Having just returned from introducing action learning to the 2013 Fellows on the Clore Social Leadership Programme, I realise how fortunate I’ve been to experience a number of fellowship programmes where action learning has been designed as an integral part of the learning experience. These include Accelerate which brings aboriginal leaders from the arts and creative world on a three week visit to the UK and International Creative Entrepreneurs which offers an experience of living and working abroad to Scottish entrepreneurs.
There is something particularly exciting about action learning when it accompanies a fantastic opportunity, a great experience but which inevitably raises big questions for those participating:
-what, me, a leader?
– where does this take me?
– what do I want from this experience?
– how am I changing?
-and now what?
Action learning invites the participants to explore these questions and many others with a trusted group of peers. They get support, plenty of challenge and a structured opportunity to reflect on their learning whilst they are immersed in it.
Although the core methodology is the same – after all, why change a tried and trusted way of working- the experience is very different from that of a set who meet together to explore their current leadership challenges.
It begs the question – where else might we use action learning?