Blue Thinking: How Can an Action Learning Coach Help Transform Your Organization?

Action learning is a cost-effective approach for your organization to create a better problem-solving team.

San Diego, CA, January 31, 2013 --( Action learning might be a new term to you, but the process has been around for over sixty years. In recent years, however, executives across the United States caught on to the effectiveness and value of action learning so it has had a resurgence in popularity. In fact, since 2004 action learning has increased in corporate popularity by over 50 percent, and many experts agree that the process works best when led by an action learning coach with specific expertise in this area.

What is Action Learning?
Action learning is an educational process that involves working together as a group and learning as a group. The group tackles issues and reflects on everyone’s actions toward that issue. Through this process, learners gain knowledge through physical action rather than traditional learning techniques. The problem-solving capabilities of this form of learning stem from the diversity group members bring to the group dynamic.

The Basic Principles of Action Learning
There are many different facets of action learning but, generally speaking, this type of learning is based on four principles:
1. Leadership centered: A leader must bring a challenge to the group and control the learning environment to make sure employees follow through with their education. An action learning coach can oversee this process or act as an advisor to the leader.
2. Inquiries: There is no right or wrong answer. There is also no one answer to solve the issue. Instead, learning is enhanced through group inquiry.
3. Accountability: Participants must set aside any preconceived notions or differences and work together as a team. Open reflection is key and each member of the action learning session must be accountable for his participation.
4. Systematic: Managers and business leaders can use these action learning sessions to find common patterns and translate them into systematic, company-wide change.

An action learning coach and company leaders can participate in two types of action learning: peer coaching or team learning. Team learning focuses on an open forum approach, while peer coaching involves a smaller group that meets and reflects on issues they are struggling with on their own.

Benefits of Action Learning
A lot of companies bypass the idea of action learning, thinking it is better suited for the classroom—not the corporate world. In general, managers who broaden their perspectives drop assumptions and look for new opportunities see more results than managers who don’t. When you work with an action learning coach to develop a comprehensive action learning program you can take advantage of benefits that include:
· Solving complex organizational issues using more innovative methods
· Enjoying a low-cost, higher ROI for employee development
· Creating a team of highly trained, exemplary leaders who are superior at problem solving
· Teaching employees about the challenges your organization faces at all levels
· Improving career growth and opportunities within the organization
· Creating a strong network and better working relationship among employees
· Improving critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can continue to be used to solve complex company problems

Getting Started
Action learning is a cost-effective approach for your organization to create a better problem-solving team. A successful action learning program should employ at least three components:
1. Make sure your organization has a real problem for teams to face that is urgent and needs solving.
2. Work with a skilled action learning coach who can host your organization’s sessions. This business coach must be experienced in the action learning methodology for the best results. Your action learning coach should also not be involved or too close to the issue your organization is trying to solve as this has proven to be counterproductive.
3. Ensure that upper management is ready to implement the action learning process and can help drive the process company-wide.

Action learning can transform organizations by creating great leaders, overcoming challenges together, improving communication, and boosting productivity. If your organization is ready to excel with the help of an action learning program, start your search for an experienced action learning coach by visiting or calling 619.550.8052.

About the Author:

Bruno Raynal is the president and CEO of Blue Thinking, a business consulting and coaching firm. Bruno specializing in working with senior management to enhance their awareness of modern business practices and patterns so they can make informed choices, take the right action, and achieve their vision and goals. He provides both one-on-one and group coaching to build better teams. Learn more about Blue Thinking by visiting or calling 619.550.8052.
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