Schlagwort-Archive: Learning

Nagile Mindset

All those involved bear their cross written on their forehead when implementing agility. With a little attention, you quickly can see where the boundary is. We already looked at it from the outside (see Nagile clues). However, even with the best conditions you won’t get agility to full swing, if employees remain in their comfort zone. It is the attitude, the convictions, the values and expectations, in short our mindset, that controls our behavior subconsciously. I think, therefore I am – the way, I imagine it.

When looking rationally in the mirror, we do not notice our demarcation line. On the contrary. Our thinking thinks itself reasonable, whereby we do not recognize our manner. The look at the nagile mindset of the others is easy for us. What are we looking at?

  • Questions prior to the step
    The difficulty for nagilists is to get moving, i.e. just starting and doing, what we understood. Exposing oneself to the unlikely risk of misunderstanding everything. And not putting the energy into asking, what exactly should be done.
    Agility requires quantum jumpers, who start from a standing position without immediately knowing, what will happen afterwards or what should come.
  • Helplessness at the first hurdle
    An additional version of nagility is the active nagilists, who start immediately out of the conviction to be agile, but get stuck at the first hurdle. The obstacle unsettles, because one is taking a risk – maybe because one is not used to leap over it, or because it is high, or because one cannot even estimate the height. The search for a way around the obstacle, or for the team that can help getting across starts right away.
    Agility needs adventurous, autonomous team players, who begin as a start to help themselves.
  • Hard as nails in the depiction and banal in the matter
    The work, of course, does not only consist of hurdles. Most of the time you can run your business without any surprises. In your usual role, you know how to plan the next steps, set your own goals, where you get your inputs from and how to achieve the desired result. The nagilists can be seen at the latest, when they evaluate the fruits of a piece of labor. They value the form rather than the content – the right format, the right font, enough white space and beautiful pictures.
    Agility requires verbally and visually talented communicators, who reinforce their content with the appropriate form – and not vice versa.
  • Lack of creative drive
    Intrinsic motivation is the fuel that keeps individuals going. Supported by the team that keeps its momentum with its own drive, one overcomes lows. Nagilists lack the necessary creative drive to become imaginatively productive from within. They prefer to work the stack from left to right – which is also a useful feature, except for agility.
    Agility needs entrepreneurial thinking doers who want to change the world, or at least to contribute their part.
  • Work to specification
    It is not a matter of the work to rule, but about the processing of a well-defined assignment, which best explains what the result should be. If the description is incomplete, you get stuck at the first difficulty (see above). The nagilist is motivated and fully committed to the tasks, just to do what is requested.
    Agility needs the exact contrary – performance beyond the assignment, outside the comfort zone and always in competition with oneself.
  • Self-effectiveness instead of task effectiveness
    The right thing to do is important to everyone. Nobody wants to do something that nobody really needs. And the result should be generated with as little energy consumption as possible. Sounds good to me. Nagilists also work like this. However, the right thing means in this case to concentrate on the things that are important for oneself and to avoid everything else as much as possible. The remaining tasks should be carried out in such a way that they do not jeopardize private intentions.
    Agility requires concentration on the team and its results. What is more important is the need of the team and the only thing that shouldn’t be compromised is the overall result of the working group.
  • Simply no new things
    Learning is a task that is delegated to schools, colleges and corporate universities. This is less a matter of anchoring experience and knowledge sustainably, but only of gamification – collecting points to be in a better starting position in the next lap than the others. Nagilists lose their curiosity and thirst for knowledge as they start their professional career. Their knowledge decays according to its half-life (e.g. in IT, knowledge is worth only half its value after two years).
    Agility needs hunger for learning and interest, since the open tasks require independent research and integration of the new perspectives.

Bottom line: To make it immediately clear: Nagilist is NOT a dirty word, but the description of a certain type of attitude. Not everybody has to be an Alexander von Humboldt, who plunges into the unknown and risks everything to satisfy its thirst for knowledge. However, the decision makers should be aware that the workforces consist to a certain extent of nagilists – who first ask themselves “Is it really necessary?”; who call a team meeting, when they encounter the first problem; who always look good, but do not provide any content; who don’t want to create anything; who do excellently what they are told, nothing else; who perfect themselves and their lives and not their tasks; who ate up their learning potential during their education.
Agility needs the right basic conditions, but above all the right employee mindset.

