Habits and Shu Ha Ri

Habits and Shu Ha Ri

Whatever happened to Shu Ha Ri? It was the bees-knees of learning processes about 4 years ago. Now crickets...or perhaps I'm not moving in the right circles.

Anywhooo, had a lunch chat with the lovely Paul Hughes from CultureAmp. (If you're wondering, he ate healthy carrots and tuna, I scoffed down a cheeky carbonara left over). We were talking about the concept of embedding a scaffolding for quality that teams can pull down on as needed.

I mentioned the concept of atomic habits wrt to quality with the aim of improving quality without the expectation of having highly motivated teams. Cos lets face it, even the best of us are not motivated all the time. Me? I love running, but I hate getting out for those first 100 metres, and when it's cold its super hard to get out there. I've learned to create strategies and structures even when I feel unmotivated.

So let's make it easy to adopt habits that help improve quality without having to think twice about it.

But as Paul pointed out, the problem with doing stuff without thinking twice is sometimes, you should think twice. For example, when it comes to risk which is pretty context dependent. So how do you encourage people to think about risk slowly but think fast about other things?

Perhaps I mused, its ok to not be perfect on the whole risk thing to start with. After all, risk is something you come to respect through experience. Some-one can tell you all about potential risks of not sticking your finger in the electricity socket, but really you only come to appreciate the value of that advice on application.

That's where Shu Ha Ri comes into the picture. It's ok to not get it all right the first time. Keep working on it, and in time you will begin to develop a rich mental model of risk. Then you can continue to engineer product – without thinking twice about it.