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SOURCE: The Radical Team Handbook, John Redding, Jossey-Bass 2000. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Figure 4.7 Team Learning Record

SOURCE: The Radical Team Handbook, John Redding, Jossey-Bass 2000. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

result, the team creates a plan of action and can document the actions to be learned in a format similar to Figure 4.8

3. Act—The key to team learning is carrying out the actions defined in the team's action plan. Team members can work on their own or together to test out assumptions, try out hunches, experiment, or gather and analyze data. The purpose of these actions should be to generate knowledge and test assumptions, not to complete a series of tasks like a to-do list. Thus, the purpose of these actions is to confirm or disconfirm assumptions and learn answers to questions the team does not know. Redding suggests that what teams do outside of meetings is just as important as the meeting itself because only by acting do teams have the opportunity to learn.

4. Reflect and learn—After the team has had a chance to carry out the action items in the action-learning plan, the team should meet to share its findings and reflect upon what everyone has learned. To be effective, this reflection must take place in an environment of openness, honesty, and trust. Once the team has a chance to meet and reflect on the information it has acquired, the team can document what it has learned. One format Redding suggests is for the team to answer the following questions:

What do we know now that we didn't know before? * Have we encountered any surprises? Have we gained any new insights? If so, what were they?

a What previous assumptions have been supported or refuted by what we have learned so far? *- How does the team feel the project is progressing at this point in time? How effective has the team been so far?

Another approach for documenting lessons learned is the United States Army's After Action Review (AAR). The format for an AAR is:

What was the intent? Begin by going back and defining the original purpose and goal of the action.

What happened? Describe as specifically and objectively as possible what actually occurred.

What have we learned? Identify key information, knowledge, and insights that were gained as a result. » What do we do now? Determine what will be done as a result of what has been learned, dividing actions into three categories: Short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Take action.

« Tell someone else. Share what has been learned with anyone in the organization who might benefit.

What Needs To Be Done?

By Whom?

By When?

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