This is part 1 of a series of articles about The Two Loops Model
The Two Loops Theory of Organizational Change is a model that Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze from the Berkana Institute first pointed at in their paper, “Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale.” It helps us understand the various places to intervene within a system in need of change. It is a cyclical and evolutionary model that offers different ways to interpret and make sense of organizational change models, frameworks and strategies, as well as make visible the transformation possibilities within a system. It is a model inspired by looking at the growth and decline cycle of living systems.
This tool is useful in complex organisational change processes. It recognizes that within any system there will always be a flow from the old into the new as all systems go through lifecycles. It provides us with insights into the simultaneous growth ( germination, innovation, maturation, and rejuvenation and decline stagnation, disintegration, and decomposition) process that happen within a system during a transition period.
The Two Loops model can also help identify key players within the change process. It can encourage insights into practices that can help with the composting of the old system. It can also generate ideas on who to connect with and invite for deep practice and integration of the emergent system. It encourages more compassionate approaches on how to attend to growth and decline in organizations.
"We are living in a period when many of our fundamental beliefs and practices no longer serve us or the greater world. Worse than that, they are causing great harm and disabling us from being effective sponsors and facilitators of healthy change." - Margaret Wheatley
When I was introduced to this tool, I was instantly intrigued on the similarities it has with the Ecocycle Model and immersed myself in knowing more about the use of this tool. Knowing this tool has given me the language to articulate where I want to "play" and show up in this hospicing of the dying systems and midwifing the emergent systems.