Anne Ross, the Australian Sculptor does this. “I take a photo of my work at the end of the day every day. Then I put it next to the photo from the day before so I can see what difference I have made.”
It would seem natural that Anne takes a photo because her work is visual, but there is much more to it than that.
Usually when I work in organisations I start each meeting by asking “If we had had a useful meeting how would you notice by the end of it. Notice, not just know by the end of it…. Notice takes us to a different place. It takes our mind to the future and asks us to visualise what we would see that would tell us it had been useful.
Let’s take the example of performance management. If I ask a Manager how would you know someone’s improved, they might tell me that the sales problem will have gone. If I ask how would you notice someone’s improved, it directs their mind to what they will actually observe in the person, not just in management information. This allows them to see what’s different, be able to discuss these potential observations with the staff member and enhance their interaction as a result. They can scale the improvement in practical ways.
“Know” leaves us in the abstract, but just like Anne Ross, “notice” makes change small concrete and doable.
My thanks to the BRIEF crew Evan, Harvey and Chris for training me in this so powerfully.