Action Learning

by Steve Roche

Will Action Learning work for your managers?

Action Learning creates and develops a culture of enquiry and questioning, which is essential to the learning climate needed in a modern organisation.

Organisations with one-way, top-down communication can survive and sometimes even prosper. But those facing rapid change and increasing competition find that such a culture puts them at a disadvantage.

Good questions help managers to make good decisions. Action Learning provides an environment in which to ask questions, develop ideas and produce practical action plans. This makes the most of managerial potential, which in turn leads to the maximising of organisational productivity.

Is the time right?

Action Learning creates and develops the culture of enquiry and questioning that is essential to the learning climate needed in the modern organisation.

Action Learning needs to tackle suitable problems and issues. And it takes energy and commitment to set up an Action Learning Set.

An organisation ready for Action Learning is one that:

  • Seeks to build the abilities and confidence of all its people
  • Regards questioning as a sign of health and fitness
  • Encourages employees to use their initiative, to take risks and to be entrepreneurial
  • Has people willing to have a go at action and learning
  • Gives support and commitment from the top.

Will it be supported?

Action Learning is likely to have the biggest impact when it has support from powerful people. Ask the following questions.

  • Will it support the vision and aims of the people at the top?
  • Does it offer a way forward on some of their problems?
  • Will top executives be open to the questioning of current practices, if this helps the organisation (they don’t have to agree, but can they accept being questioned)?