I recently wrote a blog post on my 3D printing site for designers about how to become a successful 3D printer entrepreneur. The main point of the post is how to learn better so that you can succeed faster over time. The post reveals a proven technique from Chris Argyris to help people and organizations learn more effectively. This technique is called Double-Loop Learning.
We have heard many executives repeat how they expect the organization and employees to learn. This process is usually described as having an executive team come up with a goal and employees in operations act on the plan to reach the goal. Plan > Act > Do. This process has underlying assumptions and after iterating through single-loop learning you might just be goal seeking and not learning.
Chris Argyris showed how we should facilitate double-loop learning, instead of being defensive about our assumptions. We should expose our underlying assumptions and allow them to be tested, validated an invalidated. I have been aware of this technique for years and believe in its power to develop individuals and organizations that adopt it. My own learning has been greatly improved, especially in a world that is continuously changing. I know some people that have held the same assumptions for over 5 years and still make it a matter of routine of going through the same actions and consequences, whereas changing assumptions could greatly accelerate their career or open up new areas of growth for their business.