Most every professional athlete who reaches the top of his or her respective sport will tell you that it took a lot of hard work and practice to get there. Malcom Gladwell calls this the “10,000 hour” rule in his book, Outliers. It’s a process of focusing on a very few things and honing them to the point that the basics become second nature and the execution is nothing short of remarkable.
It’s not trying to learn how to do 5000 things well. It’s learning 5 things and doing them 5000 times.
The secret for greatness isn’t getting to a point where one doesn’t need to practice anymore, but it’s realizing that greatness comes from practicing the right things in a consistent manner.
When it comes to the evaluation process – the fourth perspective of revise comes into play here.
Revising is more than knowing what to do over (redo) and what to never do again (revoke). It is the process of continually tweaking what works to make it a little bit better. Until you gain experience in something, you won’t know what little, minor changes to make along the way.
For example, in our evaluation of a large group event, we are definitely going to make sure there are trash cans available to collect all the trash (redo). But the location of the trash cans and how often we work to empty them will be tweaked based on our observations (revise).
The act of revising can take many forms in the evaluation process…
· Prioritizing differently.
· Changing the timing of different elements.
· Devising a new strategy to overcome an obstacle.
· Preparing more intentionally.
· Making minor changes instead of major ones.
The classic line of “not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater” is part of the revise perspective.
The Japanese call this “kaizen” or continuous improvement. It sees improvement as a direction or trajectory, getting rid of waste or unproductive practices along the way. When we evaluate an experience with the perspective of revise we’re asking…
· What could be better?
· Is there something I can improve upon?
· If an element didn’t work, at what point in the process did it fail?
The perspective of revise is an important part of evaluation when reflecting on an traditional events. You know you’ll have to repeat the event again, so how can you make it better, more relevant, more successful without losing that sense of tradition (those elements that people connect with every time the event happens)?
One final thought: If an experience goes poorly, there may be a temptation to use the perspective of revoke (throw it all out) when it may only be small changes that need to occur. That’s why the process of evaluation is so important – to begin to answer the “why” before you continue or discontinue the “what.”
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