Blog Article Collection
The Dance of Learning
Author: Vivien Twyford
Our immersion in developing a new product for the last year has had us pivoting so often that we’ve felt like ballet dancers! At last we’re moving into another phase that involves actually trialing and testing our product with some of the wonderful people who’ve partnered us in this dance so far.
As we move into this new phase, I’ve been reflecting on this learning dance. One of the things I’ve noticed is that, like learning to dance, you have to learn to innovate by doing, not by sitting in a classroom. An instruction manual on various dance steps may start you thinking, but the only way to learn is to get up and try, no matter how strange it feels.
And that has been our experience on this journey of ours. We’ve had help along the way, we’ve had people giving us expert advice as well as business models and frameworks, which, while really useful, are not enough. The real breakthroughs come when we get up and do, talk to people about their problems and issues, drill down past symptoms to root causes of problems that might be solved by our expertise, our ideas, energy and drive, packaged into something that solves problems that have plagued a particular and specific target market.
Once I started this reflection, I’ve realised that it’s the same with collaboration … our experience has been you can only learn to collaborate by collaborating! That started me thinking about the similar path we ask our clients to tread in building a more collaborative organisation … one meeting at a time.
The important first step is the step onto the dance floor with a partner. When taking this step, it helps to:
- appreciate the value that partners, teachers and other key people in our lives can provide and
- accept the challenge of learning a new way of thinking and new way of acting.
The learning process may be uncomfortable at times, it may be frustrating as we seek to change the way we think, the way we move or the way we behave on the floor.
Change isn’t easy, but if we practice, practice, practice, if we learn to pivot either on the dance floor or in the conversations we have with partners and clients, we will arrive at new and unexpected destinations that provide a different perspective.
Learning to dance, learning to collaborate or learning to develop something new all require three things: an appreciative mindset, support through a learning journey and the desire to learn a new and enduring skill that will benefit our lives and those we share them with.
In order to BE a dancer, collaborator or innovator, you have to DO it. So what are you waiting for? Pick your partner and get your dancing shoes on!
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