Triple loop learning
"Research into the notion and practice of organizational learning has identified four distinct systemic levels of learning", according to sociocracy in action, a group promoting use of systems dynamics in governance. In terms of US politics the levels might best be characterized as:
- Zero, e.g. Republican
- Single Loop, e.g. Democratic
- Double Loop, e.g. Democratic Renewal, identification of term:list, how to reframe
- Triple Loop, e.g. dKosopedia:itself especially Vision for America, FrameShop
"ZERO learning occurs in an organizational setting when fresh imperatives or problems arise, yet members fail to take corrective action." This is clearly visible in the Bush administration, where only public outrage and poll numbers can cause individual figures to themselves decide to quit, or are caught by officials or regulators (who are Democrats).
"SINGLE loop learning refers to making simple adaptions and taking corrective actions without changing present policies or objectives. This kind of learning manifests itself as a consolidation process. Changes in the organization’s knowledge and competency base may happen without altering the status quo as far as objectives and mental maps go. Single Loop learning is characterized by the question; Are we doing things right?" This is the level of the Democratic Party most of the time. Some Republicans rise to this level when they criticize the administration. Most don't.
"DOUBLE loop learning involves reframing, learning to see things in totally new ways. It is achieved if error is detected and corrected in ways that involve the modification of an organization’s underlying norms, policies and objectives. It is a transformative process where the organization collectively solves problems during ongoing dialogues that do not include defensive reasoning or behavior that most organizations experience. Characterized by the question; Are we doing the right things?" The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean has generally sought this sort of dialogue and transformative work. It deals with vision/threat/status information in an informal way, which may not be sufficient to detect new threats or unveil new visions not generally believed by members.
"TRIPLE loop learning entails members developing new processes or methodologies for arriving at re-framings." dKosopedia:itself supports the reframe:namespace and FrameShop for exactly this purpose. Vision for America is a product of it.
"It manifests itself in the form of "collective mindfulness" as members of an organization discover how they and their predecessors have facilitated or inhibited learning, and produce new structures and strategies for learning." For example, dKosopedia:naming and the dKosopedia Category Project provide structures and paths to find information relevant to collective action.
"All local units of learning are linked together in one overall learning infrastructure which increases the fullness and deepness of learning about the diversity of issues and dilemmas faced. Competencies and skills are further developed that allow for the use of this infrastructure. Characterized by the question; Can we participate in making well-informed choices regarding strategy, objectives, policy?" The diversity of issues requires a relatively stable structure like issue/position/argument that can grow over time.