Sonia Apondi
4 min readFeb 22, 2022


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I am a believer in the principle of continuous learning. My principle is drawn from Bliss Tacy who narrates that continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field. Ladies and gentlemen I was inspired to enroll in the McKinsey Forward Program to learn new skills that would challenge me to become the best version of myself.

My experience at McKinsey Forward Program has been amazing and awesome. I learned notable lessons that I intend to apply at my workplace. Some of my top 3 lessons were on different mindsets, problem-solving, and habits that individuals need to unlearn. A mindset is a series of self-perceptions or beliefs people hold about themselves. These determine behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. For example, believing you are either ‘intelligent’ or ‘unintelligent’. From the different mindsets, I will incorporate the growth mindset which states that my basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. I learned the following from the growth mindset drivers:

A growth mindset allows me to embrace failure and learn from it.

A growth mindset is critical to adopting learning-oriented behavior.

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People who believe that effort matters respond with more positive, sophisticated strategies to tasks and increase their learning as time goes on.

Learning from failure causes substantial changes in the brain throughout life and is vital for resilience.

Problem-solving: I was able to learn about the various tools for problem-solving such as SMART, Problem statement worksheet, issue tree, hypothesis tree, prioritization matrix, work plan worksheet, and influence model. The SMART problem solving stood out for me whereby I’ll explore the following at my workplace:

At my workplace, I’d like to come up with a Document Management system that would be used to track documents, reduce paper load, ease retrieval of documents and link all staff members in a way that they can access the documents from where they are. How the SMART problem solving would help me:

S- Specific- Being able to identify different document management software and come up with a detailed outline on how my organization would benefit from the software. Why should my workplace adopt the software?

M- Measurable — This is a measurable result that will be instrumental in helping me determine that the problem will be truly solved. I’ll work with

A-Actionable — It states that the problem should point to the action required to solve the problem. My action plan for the document management system is to conduct online research on different software that would best suit the organization. Reaching out to my friends to understand what type of E- filing system they use.

R- Relevant- It affirms that my problem question should be relevant to everyone involved in the situation such as Directors, stakeholders, and my peers at the workplace. My solution would be relevant because we have a challenge on how to store documents online i.e. using dropbox and Google drive whereas other options can be used. The current Dropbox folder is full and has to be cleared from time to time to allow more storage.

T- Time-bound- It means setting a time frame and working with a guideline to complete on time. I am working with a stipulated time to enable me to finish the work by March 31, 2022

Unhealthy preparation: This type of habit left me asking myself whether I’m investing the time and energy that I need to set myself for success. I was intrigued by the manner in which it touched on some aspects that affect me as an individual such as:

Lack of sleep or exercise- More and often, I have found myself working without rest which makes me exhausted, tired, and even lose my momentum. This concept reminded me of the proverb that says ‘’ all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy ‘’ (Samuel Smiles). I would change this by setting aside 2 hours daily and avoiding working during weekends to have enough rest.

Cramming — It’s amassing a lot of information in a short period of time leading to superficial processing. There are times that I’ve found myself learning lots of short courses in a short period of time. The pressure that comes when one course colludes with another course at the same time isn’t easy. I will ensure that I enroll in a few short courses to enable me to have an in-depth knowledge of what I’m learning.

These were my major key takeouts from the McKinsey Forward Program. The lessons were informative and mind-blowing. I look forward to join the next sessions.