#20: Don't just learn your role, learn the system.

To succeed in a role, it is often not enough to learn your job. You must also learn the system.

How does your organisation work? Reporting lines, structure, strategic direction — these are important, but even more important is understand the culture and learn how work actually gets done. Are meanings for collaborative problem solving, or for ratifying decisions made in private? Who is well-connected with information and influence? Whose approval must you seek for which decisions?

In addition, seek to uncover organisational history — how did we get here? Why things the way they are? Your organisation is not the Platonic ideal of a rational organisation; it is a system that comprises, in large part, the interactions of people operating via bounded rationality.

Related: 2, 10, 10, 13b1