Triple-Loop Learning

Triple-Loop Learning

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Term2.png TRIPLE-LOOP LEARNING
Triple-loop learning, called also transformational learning, involves “learning how to learn” by reflecting on how we learn. The learning goes beyond insights and patterns; as a result there is a shift in understanding a context or a point of view, deepening the understanding of an issue to create a shift in perspective and transformational change. In this situation, people reflect on how they think about the “rules”, not only on whether the rules should be changed. This level of learning requires an examination of the values and principles that are guiding actions, challenging us to understand how problems and solutions are related, even when separated by time and space. It also challenges us to understand how our previous actions created the conditions that led to our current problems. The relationship between organizational structure and behavior is changed because the organization learns how to learn. For example, after having engaged in a discussion, people discuss the dynamics of the conversation, including how it was conducted, what learning was produced and how that learning was produced. This form of learning helps to understand more about beliefs and perceptions. Understanding the values and assumptions that lie below the patterns of actions allows the individual or organization to question whether these values and assumptions are locking them into a recurring cycle in which today’s solutions become tomorrow’s problems. Triple-loop learning can be used to develop innovative and effective approaches to dealing with long-standing or complex issues. It is through triple-loop learning that the individual or organization can determine how they need to be different to create transformational change. The results of this learning includes enhancing ways to comprehend and change our purpose, developing better understanding of how to respond to our environment, and deepening our comprehension of why we chose to do things we do. [1] See also: Single-Loop Learning, Double-Loop Learning



References

  1. Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development, Carter McNamara, 2006; Masterful Coaching: Extraodinary Results by Impacting People and the Way They Think and Work Together, Robert Hargrove, 2000; Solving Tough Problems, Adam Kahane, 2004; Diversity management: Triple Loop Learning. RA Flood, NRA Romm, 1996, Mary R. Bast, Out of the Box Coahing/Breakthroughs with the Enneagram, 1999