Over the last three weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak and learn in many different environments, including the Exponential Conference and the Q Conference. 

Often I am asked how to go about learning from others (conferences) without risking the problem of "photocopied vision" or cloning what works somewhere else.  I have found that learning takes best when the individual has a "baseline of clarity" around which new knowledge can be quickly assessed for the purpose of being ignored, adapted or integrated.

For example at Q Conference last week, I found myself leisurely enjoying some talks and barely taking notes while writing furiously at other talks.  Sometimes an insight is so significant, that I have to literally tune out a whole section (5 minutes) of a talk in order to fully appreciate and digest the insight for how it might be immediately useful.

So how do you know what to tune into and what to tune out?  It begins with your Vision Frame, and in particular what we refer to as the 4th side: Mission Measure which answers the question, "When are we successful." In other words has the team or organization defined how they will measure the accomplishment of the mission. Once you do, learning is a whole new ball game. 

At Auxano, we have five questions that unfold our MIssion Measure.  Our mission is to navigate leaders through growth challenges with vision clarity. When a client has completed our Vision Pathway we will know whether or not it is a success by asking...
  1. By the end of the process was clarity created?

  2. 6 months after the process was vision communicated? 

  3. 12 month after the process was vision integrated?

  4. 18 months after the process were challenges eliminated?

  5. 36 months after the process was growth demonstrated?  

Now each question has sub-questions that I won't go into now.  But you might image how these questions polarize my thinking when I am at a conference. 

For example, one speaker talked about nuclear weapons. It was a great message and other than noting how clear his message was, I took no notes.  But when Stephen Graves talked about "Ensuring Entrepreneurial Success" he spent 4 minutes talking about "your dream."  He said three things about the dream stage: 1) You must language it, 2) You must size it, and 3) You must monetize it.  I probably have better notes than anyone in the room on these points. Why? Because this stuff directly plays into our mission and how we measure it. 

Topics: Date: May 4, 2009 Tags: