Action Learning Associates

This site reflects our forty years’ experience with Action Learning, or as it is also known, Action Reflection Learning. Unlike traditional training, Action Learning is holistic, focusing on the 'complete' person or organisation. The process of Action Learning enables them to identify the knowledge, skills, experience and behaviour necessary to be successful and empowers them to achieve. In it's personal development form it uses the participant's 'day job' or a specific project as the learning vehicle through which participants are able to identify what they need to know or be able to do to be successful. In its organisational development mode the focus is on the new knowledge and skills the organisation needs to prosper and the values and behaviours it needs to adopt to be successful.

Action Learning empowers change. It enables us to let go of the past and embrace the future

Learning in Action - Helping people to help themsleves

Action Learning empowers people; it frees them from the constraints of traditional thinking and enables them to both develop themselves and optimise the performance of their organisations. We have successfully run both Personal Development and Organisational Change, what we call In-Plant programmes, in many different parts of the world in widely differing cultures and languages and in every case those involved have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to help themselves. We are happy to share this experience with you.

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Involvement leads to ownership which creates commitment

It’s 2021 and we have ‘Brexited’. So What? It is now early April and who cares? The job is done; no one in authority seems to be very interested anymore; which is as it should be. The Government’s focus on vaccination has worked; case numbers are down from twenty + thousand a day to two thousand +, the death rate has dropped from a thousand plus to just tens and the whole population will be inoculated by the end of July. For what seems to be the first time since it was elected the government has shared with us a clear plan with checks and balances, to enable us to ‘get back to normal’ or ‘new normal for some’ over the next few months. The NHS is safe; a great job and a great example of learning by doing in action.

This action does however highlight yet again that self-interest outweighs the interest of others when the ‘chips are down’. We do and forget that our old friend ‘revenge psychology’ is waiting in the wings. It also highlights the fact that democracies, like the EU move slowly. We, the British, are now free and our ‘winner take all’ elected autocracy Government allows us to move quickly and get things done. In this case the risks of early commitment to vaccine has proved successful; our ability to vaccinate more than half of the population in just over three months has saved the NHS and opened the door to a working relationship with COVID. It also highlights why we are unsuited to long term relationships.

Where do we go from here from an Action Learning perspective? On the plus side it seems that there is still a market for training in specific skills like Negotiation, Interpersonal Relationships, Presentation, Meetings management in a ‘Zoom’ environment et al. See Boulden Management Consultants at for more information.

There are also some encouraging signs in the area of organisational development. The Pandemic has created many new experiences and as a result some organisations are now looking at new ways of working. The probability of a significant shift in the current ‘parent / child relationship’ between the classes looks unlikely, however there are encouraging signs that some organisations are planning to move towards a more participative style of management.

At the same time others are rushing to get their people ‘back to the office’ which will satisfy both the needs of management and our current economic model. Everyone who puts on their business suit takes the bus or train into the city every morning is not just going to work, they are making work; wearing out their shoes, buying newspapers, drinking coffee eating sandwiches or ‘foie gras’ etc; thus creating jobs for others.

Does the fact that we have created this way of life mean that we have to continue with it? It seems to me that the Pandemic gives us the opportunity to review the whole concept of work; to move from parent / child to adult / adult and develop a more participative style of management. For example, to pay people for the value they add rather than their position in the ‘pecking order’ or the time they spend at work… They can be involved in such things as, the inequality of pay, of life style, of opportunity, etc. Or do we just go back to a few ‘having their bottoms in the butter’ and the rest providing it. This, we believe, is a time of great opportunity to improve the lives the people of all nations; the question is whether those who could empower such change actually want it?

How can Action Learning help? We see the barrier to change as the values delivered by the traditional social stratification systems which an integral part of all societies. Social stratification separates us before we even begin our lives values they create our expectation of position; workers work and managers manage and never the twain shall meet. Action Learning facilitates change by empowering us to let go of the inappropriate values of the past and replace them with the opportunities of the future.

Action Learning achieves this through involvement which leads to ownership that creates commitment. If you are considering using the great opportunity offered by the Pandemic, why not find out more about how Action Learning can help you?

Take care and enjoy 2021


April 2021

George receiving his Award in Warsaw June 2017

Please feel free to browse the site; and to contact us if you have any queries.

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