Hindsights, PIGs (Patterns, Insights, and Gaps), and Lessons Learned

I’ve long-believed that, for recurring challenges, hindsight is the #1 best planning tool. Taking the time to consider what worked, what didn’t, and why – your P.I.G.s (Patterns, Insights, and Gaps) – accelerates a deeper understanding of what it takes to make good things happen sooner – and more regularly.

On the one hand, re-evaluating our failings helps us avoid making the same (or similar) mistakes twice. And on the other hand, reviewing our successes and achievements serve us doubly – as an affirmation of our capabilities, and as a solid foundation from which to further grow.

So let’s.

Facilitating Hindsight Learning Requires Structure

For purposes of this post, let’s use the three contexts of Executive Intelligence to ground our evaluation:

executive-intelligence-chart

STEP ONE – Take out a clean sheet of paper and create – and complete, as best you can, – the following table:

click for larger version

click for larger version

Note that both success and failure categories have been divided into two subsets – those that concluded as expected, and those that did not – because, that’s how things REALLY work.

STEP TWO – Notice the PIGs – the Patterns, Insights, and Gaps:

Patterns

  • What patterns do you see in your successes?
  • What patterns do you see in your failings?
  • What patterns do you see in the instances where your expectations turned out to be wrong?

Insights

  • What do you make of all that?
  • What do you “see” now that you didn’t before?
  • How do you “feel” about all of this?

Gaps

  • Where does it make sense for you to focus your attention, more readily and consistently, moving forward?
  • Based on your PIGs, what do you know you need to learn? UN-learn?
  • Assuming you get all this in place and taken care of, what gaps would likely STILL exist for you at the end of the day?

What Next?

What happens next is up to you. Similarly, what doesn’t happen next is up to you, too.

Regardless, spending some time with your Hindsights and PIGs will likely provide you with meaningful clarity and perspective.

Try it and see. 

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