3D: A model for learning and improvement

All learning and improvement begins with action — with doing. For example, as a child you touch a hot stove.

Action leads to discovery; in this case, the discovery that the action led to pain, burning, discomfort.

Based on this discovery you design new ways of interacting with your environment.

Based on your design you do things differently. Over time this leads you closer and closer to your ideal relationship with your surroundings.

The entire process is called successive approximation.

Successive approximation is the secret sauce that makes methods like agile programming work so well.

It’s the same process that is at work when you have a conversation.

You say (do) something, and then, based on the feedback you receive (body language, facial expression, reply) you discover something, based on which you design your next utterance, etc.

Successive approximation works because, unlike many business thinking, planning and execution activities, it’s easy and natural; we do it instinctively.

3d model

Lines of communication

In war, the first thing an army will attack is the enemy’s lines of communication. Why? Because success depends on people, who can only act on information they have received and understood.

The Internet was originally developed to enable rapid and reliable communication in times of war. Ironically, the resulting improvements in information flow have also spawned a fog of confusion. The volume of information that’s now available leaves many people overwhelmed, stressed and confused.

Advances in technology and genetics continue to change the business landscape in dramatic ways. There will be winners and losers, and businesses who can rapidly deploy understanding to their extended value chain — both inside and outside their “four walls” — will win.

Download Lines of Communication, a visual map of the complex information flows within a typical large enterprise, courtesy of your friends at XPLANE.