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Single Loop Reflection

A mistake has happened and the team reflects upon how it can be fixed. This is, according to the concept choice of Chris Agyris, single loop reflection. The (simple and unambiguous) starting position is the mistake. One does not question if it is a mistake, one does not examine if there are fundamental reasons, which may have caused it and one does not examine whether the mistake, from another point of view, could be evaluated differently. Single loop reflection determines many meetings and belongs to the daily life of many teams. It is important during stable conditions with little complexity, but with high levels of intricacy. The more intricate, the more one must reckon with gaps in knowledge and the more frequently mistakes of a simple nature occur.

But those, who fix a mistake, do not create the certainty that, at the next occasion, this will not happen again (=double loop reflection).

For a mistake to become a mistake, it needs, in addition, another reference: We wanted to turn left and have now turned right, thus, a mistake! The original goal setting from which the mistake emerged as a mistake, is maintained with the single loop as well as with the double loop. As we know, this is not always sensible, because mistakes can also be a message about whether one ought to question the goal (=triple look reflection): Would right, or straight on, be the better option?