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Management & Leadership Quick Take

Four Benefits of Action Learning

 

Video Transcript

Four Benefits of Action Learning

Hi I’m Bob Huebner, a senior trainer and consultant for Corporate Education Group with more than 20 years of experience as a training and development professional.

Action learning is a development method where individuals learn while solving important, real-world challenges. This type of learning is highly efficient and very effective because vital skills are acquired and applied in real-time within the context of a particular project, task or assignment. Instead of being passive learners, action learners are responsible for problem solving in the moment, which will make it easier to apply their new skills to their day-to-day jobs. Some of the key benefits of action learning include:

  1. The immediate application of knowledge and skills in the context or flow of a project;
  2. Less traditional, formal instruction reduces time out of the office and away from day-to-day job responsibilities;
  3. A positive impact on the organization by solving important organization challenges; and
  4. Increased self-reliance and responsibility for personal and professional development.

While action learning is a very effective method for development, there are also instances in which it may not be appropriate. For example, if your sponsors are concerned about project efficiency over the application of learning, action learning might not be right for the situation.

Action learning can take many forms and can be used at all levels of leadership on projects ranging from small and tactical to those that are broad and strategic. It is wise to balance the risk with the benefits and to match the level of the learners with the scope and complexity of the project when considering an action learning approach. Small, diverse project teams seem to work best. Overall, action learning is an excellent way to improve the knowledge and skills of individuals whom you want to grow within your organization; just choose the appropriate form, time and project to apply this tactic.