by Martin Eliasson
2007-01-31 21:19:45

Getting more done as leader

Scouting started 100 years ago from other peoples ideas. If our past can forsee our future, our success in the next 100 years will be the result of our abillity to adopt and explore new ideas from other people.

I'm planning on writing a series of articles based on ideas and proven best practices from other organizations in order to show how we can achieve much more as scout leaders.

The main concepts which will be repeated many times over will be:
  • Constant improvement
  • Removing waste
  • If you do what you always do you get the result you always get
  • Imitate winners
  • Visual leadership

Being a leader requires time and effort as anyone who have tried knows. And we scouts have not monopoly on all good ideas and practices. And all the good ideas we have we may fail to communicate. And there are many good ideas out there that other people have that we fail to explore and adapt. And since scouting is a movment centered on ideas, I think it's a main goal for any scout leader to take some time testing new ideas. Remember: BP once said:

"damn the rules - lets experiment"

10 years of imporving

My first steps in improving scouting goes way back in my youth when I learned the art of evaluating. In scouting we practice learning by doing which means it's alwys okay to do misstakes if you are prepared to learn from those mistakes.

In the forthcoming article 10 years of evaluating I will tell the tale of the hike Vandraren and how 10 years of evaluating has improved the hike.

Removing waste

Removing waste is an idea I've adopted from the Toyota Production System (TPS).

We don't build cars, but logisitcs is a part of our dailly acitivitie. Logistics isn't just a support issue, it´s a core thing to teach because you normally learn organisational skills before you learn leadership skills.

If you do what you always do you get the result you always get

Imitate winners

Why not? We certainly haven't anu monopoly on good idéas.

Visual leadership

Learning by reading is a very new form of learning. Immitating others, on the other hand, is something we have evolved to do. Somewhere between immitating others and reading an instruction we have the old way of communicating by drawing images.

We recently went on a hike and before the hike, our scouts got an instruction on what to do during the hike. None of what was written was done. There was however one image in the instruction, an image on how to set up a wind shelter, and our scouts put up their wind shelter exactly the way it looked in the instruction.

Illustrations also have the power of manipulating symbols in a direct way that is easier to discuss around because it can be more free from errors of interpretations of text.