Action Learning

Topics: Learning, Management, Skill Pages: 3 (1091 words) Published: September 28, 2014
What is Action Learning?
Action Learning is an accelerated learning tool which can be applied to any number of different workplace (and personal) issues and challenges. In Action Learning groups or 'sets' we meet regularly with others in order to explore solutions to real problems and decide on the action we wish to take. When doing this in the set, the stages include: 1. Describing the problem as we see it

2. Receiving contributions from others in the form of questions 3. Reflecting on our discussion and deciding what action to take 4. Reporting back on what happened when we took action
5. Reflecting on the problem-solving process and how well it is working

Action learning was described and promoted by Reg Revans, who was a physicist and the later the first professor of industrial management. He was strongly influenced by his experiences working with eminent scientists like Rutherford. Another formative influence was the sinking of the Titanic, because Revans' father was involved in the board of inquiry and his comment that this illustrated the difference between 'cleverness and wisdom' was never forgotten by Revans. What sorts of problem do Set members discuss?

Sets are often used in workplaces, to discuss work-related issues. Members may have a wide ranging agenda or they may work on quite specific issues, like the development of new skills or the progress of a particular project.

Sets are often used as part of management and leadership development programmes. Members have a forum in which they can work on implementing the skills learned on the programme.

Some Sets are external and made up of people from different organisations. These Sets may focus on members' individual issues, or on a specific project in which all the members are stakeholders.

How do Sets operate?
The Set agrees how time will be used; normally each member has a turn every meeting. Each member is accountable to the Set for taking action and for reporting progress. At the...
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