Action learning is a term describing the continuous process of gaining knowledge by analyzing current issue, which is important for development of organization. Whole method is based on creating a team which in real time defining nature of the specific problem to identify and consider any possibilities to get the things done in social context.
Term action learning was developed by Reg Revans, who worked tireless to create a unique way to train and develop people. His idea was focused on innovative area of self-improvement. This method helps managers and each one engaged in management. Reg Revans created a specific equation which shows the structure of the learning process.
\(L = P + Q\)
Where \(L\), described as Learning Equation is a result of sum \(P\), which is programmed and traditional knowledge gained and \(Q\), which stand for questions which appears during the process of thinking of possible resolve. In action learning, letter \(Q\) is most important element of idea. It gives strong feedback which can be valuable in further actions.
Action Learning Components
Action learning has five phases:
- Define problem,
- Create a team,
- Analyze possibilities,
- Take an action,
- Learn from result.
Main advantage of action learning become effect which is appropriate knowledge gained thanks to asked questions by the members of group. First step is to find an problem to discussion. Discussed issue should be described as significant, exigent and crucial. After this, it is time to create a team. Usually team is composed of four to eight people who are in the same position, responsible of solving the problem and it is their main target. The more participants has different experiences and diverse knowledge the better result we can expect. Each of member of the team get chance to speak about any idea and ask any question what helps in clarifying exact problem which makes them more creative, less passive and deprives pressure of life and work. Any proposal can be discussed with the colleagues gives opportunity to reach deeper understanding, what leads to personal experience gain. Once group dialogue is over, it comes crucial step, which is taking action and carrying implementation.
Resolve with concrete action instead of less creative and irresolute recommendations could give many results to learn from, provides immediate benefits and make people engaged in process more experienced and motivated. Brave concepts may be a window of opportunity to solve future issues. Many people claims that there is no method which can be cost-effective, use creativity and motivates workers. Action learning is the powerful tool, process which meets these criteria, but organizing it properly is crucial to get right results. Organization needs some time to change inside culture, structure and style of management, but engaging managers or workers intellectually and emotionally and may be strong base which contributes to company's growth. Action learning target is to satisfy not only the organization but also individual part of it.
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- Revans R. (2017)., ABC of action learning, Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames, s. 2
- Revans, R. W. (1982). What is action learning?. "Journal of management development", 1(3), 64-75.
- Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2001). Action learning and action research: paradigm, praxis and programs. "Effective change management through action research and action learning: Concepts, perspectives, processes and applications", 1, 20.
Author: Krystian Prorok