Put Your Money on Action Learning

I action learning was a horse, I’d back it

Over the last 20 years I’ve been involved in every conceivable type of learning. From on-line learning through to encounter group – I’ve been there and I’ve enjoyed many –particularly when they’ve been done well.

But there’d only one thing that I think is a rock solid certainty –and that’s Action Learning. I say this not out of great theory – although I’m sure that great thinkers have a lot to say about this means of development. It just seems to work. Time and time again people come, albeit often reluctantly, to Action Learning and end up just loving it. Why?

·         Being listened to – there is what is termed the “therapeutic paradox” you ask people including oneself to change repeatedly and frequently and they don’t. You start listening and they do

·         Helping others – there are many reasons why people enjoy this – from the truly altruistic through to those whose situational needs border on expert, and while this is not encouraged in action Learning, you just know that those people are delighted to think that their co-set members have benefitted from a finely honed question.

·         It’s fair – there’s something about the equal allocation of time and attention on each participant. It lets people know from the off that they’ll get their share and they’ll equally be able to spend that exquisite time with each of the other set members

·         It’s about them – there I no other subject under discussion than themselves and what they bring(within the parameters of the set)

·         Light touch facilitation – it may be not a feature of every action learning set but it is of mine. facilitation should be about process not content. Thereby the content is theirs and the structure gently moves participant towards new ideas and action.

·      Implementation is assumed – most learning solutions generate great content upon whih ideas for great improvements are build. In action learning implementation is assumed in the process and begins during the session – especially with the help of the co-constructive approach which is a natural feature of the future focused discussion

Don’t ask me about horses though 🙂

New Autumn Blogs

I’m planning a series of new blog posts for the autumn. The subject will be running meetings, developing really effective approaches to learning and performance improvement, communicating generally and similar topics. If you’re interested sign up to my mailing list or follow me on Twitter. I’m really keen to hear from new and old followers

Stay warm folks!



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