Learning is a completely personal matter

Already in the Politeia Plato formulated “what the ignorant has to suffer duly … is to learn from the knowledgeable”. Basically, it was clear from an early age that learning has to do with personal passion. Only the interested and curious have sufficient tenacity to expand their knowledge beyond the comfort zone. This becomes visible subsequently in their behavioral changes, which become possible through observations, experiences and exercises. Although this has been known for two and a half thousand years, the idea still prevails that one could instill people the desired knowledge. This ignores the fact that, at best, data is transferred. However, some people consider this data as unnecessary noise, when they have no motivation to process the received, initially incomprehensible data. Learning cannot be forced, since it is a completely personal matter.

The learning process takes place exclusively in the mind of each individual in his or her own personal way. Neither information nor knowledge or wisdom can be passed on, since they exist only in the minds of every person – even if artefacts such as books and films give the impression that there is more than just the transmission of data. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at the elements of meaning that build on one another.

  • Sign
    The starting points for our contact with the environment are our sensory perceptions, which we absorb via the eyes, ears, body, nose or tongue. The flood of stimuli we are exposed at is unimaginably great. In order not to go crazy, we unconsciously suppress most signals. The remaining signals arouse our attention and become thoughts on a still unknown path that can only be described to a limited extent – except the facts that we are able to encode as data.
  • Data
    We convert this data into messages, which we pass on with our means of expression, e.g. with the help of spoken or written language or music or visualizations or our behavior. The sender encodes its thoughts as well as possible. A popular metaphor is the data processing of a computer – although our brain does not work that way. The computer works with ones and zeros (001000111). Although we measure electronic activities in the head and can assign brain areas to certain mental processes, we do not know yet exactly how our consciousness evolves as a result. The previous describes the transmission of data that can become information in the next step.
  • Information
    The receivers that are able to decode the received data convert the data stream into a number (e.g. 39). Only by linking it with other data it becomes information. As soon as the addressee realizes that the value comes from a thermometer used to measure a person’s temperature, we recognize that someone has a fever. If this is a new fact or an update of an earlier measurement, the data becomes information that requires our attention. Now, medical knowledge is required.
  • Knowledge
    Depending the state of knowledge, certain people, for example medical doctors, can order the application of calf compresses or the administration of an antipyretic based on available knowledge. Such conclusions could be drawn by a computer. The real difference in treatment arises, when wisdom is added.
  • Wisdom
    Over time more and more knowledge accumulates, which leads to wisdom in combination with already existing knowledge. Accordingly, the wise doctor not only observes the thermometer, but has a holistic look on the patient. Upon further examination he discovers an open wound and other symptoms. Based on his experience and his foresighted wisdom, he detects blood poisoning. Now the calf compresses aren’t sufficient.

The shown levels of meaning are often mixed in everyday life. With the assumption that it is information, many think that all levels are easy to transport and communicate. In fact, however, only data can be disseminated. A group of dashes can have a lot of meaning for the sender. For those who do not know the writing or symbolism of a picture, these signs remain incomprehensible – a good example is the Voynich manuscript. Even data often remains closed off – or who understands this?

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Only the data that the sender combines to a message can be transmitted. In the receivers’ head, the data he or she understands becomes information that is linked to other information about the context. In the interaction with existing knowledge, actions are eventually derived. The transition to wisdom is fluent, takes a lot of time and motivation to learn. The knowledge and the linking of different fields of knowledge ultimately lead to extraordinary possibilities.

Bottom line: Information exchange, knowledge transfer, knowledge management, knowledge mediation or Nuremberg funnels with which knowledge is to be disseminated are apparently pragmatic approaches, but often fail due to a lack of willingness to learn. Since only data can be transmitted, it is necessary that the individual makes an effort to convert the data into information, process it into knowledge and at some point has enough experience to speak of wisdom. In communication, the receiver decides on the meaning with its horizon of experience – each person has its own viewpoint and therefore accumulates its own personal insights. For these reasons, learning is a completely personal matter.