Today’s business environment is different. If we do what we have always done, we will get what we’ve always got. From now on success will come by being agile & responsive to change, ensuring people can learn fast and solve problems swiftly. That’s why After Action Review is attracting so much attention from leaders.
“The most valuable assets of the 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge, workers and their productivity.”
Peter F. Drucker
Management Consultant, Educator, and Author
To become a learning organisation you need to remove fear
We live in a world in which knowledge, insight and expertise are the currency and the source of value creation and business agility.
“If I have knowledge but I can’t use that knowledge or express that knowledge because I’m holding back for some reason, then value is lost.” says Professor Amy Edmondson of the Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organisation.
What she has demonstrated through her studies of team performance is that the amount of psychologically safety present in a workplace has a direct impact on the responsiveness to change, creativity and productivity of its people.
iTS AAR provides leaders with a tried and tested means to create psychological safe environments where the individual is able to operate free of fear and instead able to contribute fully.
Blame holds us in the past, learning moves us forward
The After Action Review process does not allow blame of self, others or “them” in any sense and instead challenges participants to fully understand what prevented the achievement of all the expectations and what action is required to mitigate this in future. This “learn not blame” approach puts all participants in a much better position to move forward and take responsibility for making improvements themselves. Leaders who do this personally increase what Stephen Covey calls their “sphere of influence” as the energy created is centred on what is within ones’ own control. When leaders call or lead iTS AARs they are creating an environment for every member of the team to make that same shift.
You cannot solve today’s problems alone
The complexities of today’s problems can rarely be solved successfully by one individual’s understanding and experience. Successful leaders are those who have learnt how to effectively harness the knowledge in others. The volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) of the current and future operating environment means that this skill is only going to become even more important. iTS AAR provides you with an incredibly effective means of benefitting from the knowledge and experience of others.
Blame is toxic to business success
It’s important to recognise that the potential excitement of the future and the rewards of better ways of working can be tempered by the fear of change, of taking responsibility and soured by the experience of past failures. The familiarity of blaming others and doing things the same as they have always been done can be quite comforting at the individual, team and organisational level.
The introduction of iTS AAR may encounter challenges and will need leaders who are courageous enough to act in the face of it. We will support you, bringing our first-hand experience and learning to enable you to overcome resistance and guide you through to successfully integrate the iTS AAR approach.
Benefits to leaders of the iTS AAR approach
- It accelerates learning and performance in team members
- You learn how to create real clarity for others
- It teaches you how to establish and maintain effective presence & control
- The dial is turned up on every single one of your team
- People feel valued and listen to
- Diversity is respected and inclusion flourishes
- Your time is freed up as you don’t have to be involved all the time
The iLEAD approach
Listening: becoming a skilled iTS AAR Conductor has an incredibly positive impact on a leader’s listening abilities as facilitation of a good After Action Review requires sensitive observation of non-verbal cues as well as acute attention to themes and first and third person language. The metaphor of an orchestral conductor is a good one as he or she is completely silent and totally absorbed in the sounds coming out of the various instruments.
Energy: We understand leaders have many demands on their time for their expertise and experience. Facilitating After Action Reviews has the significant advantage of not having to be involved in the content yourself and instead involves facilitating others to discover the learning and solutions themselves. This means you will conserve your own energy whilst releasing and creating energy for others.
Authenticity: The psychological safety you establish in every iTS AAR has a wonderful effect on people’s comfort with being themselves at work. Even when talking about challenging experiences or mistakes, every individual’s point of view is valued and the opportunity to learn for the future is emphasised. Being able to be authentic at work in this way increases resilience for the individual and boosts teams’ respect for one another.
Direction: iTS AAR is a very democratic and collaborative approach designed to produce meaningful direction out of honest reflection. The beauty of the iTS AAR process is that people create solutions together which generates alignment and clarity around new ways of working and this then creates the commitment to follow through on them.
From our clients
“Once you become more comfortable with AAR, they don’t always need to be formal events. Some issues will warrant that scrutiny, but we have found that we’re now incorporating AAR into informal discussions all of the time and consistently learning as a result.”
“When we had finished the AAR, the team had come up with and truly owned the outputs and the focus that they identified. They were truly invested in it and that focus is clear and based on the insight of the people who know. This could not have been achieved in any other way so effectively.”
“Like any organisation we are constantly experiencing change. AAR is valuable to us as a team because it keeps us grounded in doing what we do best and seeking to do it better, learning from every possible opportunity, good bad and ugly!”
“AARs take time, confidence and bravery to run. You are asking questions that you might not want the answers to, but they are exactly the sort of questions you should be asking!”
Let’s start something new!
Get in touch with us today and take the first steps to transforming your business.