What is Action Learning?
Learning by doing…A process in which participants with diverse backgrounds come together as a team to address important organizational issues while further developing leadership strengths.
Who are the key players?
• Action Learning Team Members
• Participants’ Managers
• Executive Sponsor
• Action Learning Team Coach
What challenges do Action Learning Teams typically face?
• Task-driven orientation can overwhelm learning
• Without learning focus, can seem like just another committee
• Project work can tax already busy schedules
• Team members’ desire to perform can lead to scope creep
• Shifting organizational priorities can create unpredicted demands on people’s time
• Managers may not fully support required time to participate
What factors can support an Action Learning Team’s success?
• Well-scoped challenging projects that are important to the organization
• Strong support from senior leadership, the executive sponsor, and team members’ managers
• High team member commitment, engagement and accountability for results
• Solid coaching with focus on learning and stretching beyond one’s comfort zone
• Ongoing reflection on performance and continuous improvement
Action Learning Team Coaching Services:
We support team members in achieving individual and team learning objectives throughout the action learning process by creating a safe environment for team members to communicate, surface and resolve conflict and try out new roles and behaviors. As coaches, we
- Meet with the executive sponsor upfront to clarify his/her hopes for the project and the team’s learning
- Design and facilitate the team’s kick-off session
- Coach team leader(s) in planning team meetings
- Observe team meetings and provide feedback on the team’s performance
- Introduce useful models and frameworks to support team learning
- Facilitate team exercises to accelerate team development and performance
- Support the executive sponsor(s) and the team in identifying how best to work together
- Coach the team in preparing for the final presentation (e.g., observing and providing feedback on “dry run” activities)
Action Learning Consulting Services:
In addition to action learning team coaching, we provide the following program design and staff training services. As consultants, we
- Design comprehensive action learning team programs for client organizations as an integral part of their strategic leadership development programs
- Train and provide consulting to internal professionals who are developing action learning team coaching skills