Déjà vue is more than an experience. In some organizations the feeling of having been there and done that is part of corporate culture. Weak management sits at the center of this experience, as the world seems to go by time after time after time. The repeated experience can easily cause the enterprise work its way stupid.
Working your way stupid occurs when the more the company does, the less they learn. The company is working its way stupid when managers have a dogged determination to do the same thing and expect a different result.
This is the case of having 10 years experience earned by living the same year 10 times over.
Weak managers rarely ask, ‘what have we learned and what will we do differently?” Instead they see each event as separate and distinct. They see challenges and failure as the result of forces beyond their control and therefore providing little value in reflection or improvement. If you’ve been in this situation, you may have heard the explanation that ‘its always been that way.’
Technology and Human Resource professionals see a solution in knowledge management. They believe in the premise that if the information only existed in a readily accessible format, then people would not repeat the past. This approach treats knowledge as an asset that is gathered, inventoried and distributed via a data warehouse. This approach relies, not on individuals’ access information, but on the stock information in the enterprise. In my experience within about a year, the organization recognizes that the flow of information matter more than the stock.
Managers put information into action. They are tasked with taking in new information so things will be different rather than a difficult. They do this through asking a few critical questions, learning learn from past experience and doing things differently to get a different result.
The techniques for doing this are well documented. Perhaps the best process is known as the Plan,Do,Check,Act (PDCA) cycle or total quality management. Wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA
Now before you think of it as another corporate initiative, consider the basic premise behind thinking of what you want to do, how you will execute it, managing to the result and making the changes necessary for success. I have found that strong managers implicitly think this way, engage their teams about how to improve and make experience count.
That is what makes each year different and successful. That is real definition of experience, the type of experience based on working your way smart.