of rough consensus on what we are learning as a group (see Flow for more).

Haydn’s learning style

I have quite a different learning style from Fin. Mine is much less social. Fin is always in the mix, always available to people or “managing up”. A lot of what he achieves happens through those social relationships day-to-day.

Having said our styles differ, however, I do find that my learning style changes periodically. I hope that’s a good guideline for you. How you learn has to change over time.

Five years ago I was intense about reading diligently on the topics I advised people about. I wanted to have the detail pinned down before I wrote or spoke. My learning style was very (digital) archive based.

At other times it needed to be interview based. I might be thinking about AI and realise the only way to take a view is to interview 30 people who are using it (or not). In effect I try to aggregate the state of knowledge and then offer some insights. And that’s a pretty good guideline for some companies to follow. Seek out multiple experts: synthesise and discuss.

Today it is different because much of my work, perhaps like yours, is devoted to figuring out how to do things that have not been done yet.

I can’t do this if I only reveet on research or interviews. I need a way to think and iterate that doesn’t depend on the opinions of others. A bit like a chef I want to cook something up and then share it, and ask if the mix is inspiring or not.

For me, the interaction becomes more intense after I have done some iteration on my own. To do that, I don’t have Walls in my office. I have A3s.

On the desk in my office are two hundred A3 sheets of paper. This personal visualisation space has a very specific objective. Like Fin, I increasingly work visually but it would be hopeless for me to be asking or posing ideas to my peers when the ideas are not sufficiently thought through (though I have made the mistake of going public too early often enough!).

In place of the big public bash, I try to sketch out a problem and its solution every day. I mean everyday. It’s rare that a day goes by when I don’t try to visualise a problem and try to draw an answer.

I am not into mind mapping. I don’t draw circles and try to link them together in the hope that this map will provoke new insights. My pages are more of an attempt to draw out a complete world so that I can see all the elements.

The problem might be: How do you structure a business ecosystem so that environmental depletion or damage is not an inevitable consequence of modern industrial supply chains? In other words global supply is often very damaging, even though we are encouraged to laud global trade. The “cost” is often externalised, i.e. a penalty we all have to pay, such as global warming, in exchange for a cheap product, such as cheap flowers.

I started to really think about this (in place of just reading) when I began sketching:

I gave this sketch to my designer Anna and this is what she came back with, below. When I look at this I already know I am wrong so the iteration has helped me to dig deeper.

Most modern production is environmentally unsustainable. That feature is visible when you map out the origins and destinations of products. But because supply chains are so complex, locating solutions to the problem of environmental depletion is just plain difficult, unless you can see it drawn out in front of you.

Drawing it out throws up a new problem area: What are the appropriate incentives for creating good environmental outcomes and how can these be organised?

These thoughts provoke questions of staging and timing solutions.

I tend to work these through before I go to colleagues with my thoughts. My learning style is just that:

Draw - iterate - explore consequences - consult peers - iterate.

Inside that process I can take quite complex socio-economic problems, or sometimes simpler marketing problems - and create a venue that I can draw people into for a discussion that will advance the cause.

Here’s a visual example. This was me sketching out how Flow might be structured as a learning project. What are the key elements from the 200 page book and the 12 steps:

Here’s what Anna made of my sketch:

This still isn’t in any sense a finished framework. At this stage it is something I can share with someone, in this case Fin. What I’m showing him also shows I am invested in this line of thinking, so he is more likely to respect it and engage,

Fin and I work differently but we have one thing in common. We both want to find new ways to work. Maybe there’s a place to start that in a personal learning journal.

Of course personal learning assignments are the bane of most people in work. They crop up on annual reviews and they are embarrassing or they can reflect the concerns of a bad boss. But we mean something much more personal. What can you do to organise your own learning experience for a new world of work.

4. A personal learning journal

Part of this journey needs to be a clear idea of the type of person you are, which of these new roles has the strongest appeal and your ability to map out a road to success. It is worth developing these elements in a mindful way: We've called t4his a journal but for Haydn it is pictures and for Fin it is interaction with people. Just nee mindful enough that you avoid easing your way into poor judgments. Think about these issues.

  1. Create a definition of your short and long term term career goals but also your social objectives.

  • Short term what role do you want to play in a team? Think carefully about this because you are going to craft your role and style over a long period of time. Who are you going to be? Do those role descriptions we provided earlier help? Try figuring out your own. We think work is going to become increasingly real time with work-design as one of the major skills that single people out as immensely valuable. However there are also all of those evolving roles. Who are you going to be?
  • Long term, how would you like your continuing education to define you and your position in a company? Work-life will continue to change and it will become more social and more interactive so you are going to need more soft skills and relationship skills. Who do you envision when you look ahead? Describe that person and what she offers to others. What authority do you have to deliver on your promises and how will you carry that authority? What kind of leader will you be in teams that need plenty of leaders? You will have to create experimental environments while avoiding glib manifestations of this in business journals. You will have to learn to balance formulaic business model planning tools with business realities you learn and absorb over time. 

