Why it’s harder to be excellent


How do you maintain the work performance of yourself & your team members?
How do you help your team to be great at what they do?
And why is it getting harder to maintain excellence?


I came across a Quartz at Work article that stated:

As our amount of accumulated knowledge increases exponentially, the minimum amount of learning we need to do in order to productively participate or be a top performer in society increases. In other words, accelerated societal change necessitates accelerated intelligence.


The key to work performance excellence is accelerated intelligence which requires accelerated learning.

Michael Simmons, in his article Why being great at your job is harder than it used to be shows that the amount to learn in order to be great is increasing exponentially.

We also need to learn more because our existing knowledge is becoming obsolete at a lightening pace. For example, without constant upskilling an Engineers knowledge is in serious decline in less than 10 years


So, what do we do to remain excellent?

The explosion of knowledge and the corresponding deterioration make one thing clear: we need to put a bigger priority on constant learning. Just like food, exercise and sleep.

Yet to do this effectively we need to implement the law of accelerated intelligence.


The law of accelerated intelligence formula

People who want to be top performers now and in the future need to optimise the accelerated learning formula:

Accelerated Learning = Time Spent Learning X Learning Rate X Intelligence Augmentation X Learning Valuable Knowledge at the Right Time.


Here is the formula breakdown:

Time spent learning: Implement the 5-Hour Rule: The minimum amount of learning that professionals should do on a weekly basis is five hours.

Learning rate: The ability to increase our learning rate is not dependent on our intelligence. It’s dependent on mastering the skill of learning how to learn.

Intelligence augmentation: We live in a time when our own intelligence can be dramatically amplified by affordable, powerful tools. Online learning, videos, podcasts etc make learning far reaching and social media connects us to a expansive professional network.

Identify valuable knowledge at the right time. The value of knowledge isn’t static. It changes as a function of how valuable other people consider it and how rare it is. Learning at the leading edge of your game is the key.


Now what do we do if our top performers are waning and need support?

My advice is to support your top performers to implement an individual accelerated intelligence plan. Simply follow these steps:


1.Make learning a priority. Give and your team members time in their week to learn. Encourage them to block time in their schedule.


2.Create a Professional Development Plan. Identify the areas for knowledge growth and then set a plan that identifies how the knowledge can be gained and the budget for the learning.


3.Place importance on networking & professional connections. Encourage your team members to grow their professional networks by connecting through industry groups and online platforms like LinkedIn.


4.Next time you hold a team meeting schedule an Innovation hour with your team to explore the new learning opportunities in your business and industry. Make this a regular occurrence with the aim to learn at the edge of innovation.


Now if remaining excellent is proving difficult for your team members then there may be more required to manage the situation. Supporting teams to be excellent is a big challenge for business owners and managers.


The problem? Most approaches fail to deliver sustained performance improvement.


If you would like help in this area, maybe we could have a chat and explore how the team at Business By Design can help.




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