Reaching 3rd loop learning

Has your team aligned on a vision and a set of priorities to achieve it?

The chances are that you’ve created a Vision & Strategy and ways of working in place to execute effectively. You’ll have found that it increased the speed and efficiency of the team, like putting in place a Team SatNav that enables every team member to move in the same direction.

We call this 1st loop learning.

Are the priorities divided out, reporting back to keep on track?

Rather than the team leader bottlenecking by being in the middle of everything, you can further increase speed through trusting and empowering sub-groups of the leadership team to deliver and then come back together to the whole leadership team to review progress and maintain alignment, using what we would call the Heart Beat Model.

We see the leadership team meeting as the training ground; creating alignment and commitment to delivering the right priorities for the team to execute at pace in sub-groups and to deliver in individual functions.

We call this 2nd loop learning.

The chances are that you’ve done this too, if you have…

Then You’re Ready to Reach for 3rd Loop Learning

As well as being the place to create trust and have the tough conversations, we see the leadership team as the place to look over the horizon.

We call this 3rd Loop Learning.

In our experience “looking over the horizon” is rarely prioritised as a regular agenda item at leadership team meetings. At best it’s left to when there’s turnover of the leader or a re-organisation.

With a rapidly changing environment and a tendency to focus on executing their processes, the danger is that the team then gets side-swiped by unexpected events. At best, the team loses momentum. At worst, the team becomes irrelevant.

How often do you need to scan the horizon?

We advocate regular scanning as a team – this is often needed on a quarterly basis.

This scanning of the environment done together as a team builds alignment to the continued relevance of the priorities or whether they need to be accelerated or reshaped. Doing this regularly creates agility.

We advocate a periodic Outside In review with critical stakeholders – this is often needed on an annual or 18 months basis.

If you’re interested reaching 3rd loop learning as a team, then please do get in touch.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply