The After Action Review: A Leader’s Guide

RapidStart Leadership

How do you improve your team with an After Action Review? The After Action Review (AAR) is a deceptively simple yet powerful way to stimulate the growth and performance of any group of people. As an organizational learning tool it has been used to transform small teams and entire armies into … The After Action Review: A Leader’s Guide Read More ».

How to Perform a High Quality After Action Review

Nathan Magnuson

The After Action Review (AAR) was originally developed by the U.S. Here are several simple tips for performing high quality after action reviews. Share it with the appropriate parties – a report for the boss and action items for the process owners. After action reviews might seem like extra work, but it’s critical work. Organizational Effectiveness AAR after action review evaluation feedback


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Set and Forget Leadership: How to Delegate So You Won’t Get Burned

RapidStart Leadership

Delegating Leadership Skills RapidStart Leadership Blog after action review delegation micromanagement Ron Popiel set and forget leadership

How Conduct a Remarkably Better Post-Mortem Review

Let's Grow Leaders

Ditch the Post-Mortem and Hold a Post-Project Celebration If you’re like most managers we talk with, you know the importance of post-mortem reviews. But unless your project ends in disaster, it’s easy to skip the review and move on to the next […]. The post How Conduct a Remarkably Better Post-Mortem Review appeared first on Let's Grow Leaders. Career & Learning Project Management after action review post-mortem review project management

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Change the Game: 7 Ways to Build Teammates Who Can Do More

RapidStart Leadership

Building Teams and Culture Leadership Concepts after action reviews change the game delegation Edge Method feedback leadership manager vs leader team cultureHow do we increase the odds of “winning” with the team we have? At the beginning of any game, everyone starts with the same number of players on the board. And in the rush to get things done, we focus on moving those players around the best we can.

Do you Want to Become More Capable? Or, Your Team? – Learn to Conduct Your Own After Action Review(s)

First Friday Book Synopsis

Imagine you had enough money to hire a one-on-one companion, a coach, for every employee. What would happen? First, every employee would be noticeably more productive. Second, every employee would stretch to become better. You would have someone saying, all the time, to each and every employee, “you did this well, and this is what [.]. Randy's blog entries

Team Learning from reviewing what works and how to improve

Mike Cardus

Do you facilitate a team debrief or after-action review? Have you wondered how to facilitate a team debrief through a learning and review process? The post Team Learning from reviewing what works and how to improve appeared first on

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Now’s the Time to Reflect on Your Internal Communications Effectiveness During the Pandemic


Think of this as your “after action review.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve heard many anecdotal stories about things that worked and things that didn’t – from communications strategies to leadership styles.

How Do I Build Leadership Tenacity and Grit?

Let's Grow Leaders

Do after-action reviews. How do you tap into the grit and tenacity when you are exhausted? In this week’s Asking for a Friend I speak with World Class Ultra Triathlete, Kurt Madden, who is also CEO of The Collaborative, about leadership tenacity and grit. What is tenacity?

To better manage and understand yourself and work – you need to seek different patterns

Mike Cardus

In the video above, I share: One simple and easy process to review and reflect on your and your team’s work. Working with an agile-team, we chose to replace their after-action review process with Distinctive :: Working Well :: Small Improvements.

Complexity patterns recognition and back to work examples

Mike Cardus

One of the best ways to work with complexity patterns is to create create a cadence of habit with your team and self to gather information in the present and review that information regularly. . Debriefs or after-action reviews develop this cadence or habit. .

Lessons from the Great Fishing Contest

Lead Change Blog

After all, he and my mom had scraped together enough on a small-town pastor’s salary to buy me some classy fishing gear. Today, we’d call it an after-action review. But after I had a way to share in their joy, I felt really good about the day and everything I’d done. It was the day of the Great Fishing Contest. I was about seven years old. We lived in a small town with a creek that ran right through the center of the town square.

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Tony interviewed about his new novel

Tony Mayo

Tony Mayo Executive Coach. This podcast is an interview about Tony’s new novel, Crimes of Cunning: A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace. He is interviewed by longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with […]. The post Tony interviewed about his new novel appeared first on Tony Mayo.

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Surviving Success

Nathan Magnuson

If you’ll cultivate the discipline of conducting After Action Reviews (the term the U.S. military uses for the briefing that occurs after every mission) to be sure you think deeply about what worked; what didn’t and what can be improved, this will create energy in the moment and momentum for your next challenge. Today''s guest post comes courtesy of Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness at Chick-fil-A and bestselling author.

Learning is More Than a Spectator Sport


After the training was finished, I’d head back to the office and the material I was given in the program would sit on my desk for a week or two as I got involved in the day to day craziness. Have an “after action review” to allow them to debrief on what they learned and how they’ll use that learning in the future.

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Hansei and 6 Pitfalls to Avoid in Reflective Exercises


"Sei" means to look back upon, review, and examine oneself. By effectively, I mean not just identifying lessons and feeling good about it, but putting those lessons into actions the next time. Here are some common pitfalls that should be avoided in any form of reflective exercise: No Actions, No Results: In many other methodologies and cultures, Hansei is termed differently, like retrospectives in Scrum and After Action Reviews in American Culture (developed by US Army).

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Change Leadership: Overcoming Change Fatigue and Organizational Burnout

Strategy Driven

Steve Jobs, after reviewing hundreds of projects when he returned to Apple, famously focused all of Apple on creating and delivering just four great products – consumer and professional versions of a portable (what became the iPhone and iPad) and a desktop (what became today’s Macs). This dynamic, on-going learning and refinement has been key to his becoming and remaining one of the top tennis players in the world, long after many of his peers have left the game.

