Leverage Your Wisdom

Wednesday, September 7 2011

(Republished October 2022) – Your organization has a deep well of collective knowledge. From this knowledge, you can draw ideas and actions, and take your organization to exceptional levels of success if you leverage your wisdom.

Businesses often apply financial leverage, investing small amounts to earn greater returns. However, they rarely leverage their investment in the wisdom of employees and consequently miss significant rewards.

As individuals work on a job, they accumulate learning, and build understanding about how some efforts create great results while others reap very little but, they seldom have the opportunity to leverage the wisdom they have gained.

How can a leader leverage wisdom?

Provide a purpose to use wisdom.

Employees want to feel their efforts are worthwhile, and that they make a significant, positive contribution to people and society. Connect people to a clear mission, describing what the organization does for its clients, and to a vision, that states what the organization will become in the future, helps people feel they are part of something important.

Create a culture that values wisdom.

Employees need to know they are valued, respected and appreciated, so treat them exactly as you do your clients. Determine their needs and desires, and endeavour to satisfy them. Train employees to identify the needs and desires of their internal customers and to use their wisdom to satisfy them more effectively.

Build a learning organization that enables everyone to stop and think about how they can do things better then allocate time for everyone to pause from working in their jobs to work on their jobs.

Build teams of learning leaders.

Nurture leadership to help everyone take the initiative to find ways to do their work better. They can work with others to answer questions like:

  • In what ways are we wasting our time?
  • What is the organization doing to cause us to do it this way?
  • What are we doing to cause this?
  • How can we do our jobs to get better learning results with less effort?
  • Is the most appropriate person doing each task?

Be transparent and honest with results.

Measure and share the organization’s key results. When employees see this, they feel respected and important. Thus, the organization sets a standard for behaviour which can cascade throughout the organization. Measure and share the results of every division in a positive tone, with appropriate acknowledgement of shortfalls.

Institute an ongoing system of learning.

Identify and document everything that has been learned about achieving better results then institute the best processes as official procedures, until wisdom and learning discover a better way.

When employees see the value in what they do, work in a wise culture, take leadership roles, see the organization’s results, and know learning is ongoing, they will use their wisdom to extract greater rewards for themselves and for their organization.

Want to learn more about the value of paced, spaced, multisensory learning? Visit our Approach page.