Action Learning Process
" Many, if not most, management, leadership and organizational development programmes
now incorporate some form of action learning. "
— Mike Pedler and Christine Abbott, in " Facilitating Action Learning"
Principal Consultant, Carter McNamara, about
Action Learning Source
Principal Consultant, Chuck Appleby, on the power of Action Learning in organizations.
Simply put, Action Learning is a group-based process that is proven to generate innovative and creative solutions to address complex problems and opportunities for individuals, teams and organizations. Many people refer to it as peer coaching groups and as a form of peer learning.
- Action Learning is an ongoing, highly focused process among 4-8 group members who use coaching to help each other address real, current, important problems and opportunities in their lives and work – and learn at the same time.
- In highly structured Action Learning meetings, members help each other primarily by sharing thoughtful questions to report, clarify and frame the priorities and then to generate relevant and realistic actions to address the priorities. The questioning is a hallmark of Action Learning.
- Another hallmark is that members take those actions between meetings. The actions are selected to make an impact on the priority and to generate learning.
- Members accomplish deep and significant learning, especially from reflecting on the questions and the results of their actions between meetings.
There are different perspectives and “schools” of Action Learning. For example, some people believe that Action Learning should include only questions and that any statements made are only in response to questions. Others believe that there is a role for advice. This diversity adds to the richness and applicability of Action Learning.
In their book Facilitating Action Learning, the authors Mike Pedler and Christine Abbott state "...the acid test is whether the people concerned are helping each other to take action on their problems and challenges, and whether they are learning from the work" (p. 20).
Reg Revans originated the Action Learning process in the 1930s in the United Kingdom. Today, the process is in the vast majority of highly effective learning and development programs of organizations around the world.
To learn more about Action Learning, see
- Different Perspectives on Action Learning
- Results from Action Learning
- Action Learning Should Be Customized
You might also read various articles in the Action Learning Library.
" Action Learning is a process underpinned by a
belief in individual potential: a way of learning from our actions, and
from what happens to us, and around us, by taking the time to question,
understand and reflect, to gain insights, and consider how to act in the
— Krystyna Weinstein, in " Action Learning: A Practical Guide"