1 min read

Using What You’ve Learned

A few years back I heard one of my music hero’s Jono Grant from Above & Beyond talk about their process in the studio.

He made a comment that stuck with me.

It went along the lines of “when we kick off a new project, we recite / talk through some of the hard-earned lessons and insights that we’ve made on previous projects.”

When the lights are on you and you’re under pressure, Jono said it’s all too easy to forget the things that you’ve learned from your previous experience.

You’re running the risk of making the same mistakes again and you’re missing opportunities to use previous insights, processes and tools that could improve the quality of your future work.

Chinese fishing nets in Kochin, India.
Chinese fishing nets in Kochin, India.

I’ve noticed this personally when I’m under a lot of pressure or when a project is coming off-track. I’ve missed entire chunks of my process and wonder why I’m struggling to make progress.

Jono mentioned reciting your key insights before a project kickoff is one way of bringing what you’ve learned to the front of your mind.

Medics use Checklist Manifesto.

I’m sure there are other ways too.

I’ve always thought there are a number of things that you have achieved at the end of a project. There’s the object, the actual product itself, and then there’s all that you learned. What you learned is as tangible as the product itself, but much more valuable because that’s your future.

—Jony Ive, 2018

How do you remember to use what you’ve learned?

Let me know on Twitter or send me an email.