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As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team is working on a porch with windows around three sides. As the session starts two participants stand up at the same time. One walks to one side of the room and closes a window, the other walks to the other and opens a window.
As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The session has been going for a long stretch and participants start stepping out to use the bathroom.

Lyreco is one of the world’s leading B2B distributors of Office and Workplace products with a strong and growing ecommerce presence complementing its traditional channels. Operating in Europe for over ninety years, Asia has been one of the growth markets for the past two decades. Due to rapid growth over in Thailand, the local leadership team were searching for a way to confront many of the internal challenges resulting from rapid expansion.

Action Learning was identified as a key tool and over a six-month period, two groups of directors and managers attended foundation courses in Action Learning in either Thai or English. Seven potential coaches were selected from the earlier cohorts who were trained to become Certified Action Learning Coaches (CALC). Within the first year, the CALC at Lyreco were holding regular cross-functional Action Learning sessions with a wide selection of attendees from Lyreco in Thailand.

There have been many benefits, even in the first year; Action Learning has clearly promoted work related interaction between the departments at the different geographical locations in Thailand and all the participants are learning from each other about what is happening and planned for the future in their departments and Lyreco as whole.

The Action Learning group members are learning to ask powerful questions and it has created a format where people “have’ to ask work related questions, where previously it may have been seen as culturally inappropriate or insensitive to ask questions.

The company has clearly begun to develop a learning culture and whilst the Action Learning is helping to solve problems, we see this as a by-product, as the improved inter-departmental cooperation and openness to ask questions amongst our employees producing learning and better understanding is already a real benefit.

“Whilst there is still work to change the perception of some employees of Action Learning from a short-term program to becoming being part of our DNA, I am confident that the benefits of Action Learning will continue to impact everyone who has been exposed to it whether they remain at Lyreco or continue their career elsewhere.”

Managing Director
Lyreco (Thailand) Co., Limited

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A year earlier there was a merger in the organization. All fun elements had been stopped – picnics, team outings and were replaced with ridged procedures. The team was tasked with determining was to bring back fun in the work place. The top HR person on the team is convinced it can’t happen and derails every idea.