Rules of Accelerated Learning, #4: Kaizen

Soccer on roofs of Paris accelerated learning kaizen language hunting

Take your skills into new environments and add new challenges to keep the learning process going (CC batmkana)

This is part of an ongoing series on the fundamental rules or “patterns” of accelerated learning. Each rule is very contextual; these are not silver bullets or cure-alls.

Rule #4: KAIZEN

When you have found your FLUENT EDGE in your target skill, have been practicing for a while, but are not seeing your competency increase…

Learner performance often plateaus as one becomes more skillful.

  • The solution to previous learning challenges may not apply to the present one.
  • Doing what worked before is easy and comfortable.
  • New learning can often feel uncomfortable and inconvenient.
  • It’s impossible to keep environments and learners from changing.
  • New opportunities are found by new experiences.
  • Regular tiny increments of improvement add up over time.

Therefore, continually improve your learning process, especially when you experience your learning slowing down or plateauing.

  • Introduce new DESIGNED ENVIRONMENTS and SHARED EXPERIENCES that may recharge your learning.
  • Refocus on bringing the learning fully ALIVE; bring play back into the center.
  • Make a habit out of finding the FLUENT EDGE of your learning process too – a constant stream of BITE-SIZED improvements.
  • Collaborate and CONTRACT new RULES OF PLAY with other learners.
  • Have NO-GRIEF DEBRIEFS after learning sessions to examine what happened, what you’d like to do again, and what you’d like to do differently next time. Turn insights into new RULES OF PLAY.
  • Pay attention to the tiniest BITE-SIZED PIECES of improvement, as you would value each penny in a piggy bank. They add up to enormous improvements over time, as in Toyota’s famous Kaizen improvement process.
A constant examination of your learning process has many benefits, but will also feel very inconvenient in the beginning. It’s easy to rest on your laurels, and to feel you’re doing “good enough”. Remember that environments can change at any time and invalidate all your current strategies. Accelerated learning is a process for responding to what is happening right now, not an answer that can be written down and left unchanged.

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