Make Sure to Learn from Your…. Successes


When we reach (or beat) our goals, do we conduct a robust ‘after action review’ to get to the bottom of what went right? Books/Reviews Guest Posts at QAspire Managing Career Self Growth career Guest Post Leadership(Guest post by Julie Winkle Giulioni ). - – - – -. Learn from your mistakes.”. How frequently do we hear that – or something similar? Failure is touted as one of the most powerful teachers we’ll ever meet.

Pre-Animate: Project Planning Team Building Activity

Mike Cardus

The team is called together to do an after-action-review or post-mortem or de-brief. Different from After-Action, Pre-Animate asks team members to use their existing knowledge, skills, and planning at a time when impact can really occur in the beginning. What specific actions were taken by the team for us to be so successful? The actions and steps for success can be explored to see how the team can implement them into action.

28 Leadership Development Recommendations for your Individual Development Plan

Great Leadership By Dan

Do employees speak up, challenging the leader''s plans, decisions, and actions if they see a gap? They know that once internalized, these beliefs and values affect the norms that influence day-to-day actions, determine what’s important, reinforce appropriate behavior, and change attitudes. It requires a level of personal awareness, humility and courage to actually practice integrity in the microcosm of our daily actions, but great leaders are masters of this simple skill.

Good Leaders Are Good Learners

Harvard Business

Finally, leaders who are in learning mode conduct fearless after-action reviews, determined to glean useful insights from the results of their experimentation. Dave Wheeler for HBR. Although organizations spend more than $24 billion annually on leadership development, many leaders who have attended leadership programs struggle to implement what they’ve learned. It’s not because the programs are bad but because leadership is best learned from experience.

The 5 Elements of a Strong Leadership Pipeline

Harvard Business

They have after-action reviews, they talk about bad news, and they exhibit traits of what we call a “learning culture.” Paul Garbett for HBR. Investments in traditional leadership development are often misguided and a waste of money. It’s not that development itself isn’t important. In a Deloitte study of 7,000 organizations this year, 89% of executives rated “ strengthening the leadership pipeline ” an urgent issue.

Bring in Outside Experts to Mentor Your Team

Harvard Business

More-formal methods, such as after-action reviews, are useful too. Organizations depend increasingly on independent, temporary workers, even for mission-critical work. We call this subset of freelancers who do strategic work in companies or nonprofit organizations agile talent. They contribute technical expertise that an organization does not already have to a critical project or initiative.

Every Manager Needs to Practice Two Types of Coaching

Harvard Business

Performance reviews haven’t disappeared quite yet. “Despite all the buzz about abolishing formal performance reviews, the vast majority of organizations continue to employ traditional vehicles for sharing performance-related information,” reported a recent study by Human Resource Executive. People are more likely to ask for help if guidance is offered in informal reviews. provide a forum for discussion and review of multiple events and competencies.

Leadership Development Should Focus on Experiments

Harvard Business

After reflecting on this input, each manager was required to carry out at least one safe-to-fail experiment. As one person noted in her after-action review, “By doing our experiment at one site instead of implementing at all 30 of them at once, it took the pressure off. Leadership development represents a huge and growing investment for most organizations.

The Boomers are Leaving! – How to Create and Implement a Knowledge.

Strategy Driven

Some knowledge transfer methods to consider are mentoring, social networks, Communities of Practice, After Action Reviews, and storytelling programs. An example of an objective for your mentoring program could be that after the first three months, a mentee will be able to complete a critical task in half as much time as they did before being mentored.

Managing On-Demand Talent

Harvard Business Review

Closely related to this is the importance of after-action review: getting agile talent right depends on continuous improvement in selecting the right talent, building the partnership, and figuring out how the work is planned, communicated, and executed. Dave Wheeler FOR HBR. To stay nimble and competitive, many organizations today rely on expert talent sourced from anywhere in the world, in a variety of ways that fall outside the traditional employment model.

3 Ways to Take Action in the Face of Uncertainty

Harvard Business Review

“There has to be an appropriate culture of freedom to fail,” Petraeus advises, “as long as failure (as well as success) is followed by a very careful after-action review, to understand what transpired, why it happened, and then how to reduce the chances of it happening in the future.” If you’ve ever caught a deer in your headlights, you’ve seen that the first reaction to uncertainty is to freeze.

How John F. Kennedy Changed Decision Making for Us All

Harvard Business Review

And yet, as I write in more detail in Collaboration , after the Bay of Pigs Kennedy brilliantly retooled his group decision-making process. Then, on the morning of October 15, 1962, President Kennedy and his team learn that the Soviets are placing nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba—missiles that a few minutes after being fired would kill eighty million Americans. Late in the evening on October 18, 1962, Attorney General Robert Kennedy squeezes into the front seat of his car.

Sears Has Come Back from the Brink Before

Harvard Business Review

It’s easy to suggest that perhaps it’s simply run its course; after all, over the last 50 years, the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has shrunk from about 60 years to less than 20, as more than one business thinker has pointed out. Army uses after-action reviews to change course, as the Pascale article explains in excellent detail.

Making Virtual Teams Work: Ten Basic Principles

Harvard Business Review

Then periodically do "after-action reviews" to evaluate how things are going and identify process adjustments and training needs. Consider this now familiar view from the field: "I''ve run a virtual team for the past 18 months in the development and launch of [a website.] I am located in Toronto, Canada. The website was designed in Zagreb, Croatia. The software was developed in St. John''s, Newfoundland; Zagreb, Croatia; Delhi, India; and Los Angeles, USA.