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ACTION LEARNING IN ACTION – BAYER NETHERLANDS CASE

During my assignment as Head of Marketing Bayer Netherlands, I came across a situation where the company was doing very well financially, but in my conversations with the employees, I discovered that they were less and less proud to tell at social events that they work for Bayer. This had several causes, including the increasingly stringent regulations due to a growing social debate about the usefulness and necessity of chemical crop protection in Dutch agriculture.

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ACTION LEARNING IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT

As coaches, many of us use action learning to solve problems and challenges faced by our clients. Most of these challenges are internal business opportunities that when worked on by employees using action learning can help move an organization forward. But what if the challenge were instead presented by a third-party organization, while the group that were solving the problem came predominantly from a different company? And what if the third-party organization was focused on a social challenge? Could action learning bring the two organizations together, leveraging the business insights and experiences of the corporate participants to address a difficult systemic social issue?

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DOING IN 360 MINUTES WHAT NORMALLY TAKES TWO YEARS

The head of an SME of about 50 people in the printing sector located in the Bordeaux region of France that I met through a short presentation about action learning in a Rotary club wanted to experiment this method to work on their strategic plan for the next five years. After a preliminary meeting in the company where I explained the principles, components and rules of AL to him, he very smartly set up a team of six persons with an adequate diversity of gender, age, experience and function.

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ACTION LEARNING TO FUEL COLLABORATION, AGILITY AND RESULTS

Even though the pandemic is not over yet, we are slowly starting to get back on track in some ways. I have been in communication with companies wanting to reduce the gap caused by the complete or partial shutdown they experienced here in Brazil during the six months of quarantine in our country. I have been hearing how their problems have become even more complex, demanding from most the ability to reinvent themselves and to function at a level much higher than what they were used to up until now. Are they blowing things out of proportion?

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Action Learning foundations at ATD

WOW! For years I’ve talked about that how well Action Learning works regardless ofculture or industry. For this session we were fortunate to be a truly global group. We had representation from five countries representing four continents – Indonesia, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Australia, and the USA were represented – truly a global team. As we would expect the process worked particularly because of the diverse nature of the team.

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ACTION LEARNING SETS AND CHANGING MENTAL HEALTH NURSES’ PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

“You cannot solve the problem with the same mind that created it” – Einstein My decision to establish a training workshop on action learning with mental health nurses was driven by my experience of seeing how robust action learning challenged and changed the way mental health nurses worked with problems or issues from their professional practice. This article provides a brief overview of my reflections on the use of the action learning set one-day training workshop at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

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NATIONAL BANK OF DOMINICA LIMITED: ACTION LEARNING

The National Bank of Dominica Limited decided that it needed to address the many complaints from customers and its observations of less than optimal customer care. The Bank engaged in an action-learning project and one of the AL teams worked on the problem of making the organisation more customer-focused. Management’s initial view of the issue was that the employees just needed to learn how to treat customers correctly. The assigned AL team, however, took a much wider view and addressed mostof the major contributing factors in order to propose up to fifty strategies most of which were implemented by management.  

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ACTION LEARNING COMES TO ICF CONVERGE

More than 1000 coaches. Over 60 countries. Three days in Washington DC. In August 2017, the International Coach Federation held its first large-scale global conference since 2012, ICF Converge, which brought together coaches from all over the world to network and learn from each other. Held in Washington DC, ICF Converge was designed to strengthen connections across the coaching community and offer best-practice learning around topics such as the art and practice of coaching, how to develop a successful coaching business, how to create a coaching culture within an organization, coaching science, and the future of coaching and of the workforce.  

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ACTION LEARNING AT CRU

Action learning has been a core part of the Cru leadership program (SLI) since 2005. Cru, a global Christian non-profit organization with over 25,000 staff in 191 countries, uses action learning not only to build great leaders but also to solve major problems faced by the organization and its volunteers. Mike Marquardt and Bea Carson provided a 4- day CALC training program for 22 senior leaders in December 2018. The Cru action learning program follows the format shown in this graphic. Each participant also receives an Action Learning Handbook, which guides the 20-week program.  

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ACTION LEARNING MAKES ITS DEBUT AT ADULT LEARNING SYMPOSIUM, SINGAPORE

The Adult Learning Symposium is a bi-annual learning event organized by the Institute of Adult Learning, an institute under SkillsFuture Singapore. This year, the symposium took place on 1-2 November at Sands Expo and Convention Centre with the theme “Work and Learning: Conquer New Frontiers!” Against a backdrop of rapid technological advancements, disruption across industries, and fast changing workforce needs, the challenges facing adult learning are momentous. But for the adaptable and resilient, it is also time to seize the opportunities hidden in the sea of challenges and thrive in times where disruption is the norm.  

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ACTION LEARNING AND PROTECTED AREA GOVERNANCE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Action Learning changes our world view. It prompts us to work together, expands into new contexts and provides solutions in the most unexpected places. This was Mat’s on ground recent experience working in Papua New Guinea. This magnificent country contains a very significant portion of the world’s biodiversity, most of which is on customarily owned land and sea. The people are legal custodians, responsible for social, economic and environmental sustainability – goals that are often in tension with each other.  

