Leaders are learners – are you?

To lead is to learn, and often the best learning comes from looking outside of your immediate sphere of reference. Examples of success in unrelated fields to our work shine a new perspective on what’s possible, and help our ability to solve problems from the vantage of surprise, free from preconceived ideas.

As founder of Umano, I am relentless about building a culture and practice of continuous learning. The pendulum swings faster than we expect or want. One moment my team and I are confidently trekking a path, the next we’re falling off it. As leaders, we need to know when to adapt, reinvent and how to do it. Teams that thrive are those that have the insights at hand, act quickly and with precision to capture advantage. We all know that we either adapt or die. James Kerr nails it on the head when he writes about the NZ All Blacks culture in Legacy*: “Sustainable competitive advantage is achieved through the development of a continuously self-adjusting culture. Adaptation is not a recreation, but continual action, so plan and respond.”

Britain’s Olympic Cyclists call it ‘marginal gains’. In preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, where they won 7 out of 10 gold medals, they put their success down to the idea that if you broke down everything that goes into riding a bike, and improve each of them by 1%, you build a winning margin when you put them together.

The team at Umano is excited to have launched its company-wide insights service. Since starting two years ago, we’ve researched data from the delivery practices of multi-national enterprises to start-ups, and have created ~100 metrics that measure software delivery team performance. Whether you need the facts to make your case for change, size the problem, or codify success, our mission is to support leaders like you to have the insights at hand, act quickly and with precision to capture opportunity. If leaders are continuously learning and improving, the evolutionary path being trekked is sure to ascend.

*Kerr, James. Legacy. Little, Brown Book Group