Pattern Laboratory We are not collectively effective at putting our knowledge to work. A project Pattern Laboratory is a tool to help us to learn quicker from our own experience, and to become much better at putting into practice what we learn.
Objectives o To uncover embedded patterns of thought and behaviour that hold us back, cloud communications, and limit us to making changes – however good – that are far less than the potential best. o Double-loop learning: to understand what we know, and thus enable us to learn from our own experience, positive and negative. o Triple-loop learning: to enable us to formulate what we learn in ways that are meaningful and easily accessible to others. o To build on learnings from others, so that each project leapfrogs its predecessors. o To liberate dormant creative forces (empowerment) focused on discovering functional alternatives to dysfunctional patterns (‘turnarounds’).
Process Three steps: Describe, Analyse, Synthesize 1. By interviews with major stakeholders, create a shared picture of the project and one or more dominating patterns. 2. In a stakeholder workshop, analyse and identify both functional and dysfunctional patterns. 3. In or after the workshop, define characteristics of patterns that would be more functional than those identified, and synthesize them into guidelines for improvement.
Toolbox As part of our research and development program a set of tools has been designed to support the process. Guidelines and facilitator training are available on request.
References References and reports from completed Pattern Laboratories are also available on request. Marilyn Mehlmann, June 2010
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