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Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results

Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results

by Barry O'Reilly

There comes a time in every person's life when the methods and thinking that brought you success in the past won't continue to bring you success in the future. 

Your past successful strategies can bring you down. The key is to notice the signals and adapt before it's too late. 

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Peter Senge's, The Fifth Discipline, points out the Laws of System Thinking:

  • Today's problems come from yesterday's "solutions".
  • The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.
  • Behaviour grows better before it grows worse.
  • The easy way out usually leads ...

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How to unlearn

Each time we need to adapt and innovate, we go through distinct steps.

  1. Unlearn: Unlearning starts with acknowledging that what you're doing now isn't working. You need to let go of past viewpoints or behaviours, then take action.
  2. ...

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  • Identify a challenge your want to address. The best place to start is where you are now.
  • Define success as if you would view it from hindsight. What behaviours would you, your team, or customers be exhibiting to confirm that you have succeeded?

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  • Create options for small steps: List as many options as possible. Pick one that will most likely move you forward. Then celebrate, regardless of the result.
  • Find the right behaviour that aligns with your level of motivation and ability.

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  • Reflect
  • Feed forward learnings to the next experiment.
  • Align impact and increase psychological safety.
  • Increase your speed of unlearning.

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  • Leadership should provide context for what is to be achieved, why it matters, and then create a system of work that enables people to identify with those outcomes.
  • Leadership should provide clarity.
  • Control is reached by designing feedback loops, not by telling people what to...

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  • Companies have two customers: the people you sell to and your employees.
  • Direct, raw, unfiltered feedback from customers is much better than reports from within the company.
  • When customers reach out, and they know they're heard and that their feedback will improve the product...

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  • Organisations and the people in them must continuously be stimulated to succeed in the long run.
  • An organisation is transformed with a continuous individual transformation of both leaders and workers. 
  • As a leader, you are responsible for enabling organisational learning by r...

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I've added all the essential exercises mentioned in the book in the stash below. These mindful exercises and certain questions which you can ask yourself are indeed a gem and definitely must be included in your existing mindfulness practice or journaling habit for a more enhanced overall development. A ONE-STOP SOLUTION INDEED!

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