Specifically, Triple Loop Learning is the basic idea of attacking the frame directly with three fundamental questions:
- Learning by questioning what you’re doing. This is the fundamental of the build-measure-learn loop in lean startup and lean manufacturing’s set based design.
- Learning by questioning how you’re doing it. This is the function of scrum’s sprint retrospective and Spotify’s Chapter Meetings.
- Learning by questioning why you’re doing it. This is the function of Adzic’s impact mapping and Cockburn’s collaborate-deliver-reflect-improve Heart of Agile.
Agile Organizations in themselves are learning organizations that facilitate the learning of their members and continuously transforms themselves. This concept was originally coined through the work and research of Peter Senge and his colleagues.
Mental models are assumptions held by individuals and organizations. To become a learning organization, these models must be challenged. Individuals tend to espouse theories, which are what they intend to follow, and theories-in-use, which are what they actually do. Similarly, organizations tend to have memories which preserve certain behaviours, norms and values. In creating a learning environment it is important to replace confrontational attitudes with an open culture that promotes inquiry and trust. To achieve this, the learning organization needs mechanisms for locating and assessing organizational theories of action. Unwanted values need to be discarded in a process called ‘unlearning‘. Often this process is refered to as Triple Loop Learning.
Learning organizations as a result are ready for the pressures facing modern organizations and remain competitive in fast changing business environments.