Action Learning

So what is Action Learning?
Action learning is based upon the concept of learning by reflection (or reviewing) on an experience. It is underpinned by the cycle of experiential learning as shown below, where the stages of reviewing and concluding are worked through with the Set. In practice many of us tend to short circuit this cycle and often ship the reviewing phase as it is often difficult to do out of context.Action learning will help ‘close the loop’ and ensure our learning is as effective as possible (more about learning cycles in module one).

Action Learning Sets are primarily focused on the individual’s learning.An Action Learning programme involves the following key elements:

  • The Set: a group of 6 – 8 people who meet regularly.
  • The Projects: each participant works on a project or task over the life of the set
  • The Set Adviser: a facilitator who helps the group to work and learn together.

Although Action Learning is flexible, it is highly structured and focuses on the individual and their need NOT on the programme.

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Mike Morrison is director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy. He has been involved in HR, OD and strategic development for over 20 years. He can be contacted via

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