A Critical Learning System is a coherent self reflexive, self-organising set of inter-connected processes of experiential and inspirational learning, which transforms experience and insights into meaning and (thence) meaningful action at three levels of organisation:
Experiential Learningfacilitates the exploration and utilisation of the diversity of knowledge and perception in the Corporations staff to make new sense of its opportunities and so design innovative actions that enhance, the robustness of an organisation's relationships and marketplace position.
The LEARNING LEMNISCATE is a way of describing two of the four types of learning that we use in our lives to generate knowledge. The four are propositional, practical, experiential and inspirational learning, The lemniscate involves the last two which are the heart of Systemic Thinking and being systemic.
What we do in the world, the way we contribute to organisations, is fundamentally a function of the way we view the world. Most of the time we are quite unaware of the details of all the beliefs and values that make up our worldviews and which we employ quite unconsciously to everything that we encounter.
Learning is about identifying the driving values, testing them against other worldviews to create new meaning from which we can reflect, plan and act in ways more appropriate to our conscious intention.
The Learning Lemniscate maps the process that describes how this approach to learning is achieved. Learning that encompasses concrete, experiential, mental reasoning and spiritual insights is the basis for new behaviour and new value positions.
Starting from an experience of a situation, the process is to explore your own and other recounting of the situation. The wider this activity the better, since it helps to ensure our exploration is not dominated by a narrow selection of approaches to the situation. That is diversity in the explorer, strengthens the quality of learning.
Having explored widely, the assembled information is looked at as a whole to identify problems of relationship, emphasis etc that will give us new meaning to the problem situation. Traditional experiential learning then moves on to planning, but the lemniscate approach recognises that value of insight that is ways of knowing that do not come from analysis, but are often quite suddenly in our mind. (Often these insights can be reasoned about, after they are recognised). These usually occur when we teach ourselves by consciously thinking about problematic situations and allowing time for meditation.
When we do identify relevant insights, it is important to record them as they are quickly lost, since we do not recognise the process by which we get insights and so cannot track back to find them again.
In this way the meaning we attach to the problematic situation is enriched and provides a more visual basis for planing new behaviour and duly acting on such plans in the concrete world.
The Learning Lemniscate is just a map, not reality, hence in our daily life we jump all over the map moving directly from "explore" to "act" in so much of our decision making. However, learning that seeks to address the fundamental importance to an issue or organisation is likely to be more effective the more of the "route" that it incorporates.