Learning to love the follow-through

A previous blog touched on the need for follow up and like many people, I love starting new things, but struggle a bit with the follow-through. I am fascinated with follow-through in business – maybe it’s that old adage “we teach best what we most need to learn” – so I have been re-reading The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning and am impressed with the way Fort Hill have operationalised these six disciplines with their Follow-through Tools®.

It’s another version of ‘feedback is the breakfast of champions’ – and shows how we can become more purposeful in our learning. I have taken this message to heart this year. I don’t know how many books / articles and blogs I have read in the past, where I have a faint glimmer of the idea or message but no way to jog my memory to recall the detail and thus no way to act on it.

So this year I have implemented a new personal discipline – taking notes when I read and then capturing the essence of the idea in a blog, then looking for examples where I can apply that idea, or reflecting on situations where if I had applied the idea we might have acted differently and the outcome would have been different too.

For readers of this blog, join me in adding a little dash of discipline to your life – what’s one area where you can apply a little more follow-through, in order to get better results?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Franis

    I found taking notes while being in a conversation helped me tremendously. To keep up, I learned “speedwriting,” which was a shorthand for common endings and sounds. This was during a time when I was writing a book that included quotations. So it got me in to the pastime of carrying around a notebook that I applied to other conversations besides the one related to writing my book. Besides helping me to listen better and remember people and what they said, it also helped me to remember to carry what I intended to say beyond interruption or tangents. Now I don’t need to take notes to get the benefits that phase of my life offered, because my patience and the continuity of memory in me has become sharper and more retentive from the note-taking experience.

    Also – one of the best books I have ever read was about the corporate uses of the Conative Index. It’s a test, going across the age, gender and racial barriers that sorts for why people are motivated to do a job a certain way. The way the job needs to be done is matched to a person who naturally prefers to do it that way, resulting in much less absenteeism, and other benefits.
    For example the test results descibes four strategy groupings that people use in varying degrees. The way they prefer to do a job depends on the mixture of these four strategies that they prefer. They are: follow thru, quick start, fact finder and implementor. You can initiate, tolerate or avoid each of these strategies, which gives you certain strengths and tolerances that are suitable in certain situations.
    Experience finds that teams that are made up of all these different strategic means do much better than teams that specialize.

    Anyway – my point is that finding someone who prefers to initiate a follow thru strategy and emulating their approach of how they do it in your situation would help, mentor-style.

    As far as personal challenges: I could use a little more follow through in getting a new Alexander Technique class together for the new location I’ve just moved to!

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