Adopt the Beginner’s Mind

While I am, of course, grateful to be in my final semester of my Master’s program, I’m actually feeling almost sad about it ending! I have met some amazing people accomplishing impressive feats and have learned so many interesting and helpful things. The program, Information and Learning Technologies, incorporates a heavy emphasis on design. The lessons have helped me to approach projects, products, systems and nearly everything I do with a new set of lenses.

A lesson that I found to be especially pertinent for members of our policyIQ community was presented by design expert Garr Reynolds who encourages designers to “adopt the beginner’s mind”. On his website, Reynolds quotes Steve Jobs who said, “Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation.” Reynolds encourages designers to “take a step back and approach your problem the way a child does, without preconceived notions of what can and cannot be done.” He goes on to describe how a beginner sees a world of options and opportunity, while an expert or someone who’s been around for a time begins to see fewer and fewer possibilities.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

How many times have you heard (or, like me, been guilty of uttering) some iteration of “this is the way it’s done”. Sometimes we do things in a particular way because we were handed an established process and we picked up where our predecessors left off. Other times we feel that we’ve paid our dues and taken the knocks to learn and arrive at the current method. In neither case can one unequivocally conclude that the current method is the end all be all.

Some new policyIQ clients are doing some pretty cool things. They are managing testing more efficiently than some veteran users. Some are automating their contract review processes and some are streamlining massive account reconciliation efforts. While some of our clients who have been using policyIQ for five, seven or nine years are managing policies and procedures or SOX documentation in pretty much the same way that they did in the beginning.


How long has it been since you took a step back and looked at your processes without preconceived notions of how things must be done?

If you’re still using email to track down the status of an approval…

If you’re guilty of reaching out to your team to determine where you might find the master version of a document…

If you’re calling around trying to find out who is responsible for that change in the process…

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of formal approval, shared administration of content, and communication features added in recent years…

…then it might be time to “adopt the beginner’s mind”.

Give us a holler. We will enjoy slipping on a new set of lenses and exploring new possibilities with you.


This entry was posted in Customer Relations, Industry News by Stephenie Buehrle. Bookmark the permalink.

About Stephenie Buehrle

Stephenie is the “solutions” expert on the policyIQ team. With RGP since 2004, she designs and develops solutions that capitalize on the best practices of the hundreds of companies that she has touched, while tailoring each configuration to meet the unique needs of each client. Before joining RGP and the policyIQ team, Stephenie enjoyed working as an independent consultant in the non-profit sector. Stephenie also previously performed analyst services for a major brewer ranging from roles in biological and chemical services to analytical roles in business process improvement and innovation. Stephenie quips that she still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, but hopes to spend her days helping others (companies, individuals, and communities) to realize their full potential.

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