Postmortems vs Learning Reviews - Deepstash

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This is How Effective Leaders Move Beyond Blame

Postmortems vs Learning Reviews

Most companies conduct postmortems at a project’s end to analyze and outline the factors that contributed to its failure. But this reflection, examination and evaluation might not be as useful as most wait for failures to conduct them and stop the analysis once the guilty are identified.

Failures don't happen frequently enough to learn at the rate that’s needed to really thrive in a competitive environment. Learning reviews, on the other hand, aim to gather information and can be conducted after each experiment or iteration allowing improvements regardless of successes. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Biases...
Biases...

... specifically cognitive biases, are your unchecked tendencies to make decisions or take actions in an irrational way. 

Instead of making decisions based on facts and data, you are more prone to base your decisions on unconscious errors that lead to a distorted judgment of the world. These biases ultimately affect your relationships, work, and worldview.

Biases = shortcuts for processing information

The brain creates shortcuts in order to make fast decisions when it hits information or inspiration overload

These shortcuts form unconscious biases so it’s easier for your brain to categorize information and make quick judgments over and over again.

Self-serving Bias
It causes you to claim your successes and ignore your failures. 

This means that when something good happens, you take the credit, but when something bad happens, you blame it on external factors.

Self-serving bias may manifest at work when you receive critical feedback. Instead of keeping an open mind, you may put up a defense when your manager or team member is sharing feedback or constructive criticism.

Leadership literature

Leadership failures in government, business, and nonprofits have created a demand for leadership studies and literature.

Unfortunately, these materials describe unreachable ideals that are far removed from organizational reality, and therefore useless in practice.

The morality tale

Leadership has become a kind of morality tale: Leaders are supposed to be authentic and truthful, paying attention to their employees' well-being and building trust.

Oversimplification

The moral framing of leadership does not consider the real complexities and difficulties that leaders face.

Sometimes, being pragmatic necessitates doing seemingly bad things to achieve good results. This means that leaders may have to act in strategic misrepresentation, contrary to their own feelings.

The Competency Trap
The Competency Trap

The company having the original PC technology back in the 70s was Xerox. This was a time when their photocopiers were a worldwide hit, and even their brand name ‘Xerox’ was used as a verb. They had a research centre to develop new technologies, where they invented the PC (similar to what we see even today) and a graphical word processor. But even after inventing futuristic products, which were inspirations for what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did for the computing industry, Xerox failed to capitalize or commercialize them.

Past success and entrenched expertise prevented the pioneers of great technology to deal with a changing, uncertain and fast-moving market. Xerox forgot to grow, evolve, stay nimble and keep an eye out for the changing market dynamics.

The Problem Of Success

Successful organizations start having rigid corporate cultures, which crumble when the outside world evolves, which is always inevitable.

The rules and assumptions that companies operate on, become embedded, making the employees blinded from any potential future innovations.

The Sunk-Cost Bias

... is a reluctance to give up on the past spendings and investments made on projects or products that are no longer providing any return.

The managers are usually unable to make strong decisions and keep adding costs to failed (or about to fail) projects.