Story Thinking Cycle (Innate Lesson Cycle)
Currently, we have business “change” models that are completely different from every known model of learning. The Knowledge Economy requires that we solve the needs of business and learning with a combined model. The Story Thinking “ADIIEA” model is the first strategic business model designed specifically to support a Learning Organization.
6 Phases of ADIIEA
Story Thinking Cycle (ADIIEA)
This cycle is the mind’s natural model for change and learning, and is formed by the relationship of our workability beliefs (Does Work, Won’t Work, and Could Work) and our response modes (Reactive, Reflective, and Questioning). And this cycle contains six phases: Automation, Disruption, Investigation, Ideation, Expectation, and Affirmation, or simply called ADIIEA (pronounced uh-dee-uh). The location of each phase is like working against gravity; we tend to rest at the bottom and operate in automation, without much thought. This cycle is at play within every business project, every classroom lesson with educational (not just instructional) objectives, and even for how a bill becomes a law.
Lesson Management is a broader topic than process management, change management, or classroom management. It is about how we define “what works” and how learnings are gained and sustained. Understanding this cycle allows us to evaluate each individual phase, and holistically manage an organization’s ability to prepare, innovate, change, and perform. And it allows us to connect the now-separate functions of Idea Management, Risk Management, and Operations Management:
Methods from the last age were linear and prescriptive: Do-These-Steps-In-This-Order. ADIIEA is a method that is cyclic and descriptive. It provides the phases of thinking through a lesson, which allows for "rocking" between phases, but it begins and ends in our most natural state: automation.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.” He was describing the elegance found only after knowing the options and choices considered from each lesson phase which leads to a state of proficient automation.
Current business models are both linear and prescriptive. They give us steps to do without first providing the framework of the underlying model they are trying to affect.
With the current focus that our corporations have with Six Sigma and DMAIC to create factory-like efficiencies, it may not be a coincidence that their ability to innovate has been decreasing.
ADIIEA is a business model that is cyclic and descriptive. Each phase represents a mode of the mind. Currently, organizations treat project phases as simply boxes within the project management software, which can easily be collapsed to “save time.” But Ideation is a mode of the mind where the best ideas occur if the team were allowed to brainstorm without a narrow and pressured window of time to “start doing something.” This is the beginning point of why most projects fail.
Thought Leaders understand that learning is more than just memorizing “what works.” They also know what to do when it “won't work” and what to do when it “could work.”
Traditional education is based on “half-pipe” instruction, which only supports half of our natural learning cycle. Have you ever wondered why the term “Drill & Practice” has two words? They are relative: the first time you have a fire drill, it is a drill - but the tenth time, it is practice. The term “Education & Training” works the same way: Here's what works, now you try it.
Some learning is found in the memorization of what others describe as “Does Work.” But understanding is found in being able to complete the entire journey around the lesson cycle, rather than staying down in the half-pipe, or bottom half of the cycle. So, are you into “over the top” thinking, or just “half-pipe” thinking?
In the Explanation Age, the learning methods will not focus on moving an individual or organization into the reactive state of Automation, but instead will focus on moving individuals and organizations into a continuous state of improvement.
By understanding that project phases are formed by these 6 modes of the mind, Thought Leaders move their organizations into the Knowledge Economy with a focus on Questioning Skills, and a balance between curiosity and conviction within leadership competencies.
Does your organization have a culture of Continuous Improvement? Take this free survey with only ten questions to find out.
About the Books
Story Thinking expands our knowledge of storytelling, for how we should talk, to apply this sense-making pattern towards how we should work. As a new unified model of change, 30 commonly used models are compared to show why some work due to their alignment with story thinking, and why some do not work based on misalignment. The biggest implications from the research shows that our institutions of education and policy making follow process models that do not align with sense-making.
The Explanation Age acknowledges that the goals of the Information Age have been achieved, but that the information found online relates mainly to the fundamental questions of WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE. The most important question (WHY) is the least supported. The underlying methods from the last age were created by reviewing the "systems" in place: these were the factories and classrooms seeking zero defects and maximum efficiency. The methods for the next age need to be created by reviewing another system: the system of explanations, which have a pattern and consistency that can be modeled and managed across organizations. The biggest implications include detailed cognitive and emotional relationships, required for psychoanalysis and natural language AI technologies.