We took a bit of a hit with this rollover. We did not expect to loose ground but we did. All of us, individually over the break, and collectively this week have been trying to analyse what happened. We all sat in a huddle and thought about actions that we could take that could put us back where we think we belong. There were no personal recriminations but everyone had the feeling that they had played their part to perfection and perhaps it might have been some outside force that landed us in our current situation. Those outside forces include the administrators, the other teams and the ‘Mikes Bikes’ programme itself. Smart Simms must have written an algorithm just for our team. We have yet to work out why, but we do know that none of us are to blame.
If this scenario sounds familiar, it should ring very loud bells after reading Chris Argyris’ (1991) piece on double loop learning and for me it certainly did. So much so that I immediately went back and read it again. This time with a different mind-set and a new pair of eyes. If I can use a metaphor, trying to understand what is happening in the business world seems to be akin to reading a poem. On a superficial level the poem has a story to tell. But underneath that thee may be another quite different story that only some of the readers will engage with. The poem itself is a metaphor for something else.
So, the challenge was for us to examine what we had done and the effect that had had on the bike business that we were running. This time some of us admitted that we may have made errors of judgement in our expectations before the last rollover. So now we needed to reassess what we had planned and what might be the outcomes. We wanted to get the balcony view, an overview of the whole operation from another vantage point. Stand outside the business and look down from the balcony. We needed to think deeper and to challenge the underlying assumptions so that we could make informed decisions (Synnott, 2013). We tried to do that. The next rollover will tell whether or not we have got it right!
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Harvard Business Review, 4(2), 4-15.
Synnott, M. (2013). Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2. Teaching Public Administration, 31(1), 124-134.