Like many things in life, Retrospective – as a concept – can have many layers of abstraction.
At the superficial level it can be used to identify symptoms and find ways dealing with them.
At a deeper level it can be used to highlight symptoms and attempt a rudimentary root-cause-analysis and possible experiments to address them.
At a fundamental level it can be used to highlight symptoms, explore their causes and explore the attitudes and motivations that need changing in order to better address such occurrences in the future.
If I understand this correctly, deeper retrospection and reflection require the investment of higher levels of cognitive effort. This investment, though, is likely to result in longer term benefits (compared with lower levels of retrospections).
While I can ‘see’ the benefits individuals can gain from exercising higher levels of retrospection, as they can gain better insights into themselves, their attitudes and their behaviours; I am not clear on the benefits to the organization. Are there clear, tangible, measurable benefits that would make the extra investment – in coaching and guiding teams to achieve this level – justifiable? I am still looking for the evidence.
Think about it.