This week’s reading Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2 really made me think about MikesBikes and how to go about it. It talked about reflection versus critical reflection/ reflexivity (CRR) and how CRR was crucial to double-loop learning.
Single-loop learning was described as not challenging the underlying assumptions that are made in certain situations. The single-loop learning that I have been experiencing in MikeBikes and my team so far has been surrounding the goal - for our team to get the highest SHV as possible. The reading made me realise that this has actually been restricting our learning process rather than helping us. It made our team self-centred and competitive towards the other teams in our own country, when in reality groups could be working collaboratively in order to increase the wealth of our overall country, benefiting everyone. We have been working exclusively as a group, with tunnel-vision towards our assumed goal to try and ‘win’. In order achieve double-loop learning, we have to look at, and challenge the underlying assumption of getting the highest SHV as our goal into a more holistic view such as increasing the wealth for our country which in turn (if executed correctly) will help to increase our SHV.
This is something that is difficult to do, as described in the Teaching smart people how to learn reading. It illustrated that people who are stuck in single-loop learning become defensive when they fail and shift the blame to others, largely because they are not used to failure as they have been entrenched in single-loop learning. Although our team recognised our own errors in our failure (we are not doing so well in MikesBikes), I felt resentful towards the groups who were able to gain a huge market share in the first rollover and consequently, leaving us with a little to nothing. I also felt that their expertise in business were greater than that of ours which I believed is what lead to our failure. However, this is not the case, as there are always opportunities that are there to be taken advantage of. As the supporters of AGAHST shifted their view from being self-centred (only being concerned with changes that directly affected them) to more holistic view (taking account of the environmental, economical, and societal effects), this is what we should be doing – looking at our country as a whole rather than on our individual groups.
As the proposed CEO summit for China is underway, I wonder if the groups in our country who are on top would be open to this idea, as I feel that as a group that isn’t doing so well, it would be suspicious to suggest this. Synnott (2013) suggests that double-looped learning can be blocked by groups looking only at their successes and gains. However, it should be known from this week’s reading that by looking at the smaller picture and personal gains, you are missing out on greater opportunities and learning that are present, which could lead to greater successes. We need more of a “balcony view” rather than tunnel vision. We need to have a Mexican wave where people collectively and consciously move rather than a domino run where the power resides with the pusher and everyone follows suit. I hope that the next week will bring more collaboration between groups within our countries in order to benefit everyone.
Synnott, M. (2013). Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2. Teaching Public Administration, 31(1), 124--134. doi:10.1177/0144739413479950
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15