The stories are awful, but youâll find itâs hard to pull your eyes away the text. In fact, each story seems worse than the one before. After reading them, you canât help but ask yourself: Can anyone really be that dumb?
What stories are these? They are reports of the exploits of the recipients of the annual Darwin Awards. To win a Darwin Award, you must have done something truly spectacular â spectacularly stupid, that is:
In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our speciesâ chances of long-term survival.
So what qualifies for a Darwin award? Here is a sampling of the feats that have justified an award:
One would be hard-pressed to come up with a comparable list for knowledge management professionals. There isnât much in the KM toolkit that is life-threatening. However, there is something we often fail to do that makes it harder for our work to reach a more highly evolved state. Whatâs this common lapse? We too often fail to conduct an after action review.
Whatâs involved in an after action review? Start by asking three basicquestions at the end of every project or phase:
By focusing on constant improvement, by eliminating the incorrect or unnecessary, you approach the Darwinian ideal of survival of the fittest. By failing to take this step, you threaten the upward trajectory of your work. Itâs that simple. Yet for many of us, taking the brief moment to review and revise can seem too hard.
The next time youâre tempted to skip an after action review, ask yourself the following question: If there were Darwin Awards for KM work, would any of your projects win?
[Photo Credit: Shehal Joseph]