Just published in Action Learning: Research & Practice an article co-written by Director Sonja Antell and Senior Associate John Heywood explores the challenges and successes of scaling up a programme of action learning facilitator training within a major global organisation.
The authors explore the many challenges of training 165 participants to facilitate action learning sets for First Line Managers (FLM) as part of a large scale leadership programme. The three year programme included face to face training in two languages as well as virtual action learning sets for follow on support and ILM accreditation. As a result more than 1,800 FLMs across 35 countries have now experienced action learning. There is evidence that a “ripple effect” of behaviour change has resulted within the company with staff using action learning skills in all areas of work – not just action learning sets and in ways that are against the cultural norm.
Among the many challenges faced was the diverse range of professional backgrounds and cultures meaning participants could range from highly educated professionals to people whose education had been severely affected by childhood experiences including civil war, living in a refugee camp or a culture of deceit. Reflective learning – such a key element of the action learning process was also counter-cultural for some participants.
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