Many organisations use the term “lessons learned" to describe the way in which they avoid repeating mistakes, or ensure that they build on past successes, yet a lesson can only be applied if it has been successfully identified, and captured first. Even in “learning organisations" who profess to be good at knowledge management and knowledge sharing, the process for identifying lessons learned can lacks rigour or depth. All too often, lessons end up as “motherhood and apple pie" statements, and end up in reports on shelves gathering dust (or its electronic equivalent).
The guidelines below are drawn from the book “Learning to Fly - Practical knowledge management from leading and learning organisations" (Chris Collison is a renowned expert in knowledge management and an experienced practitioner in the leadership and implementation of organisational change from a people perspective.
As a best-selling author, he has presented to audiences at business schools and at conferences around the world, and is a regular contributor to specialist knowledge management publications. Chris has worked with leaders at the highest levels of many public and private-sector organizations, sharing the practical experiences he gained whilst working in BP's knowledge management team, and his deep understanding of the human dynamics of major change programmes.