‘The core of action learning is that we learn best when we have a real issue to resolve and when what we are trying to change or resolve is, something that we are responsible for’.
Action Learning Associates 2014
Action Learning Groups were developed by Reg Revans back in the 1940’s. Through work with a wide range of industry he showed that bringing people together to draw on their own experience could create massive improvements in their businesses. They are now recognised as a brilliant, tried and tested place, in a wide range of situations, for supporting people in resolving issues and taking action.
Reg Revans emphasised the importance of articulating doubts and questions in order to realise our potential “swap your difficulties, not your cleverness”
“those best able to help in developing the self are those comrades in adversity who also struggle to understand themselves” Reg Revans
His ‘formula’ looked like this:
Learning = Programmed knowledge + the ability to ask 'insightful’ Questions, or L = P+Q
In other words - whilst we can learn a lot from attending a training programme or other formal or informal methods it is only when we are challenged to relate it to our own situation that learning really begins to 'bite'.
Action Learning has proven over the years to be one of the best methods for enabling people to develop their own solutions to the challenges they face and to continue to learn from that experience.
Action Learning enables:-
- Time to reflect on your business and where you are going with it
- A safe and confidential environment to explore the challenges you face in your work and gain support, challenge and encouragement from your peers to overcome them
- The opportunity to develop new ideas and different solutions
- A chance to learn in more depth about the way you approach problems and to develop new ways to manage them
- An opportunity to learn from others about how they achieve different solutions.
- The opportunity to set your own action plans – and have a deadline for fulfilling them!
Each group meets for 5 – 6 sessions over about 12 months with each person having the opportunity to bring their own challenges and go away with an action plan for resolving them. These may be current problems or future opportunities. Group members also learn useful skills from participating in the reflective and questioning process of Action Learning.
The groups may draw together those from within a business who work in a similar field or a more diverse group e.g. small business leaders.
If you would like to discuss how Action Learning can contribute to your business please contact me.
Action Learning for Small Business
If you are interested in being involved in an Action Learning Group for Small Businesses in the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire area do contact me to discuss this.