Pivot == Double-loop learning

So any time you see a company pivot, it's an example of double-loop learning happening.

Double-loop learning allows us to change our mental models when the things we’re doing aren’t working correctly.

It can be thought of as a core enabler of true agility. If you’re Blockbuster, and focused on single-loop learning on the best way to rent as many DVDs and Blu-ray discs as possible, you’re likely to ignore the fact that people aren’t walking into your stores any more, because they can now stream videos directly into their livingrooms from Netflix. And then you might go out of business.

Some double-loop learning would probably be a good idea for someone in this situation. And in fact, double-loop learning is precisely what enabled Netflix to pivot from DVD-by-mail (did you know that’s how Netflix started? Youngsters!) to video streaming. And then later into TV and movie production.

So any time you see a company pivot, it’s an example of double-loop learning happening. (Or at least it should be. It could in principle also be just a fickle founder.)

How is your project or startup coming along? Are you gaining the traction you expect or need?

Is it possible you might need to take a step back, and allow for some double-loop learning to take hold, and adjust your mental model?

If you’re stuck in a mental rut, spinning those proverbial wheels, reach out to borrow my brain for an hour. I’ll help you get un-stuck.

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