…to learn I must have curiosity. If I merely come to a conclusion my curiosity stops. So there must be curiosity to learn; there must be passion, and there must be energy. Without this I can’t learn. – Krishnamurti
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – e.e. cummings
Action Learning is a process where a group of people (an Action Learning Set) meet regularly to explore real issues that members need to tackle in some way. I have been using action learning sets for about 15 years now and find them very powerful ways of learning.
The learning process starts with someone laying out, in some detail, an issue that they wish to work through with the group.
The group then use questions to explore the issue more fully, from a range of different perspectives, with the intention of generating new insights and approaches.
Clearly the set member that offers the issue to be explored stands an excellent chance of getting some really practical and powerful help. But what does the rest of the set get from the experience?
Well good action learning depends on the ability to ask really powerful questions that generate new insights, and the set provides the perfect space for developing this key leadership skill. Members also learn to really listen, not just to what is being said, but also to what is not said. Members will find themselves asking some of these questions of the issues that they face, and will generate new insights for themselves too.
For some time now I have been thinking about setting up an Action Learning set in Leeds. One that has a diverse membership and a wide range of potential issues to tackle. It would seem to complement the mainstream Progress School sessions, allowing individual members the chance to pursue specific issues in much more depth.
I would anticipate an Action Learning Set meeting on a monthly basis for a couple of hours. A set would have between 6 and 8 members. I would envisage us exploring a minimum of 2 issues each time we met.
Sets could meet during the normal working day, or in the evenings. I am happy to sort out venues, coordinate meetings, facilitate the set and help people to prepare their issues to bring to the group – if there is enough interest and commitment.
I would envisage running the sets on the same basis as Progress School, namely that you pay what you can afford – but that free is fine.
So what do you think?
- Would you be interested in joining an action learning set?
- Do you think this would be in addition to, or instead of, your commimtment to the usual monthly Progress School meetings?