Author Archive

ACTION LEARNING: A podcast episode w/ Dr. Michael Marquardt‬ on HRD Masterclass

In this first episode of Season 2, guests Dr. Michael Marquardt (Professor Emeritus, George Washington University, U.S.A.) and Dr. Cheryl Brook (University of Portsmouth, U.K.) discussed Action Learning including:
  • What Action Learning is.
  • Examples of Action Learning in organizations.
  • How Action Learning differs from other forms of learning.
  • How to introduce Action Learning into organizations.
  • What makes Action Learning so powerful.
One of the major breakthroughs of the past couple of years has been how issues of diversity, inclusion, and belonging have entered the mainstream public consciousness and become a key issue inside corporate corridors. In a recent Deloitte CEO survey, building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce was a top 3 challenge for 43% of CEOs. At Emerging World, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIBs) work has long been a feature of the immersive learning experiences we provide but its role is now changing. In the past we might have addressed it by including a session on Unconscious Bias in a programme. Read More
In the VUCA world, formal learning that equips learners with programmed knowledge extracted from the past is no longer sufficient. As Action Learning coaches, we appreciate how Action Learning supports leaders to deal with new unknowns through insightful questions and reflections. The process helps uncover new learning while taking actions and applying programmed knowledge. All happens simultaneously without delay. As an experienced practitioner of both Action Learning and Appreciative Inquiry (AI), I formulated an Action Learning process aligned with the essential strength-based principles to support clients. Read More
I do believe that Action Learning is one of the greatest approaches when it comes to solving a problem, but there is more. Once, about 6 years ago, I was a part of the group of Action Learning coaches that got together to solve a problem one of them had. It was an incredible experience: as if a team of superhumans went grocery shopping. It takes much less than they are truly capable of: but this did not discourage, it did the opposite, it inspired them. There was everything: enough pauses for listening and building on each other’s questions, lots of enthusiasm and grace in living it through. Read More
We’ve learned that ACTION LEARNING is a very powerful tool that could promote the fruitful idea-sharing for better problem solving regardless of differences in generation, education, position level and so on. It’s also a practical way to cultivate nice cultures in an organization such as listening, valuing differences, and a practical way in the development of a real learning organization and strengthening teamwork and team collaboration. It makes people recognize that their ideas are valuable and they are meaningful in the organization. Read More
As part of the WIAL Gives Back initiative, the Dominica Red Cross Society (DRCS) received free WIAL coaching for four Action Learning sessions so that it could find breakthrough strategies for an urgent and important problem. For the Action Learning exercise, the organization’s Director-General, Mrs Sandra Charter-Rolle, selected a diverse group comprising employees of the organization, a Red Cross volunteer from the community, and two representatives from the private sector. Mrs Charter-Rolle participated as a member of the group and as a problem presenter. Read More
CARICAD has incorporated into its leadership development programmes the Action Learning methodology which is embraced by brand-recognisable organisations across the world. Based on the feedback from CARICAD programme participants, Action Learning has proven to be very effective in real-time development of leadership skills, breakthrough problem-solving and strengthening of team effectiveness skills. Organisations can significantly increase their internal capacity for leadership development, team building, innovation and problem-solving by using Action Learning. Read More
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 – worrying about ourselves, our families and friends does not help. Read More
A very empowering and positive question that invites people or teams to reflect on their behaviours and actions that deliver great results. It is positive as it implies positive outcomes are being achieved. It is also motivational as it recognises and celebrates the desired outcomes and behaviours. This question reinforces the desired outcomes and behaviours and also motivates their repetition. This occurs because people will repeat the behaviours that they are rewarded for and positively recognised. It engages people in continuous improvement. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
By using Action Learning to look at this challenge, the team realized that the solution they had in mind – growing by recruiting more and more staff – was not feasible. A new approach of building partnerships emerged as the most powerful way to move forward. Some of these partnerships will take time to implement. But some, in particular one focusing on disabled children, was successfully implemented within a few weeks to the great satisfaction of all involved. Action Learning not only delivers breakthrough solutions but helps a team to connect and learn in a powerful way. Read More
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. Read More
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 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. Read More
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. Read More