28th August 2014

10,000 Hours Of Practice


Team Massive Result’s Thursday’s Thoughts

Please enjoy “10,000 Hours Of Practice” by Ian Kinnery

This refers to the concept popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in his bestselling book “Outliers”. Based on an original study by Anders Ericsson who found that it was spending significant hours in the course of “deliberate practice” that determined success, rather than innate or natural talent, Gladwell extolls the 10,000 hours rule.
How much importance you ascribe to talent and how much to deliberate practice is up to you but there is no denying the positive effect of deliberate practice.
Deliberate practice, rather than mere repetition, is an important concept. Many of us will have driven a car for more than 10, 000 hours, or run a business or managed people for more than 10, 000 hours but we cannot claim to be an expert as a result, because we have not been involved in deliberate practice.
Deliberate practice involves repetition, usually including observation and feedback with the sole purpose of getting better. In fact repeating these things without feedback and the conscious intent of getting better probably only serves to make us worse.
It is easy to think of sports players practicing deliberately; Tiger Woods repeatedly hitting balls from a bad lie in a bunker, Jonny Wilkinson endlessly kicking a rugby ball, tennis and table tennis players even use machines so that they can repeatedly practice returning a ball which has been delivered to them in a specific way.
The challenge of running a business does not sit easily alongside the concept of deliberate practice. Running a business involves a whole interconnected matrix of soft and hard skills. Running a business is ultimately a highly dynamic activity, things change in a heartbeat. No two situations are ever the same. Things are not predictable, they are unstable and because they involve people we are dealing with complex systems.
It is precisely because of this immediate, unpredictable nature that we need to find a way to “practice the swing”, so that we can learn how to make the best decisions and act in the most appropriate way in the rapidly, constantly changing daily hubbub that is an average day running a business.


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