Action Learning in Practice

Action Learning in Practice

2 Comments on Action Learning in Practice

My name is George Boulden; I am a partner in Action Learning Associates International which I formed with Professor Reg Revans and Alan Lawlor in 1980 to promote the use of Action Learning in Management Development. This is my first blog or diary in my terminology. It is about my ongoing experience of trying to sell a new book on Amazon. (see About Us for more information.

The new book
I semi-retired in 2006 and since then I have lived peacefully; doing all the things there was no time for in life before. In 2012 decided I’d had enough peace and would like to write a new book about using Action Learning in a self-development mode. Those of you who know about Action Learning will already be laughing. The heart of the Action learning process is facilitation; therefore you will be saying; there can be no learning without facilitation, so it can’t be done.

Who says it can’t be done!
Yes I agree and for some time I was struggling but then I thought back to my years with Alan Lawlor when we sat together over a beer on Saturday mornings and talked about what we had been doing, our actions. He was primarily interested in small own job programmes and my main interest was in large, what we call ‘In-plant’ programmes. Thinking about that experience I realised that Alan was really facilitating my learning and I was facilitating his therefore when the person who is reading my book reaches the stage where they have a project and a plan all they need to do is find someone who is prepared to sit and help them to learn from their experiences.


Having solved this problem I finished the book in November 2014 and with considerable help from my good friend Prof Steve Iman in California managed to get it published both as an Ebook on Amazon and as a paperback on CreateSpace. I then sent notifications to all my friends put an advert on Facebook and waited for the sales and waited for the sales and waited for the sales.

Now it’s getting serious
However this was not to be and by January 2015 I realised that it was impossible to sell on Amazon without a lot more effort. I did buy a book on selling on Amazon, however somehow it did not work for me? I spoke with my good friend Richard de Laat who advised me that the only way forward was to ‘increase my profile’. He recommended re- editing the ten books and other materials that we had on the website, upgrading our bespoke website to WordPress for ease of access and offering a series of Webinars on Action Learning, using the books. He also advised me to start blogging. So this blog is part of my ‘search to sell’ and also an opportunity for me, to stay up with the socially networked world.

Back to work
So, where are we now? I started by editing the books and other materials and this was finished by September, or so I thought. Richard during this time was very busy with sales letters, funnels, TMBaE’s (Ben Adkins’ term from Living Emails) and continually asking me to fill in forms with regurgitated and additional information. By October we had already slipped the original date for the Webinars twice and I was in the process of creating the script for the first Webinar. Halfway through this I suddenly realised that what seemed like a logical story in the book did not play well as a presentation. This meant a re-work of some parts of the book! More work.

Going to WordPress
My next task was to organise for our old web site to be transferred to WordPress. I spoke to our ISP and they were very happy to provide us with a WordPress template. They said it was a very simple process change the web site over which I could probably do myself. However a quick glance at the WordPress Dashboard convinced me that it was well beyond my competence. I looked around for help but it was all very expensive. Again Richard came to our aid by suggesting that we try Upwork, a US company that subcontracts this sort of work to Asia. Here the price was excellent and the young man who did the job was first class; the work was done on time and the site does everything we wanted.

Promoting the Webinars Webinar
At the beginning of November we had the website done and the materials, at least for the first webinar, ready. On Wednesday last 11th November we launched our advertising campaign on LinkedIn and Facebook and waited for the customers to arrive. Now its 0800 hours on 14/11 after 16,300 impressions on Linkedin we have no clicks; with over 4000 impressions on Facebook we have 10 clicks and NO clients. What to do now? – More tomorrow George (Read more about Richard’s (perspectives on )

About the author:

George has been using Action Learning to empower managers and their organisations to be the best, for over thirty years. He has written numerous articles about his experiences and contributed to many books on the subject. In addition he has published a number of books about Action Learning and Personal Development through his company ALA International. In his latest book, 'Change; Become a Winner' he presents the philosophy of the Action learning 'Own Job' model as a vehicle for personal development.


  1. Nabib  - December 16, 2015 - 6:34 pm
    Reply /

    Ah yes, nicely put, evyorene.

    • george  - December 29, 2015 - 5:48 pm
      Reply /

      Thank you Nabib. We continue with our efforts to lift the profile of our site butthe more I see the more I feel that 4e are in a large funnel with millions of others all of whom are trying to get through the narrow opening into the bottle!

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