Monday, December 5, 2011

Yokoten, Meta-cognition and Leadership

By Pascal Dennis

A lovely Japanese word, no?

It rolls off the tongue, and ends with a long, pleasing 'nnnn...'

What's it mean?

Here are some definitions:

Horizontal sharing, best practice sharing, lateral deployment, shared experiential learning...

I like the last one. Shared -- experiential -- learning.

Yokoten entails not just cognition (knowing), which tends to be shorter term, but also meta-cognition.

Meta-cognition entails 'knowing about knowing' and mean answering questions like:

How do I learn?

What do I know?

What do I not know very well?

Great leaders know themselves thereby, and can make conscious decisions.

(The Lean Business System is fundamentally about wakefulness.)

Leaders need to ask these questions of their organization:

How do we learn best?

What do we currently know, and not know, well?

Most important question for leaders:

How do I ensure that we'll continue to learn, after our current leaders retire or move on?

A tough one, to be sure.

The late, great Steve Jobs thought about it a great deal.

The result: Apple University.

More in my next blog.



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