Action Learning with Hewlett Packard LO19778

Antony Aitken (
Sun, 8 Nov 98 21:28 GMT0

Ian Saunders and I would welcome some help/ideas about widening the appeal
of Action Learning - from anyone on the list who has experience of Action
Learning as a way of integrating personal development with project based
learning, or who is interested in promoting development processes.

We have co-designed and facilitate an open programme for HP, with set
members from eg Glaxo, BBC, Abbey Life and others. After 18 months running
a succession of Sets, HP has asked us to help to widen the programme to
other appropriate individuals and companies.

We work on the premise that Action Learning is a cost-effective
development process with the following attributes:-

1. 6-7 members of each "Action Learning Set" work together in a series of,
say, 6 set meetings of a day each, spread over 6-8 months.

2. Each set member has a personal project, suitably sponsored, back in
their organisation.

3. During each Set day, each individual has a finite period of time for
their own use with the Set, to explore their project , or aspects of it,
or aspects of their personal development associated with it - coached by
the other set members. Coaching is the objective - not advice - and each
set member develops that skill further, as they work hard at listening and
eliciting ideas from others.

4. Each set member goes away at the end of the day, having committed to
certain actions vis a vis the project or their behaviour towards the
project - knowing that they will be expected to report back to their peers
at the next meeting. Experience suggests to us that individual commitment
to the other set members is extremely high!

This summary does not do credit to the whole concept of Action Learning.
For a thorough treatment, see Action Learning by Krystyna Weinstein ISBN 0
00 638224 X.

Now for our problem.

We know from past experience that it is not easy to describe the many
advantages of the process 'off the page'. My own summary above has
probably already produced a few yawns!

So how can we make a difference?

We believe that the process appeals to line managers, because they see the
benefits on the projects; yet the concept really needs a high-level
champion, for it to 'make a difference' to anything but a few lucky
managers who get chosen to give it a try. We are working with the past
alumnae, since personal recommendation is powerful.

What else?

Thank you for any ideas, in advance.

Antony Aitken

Transition Partnerships

-- (Antony Aitken)

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