Sunday, July 09, 2006

Harnessing d Power Of Action Learning..!!

From Boston to Brazil, Finland to Tokyo, companies as diverse as Samsung, GE, Deutsche Bank and Boeing share one powerful workplace learning tool: action learning. They have created thousands of new products and services, improved service quality, cut costs and delivery times, and made fundamental changes to their organizations’ cultures by unleashing the power of Action Learning. Action Learning has rapidly emerged as a primary tool used by firms like Nokia, Novartis and Siemens for solving their critical and complex problems, developing leaders, building teams, and expanding corporate capabilities.

The Basics

The Problem: Action Learning centers on a problem, a project, a challenge, an issue, or a task – the resolution of which is of high importance to an individual, team or an organization. The problem should be significant, urgent and should provide opportunity for the group to build knowledge and generate learning opportunities. Typically, the situations in which "I am part of the problem and the problem is part of me." Holds true.

The Team: The core entity in action learning is the action learning team or group that is composed of four to eight people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Those differences will enable the group to see the problem from a variety of perspectives, and thus be able to offer fresh and innovative viewpoints. The members may be volunteers or be appointed from various departments..

The Process: : An action learning process emphasizes insightful questioning and reflective listening. By focusing on right questions rather than right answers, action learning focuses on what one doesn’t know along with what one already knows. Questions enable clarification of exact nature of problem, reflecting and identifying possible solutions, and moving only towards consideration of strategies and possible action. The reflective inquiry process builds group cohesiveness, promotes systems thinking and introduces innovative strategies.

Take Action: Any group loses energy, creativity and commitment if it just makes recommendations. Members must have the power to take action themselves or be assured that their suggestions will be implemented. Reflecting on the action provides the best source for learning and organizational change

A Commitment:Solving the problem provides immediate short-term benefit to the company. The greater long term multiplier benefit, however, occurs when the learning gained by each group is applied strategically throughout the organization. Also, the action learning places equal emphasis on making individuals smarter thereby resulting in quicker decision making and action.
The Coach: One member in the team devotes all his efforts towards helping the group learn. He identifies the opportunities that enable the group to improve its problem-solving and strategy-creation capacity. The coaching role may be rotated amidst the team throughout the duration of group’s existence.

The Action Learning components are depicted in the figure below:




The Benefits

Action learning works not because of luck, but because it inherently interweaves a wide array of organizational, psychological, sociological, and educational theories and principles. Action learning has an amazing power to simultaneously and effectively enable organizations to:

* Solve Complex Urgent Problems
* Develop Skilled Leaders
* Quickly build high performance teams
* Transform Corporate Culture
* Create Learning Organizations

The simplicity and applicability of Action Learning have enables many organizations to achieve breakthrough success. Try the approach yourself…!

The simplicity and applicability of Action Learning have enables many organizations to achieve breakthrough success. Try the approach yourself…!

All the very best...!!

2 comments:

Chinmay said...

The nice thing about research is until you actually make a product, you just want to find out if it works....!

Sunny Tambi said...

Chinmay, u r simply gr8.
Keep it up and keep exploring.
Do tell me ur new findings.
Bye 4 now.