Unlike a few years ago, nowadays we read everywhere that failures are good, we should not have fear of failures and that they even are necessary for our success. This is absolutely true! We can learn from each and every failure and try to do it better next time. As a true team player and a success-oriented leader we not only want to benefit ourselves from our failures, but it is also extremely important to us that the members of our team benefit from our newly acquired knowledge.

Question: How can we systematically express our lessons learned in words and make them comprehensible for us and others?

There are a variety of methods and models applied in the personal and organizational knowledge management. In this blog post, I would like to share with you the idea of „MicroArticle“ by Helmut Willke.

A MicroArticles is a perfect tool to bring ones personal and the organizational knowledge together. Using this tool the author writes down his own learning experiences, insights, ideas, expertise etc. in a certain form and order.

Willke specifies the following basic layout for this kind of knowledge-based article, which he also describes as a comprimized form of a case study (Willke, 2004):

  1. Subject: Start with a headline
  2. Storyline: Describe the context and circumstances
. The art of storytelling and the story itself are significant. Make sure, that your reader can easily visualize the described experiences and can link your story with their own experiences.
  3. Insights: Describe your lessons learned. Therefor you definitely need to dive deep in your story first and analyze the facts and the reasons for your results – good or bad ones. At at the same time, you should be aware of the fact, that writing a MicroArticle is not about doing detailed scientific work. Instead, focus on questions like: What have I learned precisely from this situation? What do I recommend and why is my recommendation useful
  4. Conclusion
  5. Follow-up questions

What do you need to take note of before you start banging into the keys?

  • Based on your expertise, experience, insights or ideas you want to create and share newly acquired knowledge.
  • Before writing down the new knowledge, it is mandatory to deal deeply with the subject and to understand it first yourself.
  • Only then you begin writing: structure and formulate your article as comprehensibly and comprehensibly as possible
  • Limit the length to one page (DINA4)
  • Apply always the above mentioned specific text structure for MicroArticles, especially 2) and 3).
  • Share if you care: make your MicroArticle accessible to interested people in your network, team or organization.
  • MicroArticles are to be maintained whenever necessary because our insights change with our experiences.

It is recommended to publish the MicroArticles in a database. Furthermore, you get the most out of them, if you also tag the content with relevant keywords. To generate even more benefits, use software, that allows you to add links between different articles.

Once you have a routine in writing MicroArticles, you can use them in many different ways, both for your personal and for organizational knowledge management. Using MicroArticles to harvest knowledge in project teams or writing down individual learnings, or collecting content for books, educational material, workshops, blog posts are only some of the uses.

I wonder if you have ever tried to write down your lessons learned new. Please share your insights below. If you have further questions about lessons learned or personal or organizational knowledge management, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Click here and book your free consultation call and ask me your questions. I will be happy to support you.

Kind regards

Azadeh Eshaghi

Azadeh Eshaghi Consulting