Shu Ha Ri Model

Models are useful tools that helps understand our self and the growth process. Learning is a critical part of the growth process and I have always referred to the Shu-Ha-Ri concept as a model that help me with mapping out where i was along the process. It is a a very simple but POWERFUL concept and i am hope you find this useful as much as I have.


In this phase, the apprentice follow the rules that have been taught and rarely deviate from the rules. The apprentice learns by repetition of the same techniques that has been learnt, many times over until muscle memory is built.


The apprentice has learnt a number of approaches and could be from a number of Thought leaders. The apprentice begins to ask “why” questions and a quest to understand the principles underpinning the techniques that have been learnt. More importantly, at this stage the apprentice studies the context in which these techniques are applicable and desires to under why it work in those contexts.


At this stage, one is no longer an apprentice but a practitioner on their way to Mastery. One continues to learn from own experience, pay attention to patterns, shares new lines of thought around the subject matter. One is able to mentor and teach others own methods and techniques.

Often times, people are lost in the process and this model can help with identifying where you are on your journey and what could be next for you. It is worth noting that these phase could overlap in reality and it has been successfully used for personal development and organisational development, especially within organisations on their journey to being Agile.

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