Why Action Learning is a High Impact Leadership Development Tool
If you are in charge of your company’s leadership development, you are responsible for results. But, it can be daunting to pick a tool that will give you practical, high impact results. This is where action learning comes in.
What is Action Learning?
It is proven that action learning is a key training and problem-solving tool. Firstly, leaders work in small groups with a trained coach to solve real company problems. It speeds the leaders’ development because this type of learning is hands-on and collaborative. Secondly, because the leaders are solving actual organizational challenges, it develops the organization as well. For these reasons, the most successful organizations are using action learning as their number one leadership development tool.
Organizations Use Action Learning When They Want To:
- Ready their leaders for strategic change. For example, it can be used to analyze the future impact of a planned change. And, make recommendations on how different departments should prepare.
- Identify competitive advantages in the marketplace. One of the action learning teams can conduct competitor research and make recommendations for reducing risk.
- Reduce operating costs. Your organization can have a team compare the costs of vendors. And decide which vendor to use. Or, make recommendations for streamlining internal processes.
- Create high-performing teams. Leaders bring their new-found skills directly back to the job. Action learning teaches them how to effectively and collaborative solve problems.
- Put their strategic goals in motion. Each project team works on a real company challenge. Therefore, action learning is directly tied to your organization’s strategic plan.
The Business Questions Answered Through Action Learning:
- How do we better engage our front-line employees?
- In what ways can we reduce material costs?
- What are cost effective ways to better brand ourselves in the marketplace?
- What are the pros and cons of expanding our employee wellness programs?
- How do we make our vendor management systems more efficient?
- What is the first step we should take to become a more inclusive workplace?
How Action Learning Boosts Leadership Development
Action Learning Has 6 Components:
- A Business Problem: that is urgent, significant and the team has authority to resolve.
- An Action Learning Team: 5-8 people from different units across the organization.
- Insightful Questioning and Reflective Listening: Action learning effectively tackles problems because it uses a structured process. Firstly, the team asks questions to clarify the exact nature of the problem. Secondly, they reflect and identify possible solutions. Finally, the team takes action.
- Taking Action on the Problem: If the group makes recommendations only, it loses its energy, creativity and commitment. It must take action to resolve the challenge.
- Commitment to Learning: In addition to the shorter-term benefit of solving the business problem, the longer-term benefit is the spread of learning and effective problem solving throughout the organization.
- An Action Learning Coach: A trained and experienced coach is needed. They help your team members reflect on what they are learning, how they are collaborating and solving problems.
To learn more about our approach to action learning, contact us today.