Action inquiry enhances the awareness and adaptive quotient of the individual and collective. Building upon system theory, action inquiry advocates for single-, double-, and triple-loop feedback among four territories of experience: 1) the outcome or
reaction, 2) processes or patterns of behaviors that lead to the outcome, 3) structure or mental model that gives rise to those patterns of behaviors, 4) presencing awareness (see figure below). This fourth territory of experience, also known as our
“super-vision,” has the capacity to move intentionally among the other three territories of experience simultaneously. As a result, this awareness compels us to adapt our actions on the fly, thus leading to much more effective and legitimate actions.
As a way of organizing, action inquiry helps the collective to achieve increasing clarity and congruity across the domains of mission, strategy, performance, and outcomes.