Friday, 23 August 2013

The Power in Reflection

As some of my longer standing (sitting? suffering?) readers may know, I completed an MBA a few years ago.  To say that it was a privilege would be a massive understatement – it was one of the happiest experiences of my life.  It was mind enhancing, brain stretching and ideas generating – I guess in common with education of any type.  I met lots of lovely people and it also taught me the power of reflection.  And in particular structured reflection.

So it was with some dismay that that I heard from my not-so-old tutor that the current offering of the MBA is less reflection oriented.  It caused me to pause and think.  (See, I did learn something!)

The rationale, apparently, is that it is better to be action-oriented than reflective.  I don’t know about you, but action isn’t necessarily one of my problems.  The right type of action, maybe, but I’m very capable of getting on and doing stuff.  What I’m less good at, and need to be reminded often about, is the need to reflect, in a structured way, about what I’m doing and whether it’s going in the right direction.

David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done, talks about the need to reflect, ideally once a week, on what you’ve achieved, what you’ve not achieved, what your goals are, and taking the long view.  It’s good advice, and from talking to people, advice that doesn’t always get acted on.

So this is my reflection for the week.  I need to make more time to reflect, to see where I’ve been, and where I’m going, and whether my goals still make sense.  And maybe update this blog more often.  I’ve said that before, though, so I don’t think I’ll repeat myself. 

Bon weekend, tout le monde!


  1. Having looked into this a bit more deeply, what she seems to be saying is that learning is a socially constructed activity and that models that assume it is individual, like Kolb, miss out essential parts of the learning process. I do think Kolb is one dimensional, leaving out important personal experiences like one's feelings or environmental circumstances. And I can see the argument that learning is socially constructed. But what I am arguing is that even if one's learning arises from some action learning process involving a range of different stakeholders, at some point one has to ask oneself, as an individual, what one has learned from the process. So I am having trouble seeing why individual reflective learning is inimical to socially constructed learning processes.

  2. I love your old posts so very much! I wonder why we did not hear from you lately. I would really life to read something interesting here :) thank you for posting!