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Learning From The Links

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Outline of some key ideas from Learning from the Links: Mastering Management Using Lessons from Golf (The Free Press, 2002)

Outline of some key ideas from Learning from the Links: Mastering Management Using Lessons from Golf (The Free Press, 2002)

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  • 1. Learning from the Links Mastering Management Using Lessons from Golf By David K. Hurst (Professional Manager and Fanatical Golfer) Speaker, Consultant At the Booz, Allen Classic Pro-Am in 2005 The Book and Writer
  • 2. Golf and Management are Taught Using the Same Faulty Theory of Learning and Change The Magazines Are the Same Management Golf • Well written and fun to read • Stories of the stars-of-the-hour and their ‘secrets’ • Assume that thought always precedes action • All you have to do is follow instructions… 2
  • 3. Imagine what it would be like if your Boss set your golf goals in the same way that he “helps” you set your business goals “helps” Your Boss You 3 3 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 4. It’s time to set goals for next year. What do you plan to shoot in an average round on your home course? Well…O.K., based on past performance and allowing for some improvement it looks like 85… 4 3 4 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 5. That’s totally unacceptable! Par is 72 and we won’t take anything worse than that! What have you got on the first? It’s a par 4 isn’t it? Well I don’t have the card filled in hole- by-hole; that was an overall score…I’ll have to break it down… 5 3 5 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 6. I’ve got a five on the first – it’s tough opening hole and sometimes it takes a while to get going… Are you crazy? You can’t start that way and hope to shoot par or better…what’s the best score you ever made on that hole? 6 3 6 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 7. Well I once made a three, but I was playing off the white tees… See…you can do it! Write in 3! O.K…if you say so…. 7 3 7 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 8. Now look at the second…it’s a par 5 and you should birdie that! But I’ve never reached that green in two shots; it’s just too far for me… With the new composite driver you’re getting that will be no problem. You’re just too negative in your thinking. Write in 4! 8 3 8 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 9. But I haven’t seen the driver yet and it will take some time to get used to it Nonsense! The manufacturers say it will take strokes off your game right away and all the pros are using it! 9 3 9 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 10. Later… Later… What’s that triple-bogey 7 on the par 4 Well it looks short but it’s a tough 6th? It looks like an easy hole to me dogleg left and I slice the ball…I usually have a blow-up somewhere on the course and I’ve put it there… That’s ridiculous! We can’t stand surprises like that! No doubles or triples allowed under any circumstances! Take them off the card! 10 3 10 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 11. Later still… still… That par on the 18th should have been a birdie but we’ll let it go at that for now. What’s your total score? Well if I can play like that, I’ll shoot 69! Excellent! I like your positive attitude. Submit that number and we’ll watch you do it hole by hole! 11 3 11 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 12. Maybe I need some lessons… It’s too late for that now; anyway, we’ve slashed the training budget. You’re on the tee and don’t forget the incentive plan! 12 3 12 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 13. This kind of goal-setting doesn’t work for goal-setting doesn’t golf and it doesn’t work for management! doesn’t The Problem • The stress is on performance instead of learning • The focus is on results instead of processes • Senior managers sit as judges rather than coaches • Stretch performance goals when tied to financial incentives lead to cheating and gaming the system Most budgets are tools of organizational repression! 13 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 14. First We Need a Better Theory of Learning: the top-down method is too indirect top-down Instructor Learner INSTRUCTIONS 14 Expert Novice 14 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 15. Actions create feelings that must be translated into words; and then words have to be translated back into feelings! Instructor Learner INSTRUCTIONS First the expert has to be able to express what he does in words, then issue instructions and then the learner has to translate words into Action! 15 Expert Novice 15 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 16. Learning Gets Lost in Translation! Instructor Learner INSTRUCTIONS There are a thousand ways to swing a golf club and each one feels slightly different. But there are only a few words to describe them. Everyone’s body is unique; what works for one person often won’t work for another 16 Expert Novice 16 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 17. We Need a “Bottom-up” Theory of Learning “Bottom-up” that begins with behavior, not thinking Instructor Learner The solution is to start with action, setting up the conditions for learning-by-doing, learning-by-doing, imitation and feedback a.k.a. “the scientific method” “the method” Observation and Imitation Timely, specific feedback 17 Expert Novice 17 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 18. The problem in management is that budgeting mixes up the future (forecasting) with the past (performance management) • Separate the future from the past • Use rolling forecasts to predict financial results • Base rewards retrospectively on actual performance • Compare actual outcomes with competitors and industry • Use a bottom-up performance improvement approach bottom-up that focuses on processes and allows people to learn through controlled experimentation 18 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 19. The bottom line for golfers and managers who want to develop their talent is… is… • There are no quick fixes and no one to copy: you have to find your own “swing” • Get a good coach whose teaching style matches your learning style • Work on only one thing at a time, holding everything else as stable as possible • Focus on execution, not outcomes; stay in the present, doing what you have to do • Try to get timely, specific, visceral feedback ; only perfect practice makes perfect • Things may get worse before they get better… 19 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst
  • 20. An Integrating Diagram Must s Helped by Do Built by cu Wi Strategic Fo Commitment ll Frameworks Process ACTION! Could Can Do Do Capability Developed by Deliberate Practice 20
  • 21. The “Do” Loop “Do” Goal 21
  • 22. This is just a very small sample of the material covered in my book Learning from the Links I teach on EMBA programs, consult to organizations and run executive development seminars. Together with a golf professional colleague, I design and run joint golf and management development programs. The teaching approach used in both disciplines is bottom-up Contact details: Email: david@davidkhurst.com Website: www.davidkhurst.com 22 Learning from the Links: Presentation by David K. Hurst