Gurteen London Knowledge Cafe – Double Loop Learning

Double loop learning & KM: Breaking through performance boundaries.

Questions asked:
1)What and why
2)When & how
3)Where & who
6)Relationships, community trust, human development
7)Not always good?
8)The wiring of K cafe

The stated aim of the Knowledge Cafe is to create a community through “mini-workshops where the participants engage in the theme of the evening. They are about networking, knowledge sharing and learning from each other – not chalk-and-talk”. The was the first K-Cafe that I attended and I saw it as an opportunity to network but also to learn more about an aspect of IM/IS that interested me during my MSc but which appears to have little to do with my current professional post.

With little pre-existing knowledge of the theme of the evening I actually could probably have done with a little more of the “chalk-and-talk” that is intentionally avoided, simply as an introduction to the themes. However, the sharing of possible double-loop experiences with other participants early in the session did lead to a better understanding. The cafe then moved on to table discussion – I chose the table that was to discuss the most basic question; that of what is double loop learning and why would you want to encourage it to occur. A smaller group than I expected to consider this question led to my delivering our thoughts when the tables came back together for the presentation.

This is the image that we decided summarised the process of double loop learning with an emphasis on a fundamental shift in behaviour, beliefs or values, a process that involved a degree of self awareness and one that was often pro-active rather than reactive. The time taken to reflect would lead to a deep seated change that would out-perform anything provided by single loop learning e.g. training course vs profound shift in working patterns.

In an organisational setting that wished to implement deep learning/double loop learning an understanding of the need to give time for reflection and provision of an environment that encouraged this would be important.

Other tables discussed the remaining questions and 2 groups identified the process as a potentially vulnerable one – an issue that would need to be addressed in an organisational setting. Other points made included what could inhibit double loop learning (personal and situational) and the fact that deep seated learning might not always lead to progression and could be negative. KM, IM and DM systems etc were also discussed in terms of single/double and triple loop learning. Finally, a question was raised as to whether a person who has undergone a major shift in beliefs etc through the process once already might find it harder to repeat this than a person fresh to the subject because the beliefs etc were now so deep seated.

To summarise – an intense but interesting evening and a good chance to network with people outside of the library/information field as KM obviously also attracts those from business and IT.

One Response to “Gurteen London Knowledge Cafe – Double Loop Learning”

  1. Cormiroxins Says:

    Thanx for the post.

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