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Action Learning Sets

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The question was posted by Becky on 14/09/2022 09:50:58

Hi everyone, I am in need of the collective wisdom of the Trainer's library members once again! I'm looking to run some action learning sets for several groups within the company and wondered whether any of you have any experience of running them? What projects did you use for the action learning sets? How did you ensure the learning was extracted before, during and afterwards? Any advice, ideas or experience shared would be warmly welcomed


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Hi,
This is one of those situations where looking out is a case of "wood and trees" and looking in is much easier.
Go with your ideas. With the customer journey one, make sure you have part of it looking from the customers perspective (not our interpretation of what we think they want), again use the "looking in" analogy. In the ALS you could use a video of a journey through an airport as an example. How at each stage the customer perceived their experience (what they like and what they moaned about). You could pick our experiences of all the Covid precautions etc.
You could do one on running an ALS and how to make it easy to roll out to teams and departments. This would be something for 'champions' to get involved in. Then to create a support group.
Your answer also gives me another ideas...
"how to transition to a project manager from a project worker/officer"
"how to increase self confidence and change self belief from I can't to I do"
"how to develop great working relationships with people outside of my working environment"

As before, happy to do a call and kick these ideas around a bit.
Exciting stuff.
Colin
23/09/2022Colin
Hi Colin and Clare, thanks so much for your responses. I guess it's really some examples of projects that I am after. We don't have any particular change projects happening that are really meaty enough for an Action Learning Set and I've been asked to think of some things that might work. Trouble is that I need quite a few - I've thought of a D & I Initiative, another group will need to plan marketing initiatives to last through the next 12 months - and another one around Learning and Development. I've also looked at one which is about aligning our customer journey and experience to make it consistent across the company....but then I'm out of ideas!!! I need some more projects because otherwise the groups will be too large and not everyone will be able to make a decent contribution. Colin, in answer to your question - I guess it's a bit of everything. I'm an experienced trainer but have never run an ALS before, so partly, yes I would like to see how well they work - but above and beyond that, one of the objectives is to bring quieter, very capable people out of their shells and lead a project, so they can learn about leadership, conflict, looking at a situation more ecologically, and influencing as the projects I do have will require them to work with people outside of their immediate working environment. Love the ideas you have both shared, and any further suggestions on project areas or examples of projects you have run with ALS would be very gratefully received.
22/09/2022Becky
Becky, With the projects to use, the quick answer that leaps to mind is any change related project. First though I would go back a step. What is your goal/objective for the Action Learning Sets? Is it to learn about how they (ALS) work? Is it to fix and issue problem? Outputs from the two will be different, connected, but different. For each what do you want after the ALS workshops. Recording the learning can be done at both an individual and a group level. In terms of the group size don?t let it grow too big. Especially when sharing the and providing feedback, too big a group and you?ll use up a lot of time and some may actually not contribute. So be clear on who is taking part and what is their learning objective? (Why do they want to take part?) Maybe use of a learning log for individuals and group flip/screen. Have a look at IdeaBoardz it?s a free resource online, this uses a kind of online post-it version where you could gather the group and individual learning. Don?t forget your learning, you will be tweaking it as you go, remember not to lose sight of your goal. You?ll need a set up session, and as part of this you need participation affirmations. You don?t want people dipping in and out claiming work pressures and commitments. Tied to that is to decide how many sessions do you want to run for each group (project or problem)? Happy to receive an email, or to have a call.
20/09/2022Colin
Hi Becky I am an action-learning facilitator and think it is a really powerful learning tool. I have used them in talent and leadership development. We used them for business related projects where people on a talent development programme were give a real business challenge that they then formulated into a question that needed to be answered. They then scoped this out into the project and used their learning to apply to the situation, research internal and external good practice and put together their 'answers' - recommendations for action. Action Learning usually begins with a question that needs to be answered for either individuals work and performance or for the organisation. Another way I have used it is to provide a framework to sharing experience, good practice during a review where delegates are sharing what action they have taken since their training and the outcomes they have experienced. Hope this helps. Clare
20/09/2022Clare


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