Learning Minute - Reverse Shadow

How do you create teams that are cross-functional ?

How often are we sitting with key resources who are the only one’s who know how to do something and don’t have the time to spend training up others ?

This is where the reverse shadow come into play.

Normally what we would do is assign someone to shadow the expert, only have you ever really learnt anything by observing ? Did you learn to ride a bicycle by observing or by riding ?

The reverse shadow places the person ‘learning’ at the front with the expert being the shadow. The team accepts that it will initially take a little longer for things to get done but in the long run, having someone else able to do the work will improve throughput.

Instead of the expert being assigned as the lead and going to the meetings and being ‘the face’, the learner is WITH THE SUPPORT of the expert.

This reverse shadow allows the learner to learn by getting his or her hands dirty.

Challenge Your Self!

Try it out! Create a reverse shadow for one of your more constrained resources. What would it look like ? How would the expert support the learner ?

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