Years ago I worked with someone who frequently used the phrase “ratchet it up!”. I remember one particular meeting when we were discussing new skills, knowledge and methods his team would need to learn and adopt in order to successfully install and implement a new set of software programs which would, if used properly, revolutionise the way his team currently did their work.
During the discussion Bill (not his real name), kept reminding us that it wasn’t just the importance of the new software that needed to be discussed, but also the need to “ratchet up the skills of his team”!
He was completely right of course. As the old adage goes, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ – if his team weren’t appropriately trained and re-skilled, then the new software would be as useless as if it had never been introduced in the first place.
But the real message from this little story is my appreciation for Bill’s foresight. Too often, when new processes, software, skills etc are required it’s often assumed that people will acquire the knowledge through a process of osmosis, and to some degree this view may be correct; but often, even though we may pick up new skills ‘on the job’ this only allows us to learn to the extent that our co-workers have the required knowledge or it relies on our dedication in being prepared to pick up the relevant book.
Unfortunately though, this situation will leave us in the classic situation whereby we fail to realise what we don’t know! It’s a challenge because if we don’t know that we don’t know, why would we go looking?! And yet, even if we were the best at what we did, we still wouldn’t know all there was to know about our particular field of interest.Continue Reading