It now week 7, half way through this semester already! Things are getting harder and more challenging to be “right”. So... What is “right”?
Mike’s Bikes had given me a big challenge this week. Our team had decided on a new strategy, which was quite complicated since we could not just make a guess on how much we should spend on each department but had to be accurate in order to be successful. Romero-Pereda (2012) indicated that “Re-evaluating and re-framing our goals, values and beliefs is a more complex way of processing information and involves a more sophisticated way of engaging with an experience." I believed that from the past 6 weeks experiences, everyone including myself had learnt lots about the duties of our own role (for me, marketing!) and how Mike’s Bikes works. Coordination is a key to be successful I would say. I think everyone will understand how important coordination is. For example, I had to understand what our financial status is in order to calculate how much we can afford on marketing expense. Moreover, I had to know what R&D did in order to plan the strategy for promoting the new products. R&D had to communicate with the production manager in order to see if there were enough resources to launch new products. More importantly, we all have to work closely with the CEO in order to work towards the same goal, some direction and some strategy.
On the other hand, the reading from this read by Argyris (1991) had different view from mine which was “success in the marketplace depends on learning”. I agreed with him but of course, I still reckon that coordination is another key to success in Mike’s Bikes. I remember we had learnt about learning back in the first week, but the ‘learning’ we are talking about this week is a bit different and in a higher level.
I had no idea what were single-loop learning and double-loop learning before reading this week’s readings. Then I found it very interesting to see why “highly skilled professionals are frequently very good at single-loop learning...professionals are often bad at double-loop learning” (Argyris, 1991). Argyris (1991) mentioned that it is because professionals have rarely failed so they have never learned from failure. Now, I suddenly feeling confused about experiencing failure. How do I know that I have made a mistake or not? What is the definition of failure?
Why did I ask those questions? From this week’s rollover, my company did okay which I think we at least didn't make a lost or a drop of SHV. However, that didn't mean that we did well. We didn't know if we could do better. I didn't know if I did well on calculating the distribution of spending on different market segments. It’s absolutely right learning from failure experience, but how about when we have no failure experience and successful experience either? What should I do to make an improvement?
In this case, I think either single-loop learning or double-loop learning will help on improving. We could always go back to what we do (i.e. action strategies and techniques) to find out any existing problem or mistake we made. For example, I could always check the decision I made from the last rollover to see if a change in spending on TV segment affects the awareness much or not. More efficiently, more than problem solving, double-loop learning reevaluates and re-frames goals, values, etc. This is about why we do what we do. A clear of our goal, value, beliefs, conceptual frameworks help us to make a most suitable decision for our own company.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4–15
Romero-Pareda, A. (2012) Single-Loop and Double-Loop Learning Model. Retrieved from: http://www.afs.org/blog/icl/?p=2653