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ACTION LEARNING AGILITY

In today’s world of rapid change, leaders and organizations must evolve faster than the white water rapids we are cascading through. Organizations that simply try to improve on the current benchmark will not survive, they must invent the products and methods that will define the new standard. To do this, they must shift to being a learning organization that is open to change. The flexibility and robustness of action learning leads to agile leaders, agile teams, and ultimately agile learning organizations. These changes must come from the top. Until recently, little was known about what the agile leadership required for this shift looked like in action, not to mention the underlying mental and emotional capacities it requires.

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ACTION LEARNING: NOT A HAMMER!

Several years ago I was training new Action Learning coaches in a way with which we are all familiar. Through multiple sets, participants took turns coaching, presenting problems and participating as problem solvers. I observed and offered feedback on the performance of the coaches. One of the participants was an experienced personal coach who had guided others to be successful in their performance of their management and leadership roles. When her turn came to coach, she listened well and intervened appropriately for a time. But after one intervention, she gave the problem presenter some advice on how to present more effectively. She had reverted to a role of personal coach, and inadvertently encouraged a dependency upon her as a reliable problem solver.  

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ABOUT ONIONS AND QUESTIONS

When a team experiences Action Learning through a first discovery session, the questions they ask can be a bit haphazard. It sometimes feels like there is a competition for asking as many questions as possible. This can frustrate the problem the presenter who might think that this “great tool” that would help with the problem feels more like an inquisition! And indeed, not all questions are created equal. Team members do notice during the session what questions are really powerful and helped the problem presenter, and which ones were not really helping that much. So after debriefing about what they learned about asking questions, they sometimes ask me “But how should we ask more of these great questions ?”.

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A HEAD START WITH VIRTUAL ACTION LEARNING

Virtual Action Learning sessions are just as powerful as the original in-person meetings. While virtual AL can take some time and effort to get used to, similar results can be achieved in both leadership development and problem-solving. A quick Internet search will provide you with great tips and tricks for leading online team meetings. My biggest takeaway from these articles is the importance of time management and working from a clear agenda or meeting structure. This makes Action Learning a great fit for the virtual space, because our script fundamentally integrates such structure and timekeeping guidelines.

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A BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTION TO REACH 10,000 KIDS

First Tee of Denver (Denver, Colorado, USA) is the local chapter of a USA-wide organization whose mission is to educate and inspire youth academically, socially, and physically through the game of golf. The Denver chapter has an ambitious goal of helping many more children. From a current reach of 6,500 children, they want to help 10,000 kids by 2020. Tiffany Maurycy started to work with First Tee of Denver as a strategy and performance improvement consultant. But when she discovered Action Learning and became certified as an Action Learning coach, she threw out the agenda she had prepared for the first meeting with the team and decided on using Action Learning instead.

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A BIRTHDAY PARTY WITH MEANING

What do you do when you reach a life milestone like your 30th birthday? Splurge money on the latest fashion craze? Feast on excessive foods and debilitating drinks? After Yeye from the Philippines discovered Action Learning through a Foundations program, she decided to celebrate her 30th birthday in a different way. Fueled by events happening in the Philippines and inspired by Fr. Bienvenido Nebres’s and DILG Usec Austere Panadero’s call to help others at a conference she attended, she wanted to make her birthday celebration a meaningful one.  

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WELCOME ‘4Q PERFORMANCE COACHING’ – RIP APPRAISALS

Most people hate traditional performance appraisals for a lot of good reasons. So thank God traditional appraisals are rapidly dying an overdue death. So what are the alternatives to actually help people and teams reflect on their performance, exploit their strengths, overcome limitations and actually learn profoundly? ‘4 Q Performance Coaching’ We call the alternative 4Q Performance Coaching. It can be used as a self-coaching technique or to constructively coach other individuals and teams. It is very quick, simple, positive and even pleasant to do. 4Q coaching also delivers great performance and learning outcomes The 4 Q label simply stands for the 4 empowering questions that are asked as the foundation.

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4 TIPS FOR LEADERS TO BUILD STRONG TEAMS DURING THE PANDEMIC

A lot of things happened in our organization in the last 10 months. COVID-19 forced most of us and our teams to work remotely and suddenly, our work, home, school, studies and all the relations had to exist in one space. Some people found it not so bad – not spending time in traffic givest them more time to spend with their family, read or exercise to support their health. Some found it extremely hard – not be able to be in the office, talk to people over a coffee, create value for the clients, using all the tools they knew and loved. Constantly thinking about health issues..

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5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP CREATE A BETTER WORLD WITH WIAL

As coaches, we recognize the power of Action Learning in organizations – to achieve breakthrough strategies, obtain sustainable results and develop remarkable leaders and teams. But have you considered that with Action Learning you can have an even greater impact, one that touches the wider global community?   This is the objective of the Fundraising, Scholarships and Grants committee at the World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL), which is exploring ways that we can use Action Learning and our coaching skills to create a better world.

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