Now that the business has launched we're finding that we're a lot busier and it's harder to find the time to blog when there are so many other things to work on. However rather than being less valuable, I think at this time the blog is even more valuable. In addition to keeping our friends up to date with what we're doing, and getting input on the many issues we no doubt have ahead of us, this blog is a great place for planning and reflection. I'm 2/3 of the way through an MBA at AGSM and a key theme throughout the program is what they call the 'Action Learning Cycle'. The Action Learning Cycle is quite simple. It says that for anything you do you go through a 4 stage cycle which you should continuously repeat if you want to keep improving what you're doing.
As in the above diagram, the 4 stages are:
At the moment we're spending a huge amount of time taking action. We're implementing many of the things we've been planning for most of the year and working to get the business up and running. Doing this leaves little time for reflection, planning and learning. And that's where this blog comes in. Knowing that we want to write 3 posts a week makes us sit down and think, 'what are 3 important things for us this week that we can write about?'. That's a great piece of reflection and planning in itself and writing the actual posts is even better. Take the recent post about our Facebook Page strategy. I'd done some basic research and planning before we implemented the page, but writing the post forced me to sit down and reflect in detail on how it had gone, learn from that then plan our next moves. And I now have a written record of that reflection, learning and planning that I can go back to as we take action in the next steps of building out the page. And the added bonus of doing this process via a blog is that I got some excellent thoughts and ideas from the anonymous poster who shared their thoughts in the post. It was a similar story with the post about interviewing for our first permanent hire.
Even though there's so much to do, and it would be very easy to neglect this blog I think there's huge value in continuing with it.
How do you take time out to reflect, learn and plan?