Action Learning International


Action Learning International members have been published extensively ...



Richard Hale (2013): The leadership crisis – can Action Learning Questions provide any answers?, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 1-10

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This article provides a reflective account of the author’s experience over the past 12 years of introducing a structured approach to accredited action learning to corporate organisations. The generic Action Learning Question method is outlined and specific examples of programmes in the financial services/banking and education sector are described. Included is an example of how Action Learning Facilitators have been developed. It is proposed that this approach has a place in supporting leadership development in a period of great uncertainty and change.


Joanna Kozubska & Bob MacKenzie (2012): Differences and impacts through action learning, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 9:2, 145-164

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Here, we argue that action learning (AL) has been evolving into different variations, whose respective advocates appear to concentrate on one of the several components inherent in Revans’ formulation of AL as L = P + Q. They do this – sometimes inappropriately – to the virtual or relative exclusion of other aspects, and this has consequences for the outcomes and impact of the AL process. In an attempt to delimit the boundaries between various versions and indeed to identify what Johnson [2010. A framework for the ethical practice of action learning. Action Learning: Research and Practice 7, no. 3: 267–283] called ‘inauthentic’ AL, we have been developing our ideas for a scanning device or framework. We refer briefly to some of the theoretical underpinnings of this framework. We then introduce a fresh taxonomy to explain and illustrate features of five principal variations of emphasis in AL that we have identified. The aim of this framework is to help stakeholders to work towards selecting and co-creating the most appropriate variation of ‘authentic’ AL to suit their unique set of circumstances at any given time. We outline the likely outcomes of each respective variation if taken to extremes and conjecture about their implications. This taxonomy should also help one to reduce the mystique and confusion that often surround AL while acknowledging its complexity. We suggest that by taking advantage of insights provided by this framework, purchasers and potential AL set members in particular are more likely to participate in learning conversations that lead to more informed decisions and actions to address or adjust their respective interests and needs. In conclusion, we identify some areas for further research and development.

Richard Hale (2012): Bright Horizons for Action Learning, Training Journal, July, 25-28

Professor Reg Revans was a thought leader and a man of action at a time when the field of management development was emerging. His key proposition was conceptually a simple one: managers and leaders learn effectively with and from others by tackling real work-based challenges and by posing insightful questions to each other. He was critical of the growing army of management gurus, academics and consultants claiming to know the answers and concerned to show their ‘cleverness’. This article describes the development of the structure for Action Learning Facilitator Accreditation created by the author using the constructs Mobiliser, Set Adviser, Learning Catalyst. A case study is provided of Bright Horizons family Solutions a major childcare provider where this approach has supported a leadership and learning strategy underpinned by Action Learning Questions.

Richard Hale (2012): How do we address the challenges of culture change and leadership development in the health service?, September, 1-6

This paper published by healthcare sector consultancy Francis Group,  builds on the findings published in the Francis Inquiry1 and the King’s Fund Report ‘Patient-Centred Leadership - Rediscovering Our Purpose’ and explores the challenges faced by the healthcare sector and the NHS in bringing about sustainable change following the findings of the Francis Inquiry and its recommendations. It is shown that there is much to learn from earlier work conducted by Professor Reg Revans in the Hospital Internal Communication Project conducted in the 1960s, and whilst some of his propositions may have dissipated over time, now is the time to embed an action learning based approach to individual, team and organisational development. This should focus on a modern interpretation of Revans’ approach referred to as Action Learning Questions. It can be seen how such a process can underpin various development methods recommended by the King’s Fund, including coaching, mentoring and action learning projects.

Richard Hale (2012): Actual Professional Development, Training Journal, August, 39-42

Drawing on a case study of introducing Action Learning Questions to the outsourcing sector as an emerging professional field, this article challenges the traditional model of Continuing Profesisonal Development. Hale suggests the traditional professions have focused more on measuring inputs for CPD rather than impact and raises key questions to ensure CPD becomes more meaningful.

David RosenbaumProfessor Elizabeth More and Professor Peter Steane (2013): Action Learning Intervention as a Change Management Strategy in the Disability Services Sector - A Case Study, Action Learning Action Research Journal, 18: 2, July 2013

The not-for-profit disability services sector faces many challenges. The shift in funding arrangements from a supply-model, to a demand-model, has triggered the reassessment of organisational activity. This paper analyses these challenges, and seeks to study the application of Action Learning as a management tool for dealing with transformational change in this sector. The Action Learning approach implemented in this case study focused on the unique organisational characteristics with regard culture, structure, and the organisational response to the depth of the challenge. In so doing, the organisation recognised the requirements to respond decisively as a result of the shifting funding paradigm. Evidence was obtained regarding successful intervention outcomes, organisationally and personnel-wise. The former being a wide array of organisational and business initiatives, and the latter through the qualitative assessment of participant feedback. This paper provides insight into the development of an Action Learning intervention that can be applied to organisations in this sector, to facilitate such change challenges.

Remembering My Colleague Dr Joanna Kozubska by Bob MacKenzie, Professor of Management Learning, the IMCA Business School

Memories in tribute to Action Learning International Co-Founder, Dr Joanna Kozubska,15th March 1946 -10th August 2015, in the words of former colleague and co-author Dr Bob Mackenzie.



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