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  • 28 Jan 2019 8:55 AM | Sarah Elkington (Administrator)

    It enhances individual beneficiation and deep innovation.  Change is the only certainty.  Change is beneficial rather than a problem.  With Triple-Loop Learning as foundation we can understand the underlying reasons why we need change and how to decide what are the right things to do and why this is right.

    Watch Our Video on Triple Loop Learning

    Triple-Loop learning uses three strategies, being: Single-Loop Learning, Double-Loop Learning and finally, Triple-Loop Learning.  There is not necessarily a natural progression between the three strategies of learning.  The three Loops of learning can be used separately.  It adds much more value if all three strategies are understood and applied.

    Leadership as learning requires us to think about what needs to be known and what needs to be done. This is analysis and action.  Triple-Loop Learning is an excellent strategy for learning leadership and leadership as learning.


    Triple Loop-Learning starts with observing the outcomes or results of a current challenge with which we are confronted.  Gender-based discrimination which is a complex problem is an example of a complex problem for which there are no easy answers.

    Using Single-Loop Learning we suppose the problem of gender-based discrimination and the solutions for it are close in time and space.  If too few women are in senior management positions it is assumed that a quota system can solve this problem to ensure an equal number of women and men in senior management positions.  This is also the option followed in South African institutions without total success.  The focus of Single-Loop Learning is to create and follow rules and regulations to deal with problems.  The question becomes: “Are we doing things right according to the regulations?’  If the regulations do not deliver the necessary outcomes, we replace it with other and more regulations irrespective of the reasons why the current regulation is not working.

    Double-Loop Learning asks the question: “What is the right thing to do?”  Our assumptions and thinking about the problem is questioned.  The development of insight into the problem of gender-based discrimination and finding underlying patterns are important.  Some of the current assumptions popularly held on gender-based discrimination are, for example that men are providers and women are caregivers.  An erroneous assumption often emphasized here is that money and the management thereof, which is presumed to be mainly a male role, is more important than providing care, which is presumed to be a female role.

    6 or 9

    Triple-Loop Learning asks questions, such as: “How do we decide what is right?” and “Why do we do what we do?” The emphasis is on context, underlying principles and systems thinking.  Gender-based discrimination is placed within a context where gender determines your treatment, the dominant culture is patriarchy and there is support from a cult of femininity.  In Triple Loop Learning these deep systems imbedded issues are interrogated, analysed and acted upon.

    As part of the GLi leadership initiative we invite people interested in leadership to join us in South Africa to develop leadership as learning through interactive workshops.  One of the strategies used here is Triple-Loop Learning for profound change, individual cultivation and radical innovation using the complex problem of gender-based discrimination as one of many which can be the focus of a leadership course in South Africa.


     "Everybody is unique and has the potential to develop and be the best he or she can be. Life is complex and learning never stops. Knowing yourself is a lifelong, exciting journey which should not be traveled alone." 


  • 13 Jan 2019 9:00 AM | Sarah Elkington (Administrator)

    The Me Too Movement was in full force this time last year.  The movement is important as women need to be heard, and if necessary, action taken.  The movement gives women a voice; it also spreads fear, mostly among men.  The Me Too Movement was targeted at victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault – much of which occurred in the halls and offices of Hollywood power players.  Women of power and prestige who experienced sexual assault and/or sexual harassment have used any platform possible to call out injustice and reinforce the value of women in society.  The message has gone beyond sexual harassment to additional topics such as pay inequity, discrimination, and inequality for women.

    I write about this topic with a bit of reticence as it has become such a strong divider among people.  Men, those who have not committed sexual assault or sexual harassment, are often held in the same category as those who have committed sexual crimes. The blurring of equal rights with sexual abuse has begun to confuse us.  It is true women are still not earning the same pay as men in similar positions, and this is not fair.  It is also true that men and women working together has become more uncomfortable, unfortunately. It can become a ‘walking on egg shells’ scenario, if left unchecked, that deters us from our purpose.

    If a woman has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, then she now has a stronger platform upon which to stand with the Me Too Movement.   I hope most women have not experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment in the workplace, and I wonder whether workplace emotional abuse is even more common.  Behaviors such as bullying, power imbalance, intimidation, manipulation, and isolation are all forms of psychological abuse that can result in anxiety, depression and PTSD.  And the kicker here is that women are just as likely to psychologically abuse a man as the other way around.

    I titled this article “Me too; Us too” because we’ve got to get it together. Women and men need to work together. Women and women need to work together.  Men need to work with men.  We’ve got to learn to get along, don’t we?  We’ve got to learn to respect other humans.  Races. Genders. Colors.

    I contend the effectiveness of any organization relies upon the psychological well-being of its leaders, particularly senior leaders. Toxic leadership has become a catch phrase, as if it’s a new phenomenon. Leaders have been toxic since the beginning of time.  But now organizational researchers are examining it. In fairly recent article, Mehta & Meheshwari (2013) demonstrated the negative effects of toxic leadership on employee morale, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Whether anecdotally or empirically, we know that we aren’t always treating each other well, and the outcomes of this behavior are not good.

    So, with this post, I ask us all to consider Me Too Us Too as a new movement.  Can we develop a sense of humility, healthy ego, instill appropriate conflict management, workplace professionalism, and civility moving into 2019? Our global economies, sense of safety, environment, educational systems, governments, healthcare organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, and all the rest all rely upon adults, men and women, to work together.

    And finally, remember.  A word or act that takes a second can have a lifetime effect on someone.  Tread carefully. Tweet less.

    Jennifer Moss Breen

    Expert Consultant

  • 6 Nov 2018 9:05 AM | Sarah Elkington (Administrator)

    Photo credit: Robert Collins on Unsplash

    Today, I want to share some ideas about leadership power and humility. When a leader has the combination of power and humility, it creates a dynamic person who not only knows how to assert power, but who can create a healthy team the process. Although it seems counter-intuitive as a leadership quality, humility creates a work culture that is not only effective – it is more productive too. We view the self-absorbed, directive, demanding type of leader as the opposite of humble. We know that the self-absorbed, directive and demanding leader is not typically considered effective. So how do we create leaders who are humble and who know how to drive organizational change? 

    Power, as described briefly by French and Raven (1959) includes the following: 

    • Referent Power –being viewed favorably by others, having good rapport, and having the respect and trust of employees
    • Expert Power –having vast knowledge in an area that is necessary for and desired by those within the organization
    • Reward Power – leaders who can give employees something of value, such as greater income or workplace perks
    • Coercive Power – leaders who can punish follower by withholding things of value such as job mobility, income, or workplace perks
    • Legitimate Power – leaders who hold formal positions of authority -- direct supervisors        

    Employees who work under the guidance of a humble leader develop a process of becoming stronger through learning because humble leaders understand that we can learn through mistakes. Humble leaders admit when they have made a mistake, empowering others to do the same. Humble leaders also acknowledge the efforts of others, seek input from their team, and admit that they don't have all the answers. Through humble leader behavior, employees become more and do more because they are equipped by the humble leader to do so, creating organizational outcomes such as follower engagement, psychological freedom, continuous learning and greater adaptability.  

    You can see that humility, when combined with power, is a very strong characteristic. We can all learn to be humble while embracing our power. Power alone is not enough. Humility builds power among the team. Humility itself is powerful, not weak.

    Tell me what you think about power and humility. I'd love to hear your experiences.

    Jennifer Moss Breen

    Expert Consultant

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