In the 1980’s, the notion of Action Learning was introduced on the heels of the research concluding that experience drives leader learning (Lessons of Experienced, published by CCL). This research provided evidence that managers learn significant leadership lessons while tackling significant, complex problems.
The overall proposition is that an Action Learning process includes:
a real problem that is important, critical, and usually complex
a diverse problem-solving team or "set"
a process that promotes curiosity, inquiry, and reflection
a requirement that talk be converted into action and, ultimately, a solution
a commitment to learning.
In many, but not all, forms of Action Learning, a coach is included who is responsible for promoting and facilitating learning as well as encouraging the team to be self-managing. In addition, the learning acquired by working on complex, critical, and urgent problems, problems that have no currently acceptable solutions, can be applied by individuals, teams, and organizations to other situations.
Tracking of Teams with Few Action Learning Factors Involved
The promise of Action Learning is that the leader learns about the complexity of working with others while dealing with important business issues. While the desired improvement in leader capabilities has a parallel in the generation of potential innovative solutions means that the organization wins at individual and collective levels. This, however, sits on top of a proverbial iceberg of essential teaming skills for the Action Learning challenge to produce the desired outcomes.
If you use Action Learning, or have ever considered doing so, we invite you to review our White Paper illuminating the team building and leadership essentials that Matrix Insights provides to support and empower your Action Learning.