Action Learning for Developing Leaders and Organizations: Principles, Strategies, and Cases
1 Jan 2009
American Psychological Association
Michael J. Marquardt
Today's rapidly changing and globally competitive business environment mandates that 21st century leaders develop new models and innovative learning processes of organizational leadership. To meet these shifting needs, Action Learning (AL) has emerged as a key training and problem-solving tool for companies as diverse as Nokia, Samsung, Boeing, GE, Motorola, Marriott, General Motors, Deutsche Bank, and British Airways. These and hundreds of other companies around the world now employ AL for strategic planning to develop managers, identify competitive advantages, reduce operating costs, and create high-performing teams. What exactly is Action Learning?Simply described, it is a dynamic process that involves a small group of people solving real organizational problems, while focusing on how their learning can benefit individuals, groups, and the larger organization. The emphasis on learning is what makes this process strategic rather than tactical in equipping leaders to more effectively respond to change. This book demonstrates how Action Learning can quickly and effectively be introduced, implemented, and sustained in any type or size of organization using six key components: a diverse group of 4 to 8 members; an urgent task or problem; a question-driven communication process; implementation of action strategies; a commitment to learning; and an AL team coach.It features useful business case examples that illustrate the power of AL in successfully developing leaders, solving problems, building teams, and transforming organizations. Recent developments that include skilled coaching and question-based dialogue make it an even more powerful tool in leadership and organizational development.This book is suitable for consulting psychologists; I/O psychologists; management consultants; executive coaches; human resource development professionals; and graduate students in consulting psychology, I/O psychology (especially, courses specific to groups, teams, and cognition), human resource development, leadership development, organizational development, organizational management sciences, human organizational learning, business, and education courses.