Summary of Unlearn

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  • Applicable
  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples

Recommendation

Change happens little by little. Barry O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of ExecCamp, shows you how to discover small steps that can lead to big changes in your life. His “Cycle of Unlearning” offers a deceptively simple, effective framework for facilitating individual and organizational transformation. The cycle starts with recognizing that the things you think you know may keep you from reaching the next breakthrough. O’Reilly’s style is a bit academic, and he’s sometimes repetitive, but he consistently his framework’s ability to seed organizational transformation when people apply it consciously. Managers, CEOs and entrepreneurs will find worthwhile, if basic, lessons that can help your firm break out of a rut – even if you didn’t know it was in one. O’Reilly writes for anyone seeking new ways to move themselves and their firms forward. If that sounds familiar, maybe learning to “unlearn” is your next step.

About the Author

Barry O’Reilly founded Antennae, a management consulting firm, and ExecCamp, which trains executives to think like entrepreneurs.

 

Summary

Coming Back

In 2010, Serena Williams was ranked as the world’s number one female tennis player. But after she stepped on a piece of glass, she couldn’t get her game back in order even long after her foot healed. In 2012, she suffered a crushing defeat to a player ranked 111th. She doubted if she’d ever be on top again. Such doubts come when the methods that worked to get you to where you are today no longer work to keep you in place. How do you adapt? Often, the obstacle to change is an old method or mind-set that you need to “unlearn.”  

After her defeat, Williams unwound at Patrick Mouratoglou’s French Tennis Academy. She found his insights helpful, and hired him as her coach to prepare for Wimbledon. He helped her “unlearn” what she knew. Williams and Mouratoglou set their sights on a big goal – a comeback Grand Slam win – and focused on small changes to build trust and confidence. Their collaboration led to breakthroughs and strengthened Williams’s resolve to bounce back. In the summer of 2012, Williams won Wimbledon and the Olympics.

The “Unlearning Cycle: Unlearn, Relearn and Breakthrough”


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