Deliberate practice

people who climb to the top of just about any field eclipse their peers through something as basic as deliberate practice.”
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
, from their book, “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change.”

Patterson et al also make an interesting point in the above-mentioned book that Olympic ice-skaters tend to practice what they can’t do (yet), good skaters tend to practice what they can do (already) and amateur skaters tend to spend most of their time at the side of the rink chatting with friends and don’t make it out onto the rink much.

This is an interesting insight. Obviously Olympians practice long and hard over a period of years to obtain their expertise, but I had never paused to think that it was from spending most of their time practicing the things they can’t do. This elaborates on the old adage of “Perfect practice makes perfect,” rather than “Practice makes perfect.”

In the world of OSS and ICT in general, we tend to learn most through on the job learning rather than training or deliberate practice.

As a vendor, integrator, service provider or enterprise organisation (or any other organisation that works with OSS that aren’t captured in this catch-all statement), do you bring deliberate practice into any of your activities? More importantly, do you ever plan out a deliberate practice regime for the specific activities that you or your team can’t do yet?

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