One of my favorite quotest from Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE, is "An organizations ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage."
The Stoos Communique agrees, and states that organizations can become learning networks of individuals creating value and that the role of leaders should include the stewardship of the living rather than the management of the machine.
I have been using the Jack Welch quote as a tagline in my email for over 10 years. It has taken me at least as long to grok its real depth and truth. It has taken me a decade to move from learning from books and courses, to learning from anything and everything. To move from process improvement to system improvement. To move from work-life balance, to just balance. To move from being a true professional, to being authentically me.
Seems a bit vague right? Maybe a little example will help. About a decade ago, I got myself a nice podcasting rig, and started recording stuff. Nothing special, just me talking about things that matter to me, not unlike keeping a spoken diary like they do in Star Trek. It reminded me of how, as a child, I recorded stuff on an old tape recorder that I requisitioned from my dad. I didn't publish those recordings. The idea was to get some practice before launching my project management podcast. Then, I changed jobs and procrastinated the hell out of my rediscovered hobby. But lessons are repeated until learned, so recently, I got the recording bug again. This time, to make sure I mash-up my passions, I've made sure to immediately volunteer my recording services to anyone. First up, the StoosCast!
A week from now, on July 9, I'll publish the processed audio files from Stoos Stampede 2012 right here on this website as two podcast episodes.
After the StoosCast, I intend to revive the Xebia Podcast, and offer my services to lean/agile conferences to make sure I follow through this time. Also, I intend to start recording stuff at some of my client's in-house events.
So, how does that help me grok the Jack Welch quote and the passage from the Stoos Communique? The revival of my field recording hobby, is but an example of a trend I'm spotting in my life and some of the people I meet professionally. The trend is to approach work and other stuff holistically. I've always loved reading, recording, broadcasting, writing, and drawing. But somewhere along the way in my professional career, I stopped doing those things because of self-imposed rules and time-constraints focussing my efforts on other forms of, mostly professional, development. Now, I'm (re)integrating those passions into all aspects of my life. And I'm having a lot of fun doing it!
UPDATE 20121010: My month-long trip to the States, followed by a full-immersion return to work have so far prevented me from editing the audio I recorded at Stoos Stampede. In case you're wondering: Yes, I am still planning to publish the finished files. Probably by the end of this month...
UPDATE 20130216: Finally got round to scrubbing, editing, and uploading the Stoos Stampede interviews.