“Becoming” is more important than “being.” Being is static; becoming is dynamic. Being works if things never change. Becoming is essential because things continually change.
A colleague nicknamed “Toyota Joe” (he was schooled in the methods of Toyota) told me of something he learned early in his career. His boss told him that success depends on one’s “Teachability Index” – a willingness to learn multiplied by a willingness to apply what is learned. The most successful people have a high level of both.
I thought about this. Learning without application is pointless. Why invest time, money and effort in learning if you’re not willing to apply what you’ve learned? Yet application without ongoing learning is self-limiting. You don’t improve. And if you’re content with not improving then your days are numbered.
Constant change demands continuous learning and application – continuous improvement.
I’ve adapted what I learned from Toyota Joe. I like to think of it as an Improvability Index because the goal is to keep improving. The Improvability Index equals the drive to learn multiplied by the drive to apply what is learned. Drive is more important than willingness. Drive manifests intent.
So what is your Improvability Index? How much drive to learn and apply do you have? How much better will you become? Given the changes impacting your organization, how much better do you need to become?
Let’s test your improvability. You’ve just learned this concept. Reflect for a few minutes on how you’ll apply it. For example, will you rate yourself on each of the two dimensions? Will you have your team members rate you? Will you have them rate themselves? Will you rate them? Will you debrief your comparative ratings? Will you do something else altogether?
Now record what you’ve decided. Recording something (in a format and medium you’re likely to review) is a major predictor of acting on it.
Again, what is your Improvability Index? Are you being or becoming?
Make it happen.
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