June is here for good, so it was about time to define the value of the month. The AK value for June is “Creativity, risk and experimentation”. The definition provided for this value, according to the initial blog post is the following:
We encourage our people to take calculated risks and engage in playful experimentation. We welcome “trial and error” as a cornerstone of learning. We are not afraid to make mistakes because, after all, that’s often the best way to learn. We take risks and are open to are colleagues taking risks too, as long as we learn from them as a team and use them to make better decisions in the future.
As usually, I am going to briefly present my understanding of the value, hoping that this will not affect the rest of the AK team.
One of the nice things that exist in the Agro-Know philosophy is the fact that each team member is allowed (in fact not just allowed, I would say encouraged, to be more precise), to experiment and try alternative approaches in order to complete his/her tasks and achieve their goals. This is something that has to do with the approach followed inside Agro-Know when working on specific tasks; the tasks assigned to each team member are clearly defined and analyzed; however, a solid workflow for completing the task is not defined so each one is usually asked to explore all available options and select the most appropriate one according to his expertise. Of course, the experience of other team members is always available and can be shared in order to allow the person on charge avoid duplication of work or following paths that have already proven to be problematic. This saves both effort and frustration 😉
In case the selected solution is not working, then we can go back and evaluate the situation; identify what has gone wrong, explore alternatives and see how this will affect the delivery of the outcomes on the time specified.
Creativity is an important factor in this process; it allows us to find new approaches to solving an existing issue or even to reuse existing material for a new purpose. It fits perfectly in the philosophy of the 3 Rs: “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” of recycling but in a different context – not referring to materials but to ideas: Existing ideas and experiences can be reused and at the same time fresh ideas need to be tested before they are accepted or rejected. Even though some people are more creative than the others, there is still space for improvement; after all, we are talking about trial and error here!
Risk is another important factor for success; it may be hard to achieve goals without including a risky part in the plan. Taking a risk might sound like… well, risky; however, if a planned action has been evaluated and justified, then it might worth taking the risk. In the end, even the “safest” approaches might be risky, depending on the situation.
All three ingredients described here (creativity, risk and experimentation) are required when working in Agro-Know; our work is based on that and based on our previous experience, we have developed the recipe and we can develop lovely, high-quality outcomes when mixing them in the right proportion. If the proportion is not correct, we will just have to go back and check things again.
In any case, all feedback from this process is used in order to help us get better at what we are doing, like a precious lesson learned. We just need to make use of the experiences gained through the process, something that will allow us to avoid making the same mistake again, improve our selection process and criteria and of course our ability to evaluate specific situations.
It would be interesting to see what other AK team members have to say about the value of the month: In the comments to this post feel free to speak out your thoughts about the value of this month, express ideas, comments, give examples or even just upload a photo/picture that represents the way you understand the value.
Your contribution is not obligatory, but we would like to see 18 different comments – all of them before June 25th!!