Projects start happy and end sad, as our friend Anthony Meadows, a seasoned transformation expert, says. You need to observe how projects blow up and how bad projects continue their half-life.

Our advice is to find time to write about these so you can figure out what is common among bad projects and among good. Or sketch and design. Create your own personal learning and interaction materials. it just takes a relationship with a designer.

  • What will your role be as a peer? Will you coach other people around you to help t4hem embrace uncertainty? What kind of role models do you really want to hold up for them? On a more practical level, can you commit to a personal development path that makes you more active in meetings, more confident in presentation, more able to lead in a supportive way? Or are you going to be the wrangler-type whose real passion is “the problem”? Or the connector or mediator? A mix of both?

2. Design a set of learning objectives as we have described above

  • The specific personal characteristics that fit you for a role in a Flow environment are qualities like the ability to be at ease with uncertainty; a willingness to interact frequently over difficult problems and stay calm; the ability to sketch things out on a wall along with colleagues and in real time move your thinking forward. As well as the soft skills we mentioned earlier you should also think in terms of durability and tenacity, and a lack of intransigence, not just with your career path but also with the detail of work, even when the priority is invention, something entirely new.

We are too fond of thinking we can fast track everything these days but you will have

multiple careers. It matters that people in 10 years time still think you are awesome. Your reputation will follow you! Learn how to imagine the downstream consequences of decisions. Sometimes we describe that as options thinking.

  • What learning objectives help you to get to these characteristics? How can you fit yourself out to be a strong person in an iterative and often experimental environment full of uncertainty? We both try to be the person who never let’s personal bias and prejudice get in the way of a professional judgment. You have to learn about your biases (there’s a string of articles on different bias characteristics you can consult). We want to be the people who can diffuse tension when passions run high, as they should from time to time. FIn, in particular, is a great permission giver, never letting his own prejudices stand in the way of folks testing an idea. In short what is it you really want to learn? How to break work down, how to create and lead experimental environments, how to mediate? Look back through this chapter and set out a list of skills that appeal to you.

  • You develop these traits intentionally by observing the people around you and understanding that they are playing to their strengths and displaying their weaknesses. Learn how to stand above it. Talk to counsellors and psychologists to find out specifically what you need to learn to function well. Both Fin and Haydn work with personal coaches. it's a good investment. We both also spend time just thinking about what we are learning and try to make a record of it somehow, in Haydn's case with sketches, for example
  • Generate and record insights into your learning style and reflect on what you find problematic to learn, as well as what you find enjoyable enough to go into work for. Is there anything in the way Fin and Haydn learn that can help? What about people around you? One of the things that drives us is the belief that anything is learnable. If it is difficult then often the source of difficulty is the people who are teaching it. Being open minded enough about your ability to learn is an important part of building self-confidence.

3. A daily learning objective, to be sure you progress continuously

  • Think of a practical objective such as leading instead of following or attending a meetup or Flow Circle. Don't let too many days go by without a learning opportunity.

  • Set an abstract objective that lets you get out of the routine you are in to let new ideas flow. In Haydn's case it is learning about colour. Nothing special there you might say but he has been researching colour production technologies for years. it keeps him fresh.

  • Set yourself a creative objective such as photography or writing that teaches you about how to test and iterate ideas in a safe environment. One of us, for example, is a terrible flower photographer but he has given himself ten years to learn how to be the best! Using your spare time to test creative hypotheses is just part of being a great person and living a full life. But it helps with work.

You are the Value

It is up to you to define your learning objectives and find your learning style. You need to be aware that the chances are very high that your requirements are going to include invention of some kind. So you need to think how roles are changing, what roles you are suited to and how you will cope with being the inventor of a new process, a new feature or model for how a particular area of work gets done.

Once you discover something new as a team, you are "permitted" to add it to Flow. There's no governing body to impress or papers to write. Plug it in, reap the rewards and start gaining the value.

But there is another value which can be gained. And it's a personal one. Ask yourself, are you indispensable are work?

Well, once you equip yourself with new skills and are continuously learning/adding to that base, you are increasing your value. You might not be totally indispensable but you will become unique amongst your peers because you’ve chosen an area where you can keep your thinking upto date and you’ve put some time aside to do the most important things, inventing and reflecting.

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