Action Learning Resources
Here, you’ll find a list of books, events, tools and resources that will help you stay informed and up to date on all things Action Learning.
Tools to buy
For information about our Question Bank pack and to order click here
Here's a list of books and articles on Action Learning and Coaching
Action Learning for Facilitators (ALF)
ALF takes place quarterly in London and provides a professional development forum specifically for people who facilitate Action Learning Sets. Follow the link for more information, dates and to join.
Next ALF event:
Thursday 27th June 2019, 10am to 4.30pm
Venue: Diorama, 201 Drummond St, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3FE
Exploring the potential of virtual action learning
This session teams up ALF members Darren O’Conor and Fiona Scrase for an interactive enquiry into the potential applications of virtual action learning (VAL).
With an observed demonstration, a case study and two structured exercises, the morning is intended to generate insights about the pros and cons of VAL, what can make it work well, and how individual and collective mindsets influence its value.
There will be opportunities to share experience and good practice, with focus on both the psychological and technical dimensions when using communications technology to facilitate problem-solving in groups.
It’s worth highlighting that for the demonstration session we will be looking for six willing volunteers to take part in an observed virtual action learning set. We are looking for a mix of experienced and novice VAL members/facilitators. Let us know if you’d be interested in volunteering.
Future 2019 dates are below - topics to be confirmed.
Tuesday 17th September
Thursday 5th December
Like many organisational development and coaching methodologies, there are a number of words or phrases specific to Action Learning. Here are the definitions of the most common ones:
Action Learning cycle – each AL Set has a given number of sessions. A classic cycle usually has six sessions meeting about every 4-6 weeks. The first session establishes the Set through introducing the people, process and principles, clarifying the purpose, and agreeing ways of working. The last session brings the Set to an end through reflecting on the journey travelled and reviewing progress, outcomes and learning gaining along the way.
Action Learning Sets – a group of 5-7 people, plus a facilitator, who commit to meet regularly and attend all the sessions.
Facilitator – the person who supports, guides and facilitates the group through the AL cycle. They help the Set stay on track, keep to time and ensure there is a balance between focusing on the task and the learning.
Issue holders – also known as the presenter or problem holder. This person works on their issue by sharing theirs views and perceptions of the challenge or opportunity they’re addressing.
Multiple issue Sets – each person brings an issue that is real, significant and current for them. In these Sets, there can be a multitude of topics discussed.
Peer Action Learning Sets – also referred to as open AL Sets, they bring together people from a number of businesses such as CEOs or business owners. They are great for senior leaders who want the opportunities AL Sets provide to discuss issues with peers in a confidential and supportive arena.
Process review – learning comes from reviewing and reflecting how the sessions are going. The process review is time given to look at what’s working, reflect on skills and how well they are being used, and what the group collectively or individually can do to improve and develop so future sessions are more effective.
Progress updates – the time given to review actions and progress on the issues being addressed. Reflecting on progress and outcomes is an integral part to the action learning cycle, irrespective of whether actions are fully implemented or successful.
Self-facilitating Sets – these are Sets that facilitate for themselves by sharing the facilitation role amongst those in the group. They often start with a dedicated, experienced facilitator and go on to become self-facilitating.
Set members – also referred to as supporters. There are group members who listen, support and ask questions of the issue holder.
Single issue Sets – everyone in the Set works on the same issue, such as implementing a strategy
Virtual Action Learning – Sets that meet either by phone or using virtual technologies via computer, tablets or smart phones. Usually used for dispersed project teams or for organisations that have multiple sites.