Action Learning is "learning by doing" in a way that benefits the business in a measureable manner.
The focus is on increasing employees' learning capacity while responding to real business challenges. It develops critical thinking and creates mutual understanding and respect among employees.
Action Learning is a core element of Optima's performance improvement approach and we deploy it extensively as a key component in our leadership development programmes.
In Action Learning, cross-departmental groups of 6-8 people receive a real business challenge to resolve within (approximately) 100 working days. An Action Learning coach is assigned to each group to assist group members in reflecting not only on their problem solving but also on elevating their group functioning as well as focusing on examples of their leadership skills.
Action Learning is quite different from the "one size fits all" curriculum that characterises many training and development programs.
Research indicates that of all the components in leadership development initiatives internationally, Action Learning is the single most critical element for success. It is also the only learning approach which guarantees a financial return on investment in excess of the costs of the total learning programme. Many organisations worldwide (and in South Africa Imperial, Eskom, Transnet, Absa, Standard Bank, De Beers, Mercedes-Benz and
many more) have achieved substantial bottom line results through Action Learning.