This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of action learning, one of the most widely used development methods in health, social and community care. The book addresses the theory and practice of action learning in these fields, and considers action learning as an adult educational ethos as well as a helpful tool. Based upon emerging experience, it identifies good practice in action learning and offers a wide range of resources to enable individuals and organisations extract maximum benefit from this approach.
Offering practical tips grounded in sound educational principles, this book is invaluable reading for all senior managers and professionals considering using action learning for leadership, management and organisation development purposes, including organisation development practitioners and action learning facilitators, and for medical and healthcare educators and their counterparts in social and community care looking for a general introduction to this growing field.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Who should read this book? About the author. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Principles. What is action learning and what is it for? How does action learning differ from other development approaches? Action learning as ethos and method. The benefits of action learning. Part 2: Practice. Preparing for action learning. Action learning sets. The energy investment model and action learning. The key skills. Supporting, recording, ending. Dealing with anxiety in action learning. Facilitating action learning sets. Systemic learning: action learning organisation-wide. Evaluating action learning. Postscript: action learning as reflective activism. Part 3: Resources. Personal exercises for individual set members. Core process exercise. Life goals exercise. Exercises using the set’s dynamics. Action learning constellations. Break-space exercise. Establishing ground-rules. Listening in the corner exercise. Miracle question. Shuffled cards. Slow-motion questioning exercise. SQIFED. Thinking, feeling and willing exercise. Trauma, trivia and joy. Exercises for addressing problems in the workplace. Action planning. Best boss exercise. Brainstorming. Circles of concern and circles of influence. Concept analysis. Dealing with anger in others. Dealing with face-to-face criticism. Drama triangle. Force field analysis. Perceptual positioning. Preparing a business case. Role negotiation. Role set analysis. Say what you see. Six action shoes. Six thinking hats. Strategies, strengths, resources, insights review. SWOT analysis. The change equation. The five whys. Working on "trigger" events. Z technique. Exercises for reviewing set processes. Action learning problem brief. Action learning set "contract". Action/reflection map. Learning log. Set meeting review worksheet. Support/challenge map. Action learning organisations. Further reading
John Edmonstone is a leadership, management and organisation development consultant with extensive experience within the public services both within the UK and internationally. He has some 30 years’ experience of successful consultancy work in the human resource management and organisation development fields in the United Kingdom National Health Service, and within local government, higher and further education in such areas as leadership and management development, coaching and mentoring, evaluation research, partnership working and team development.
He has worked regularly with action learning since meeting with Professor Reg Revans in the 1970s, largely with health care managers and clinical professionals, but also in multiagency contexts, principally within the UK, but also in Ireland and Indonesia.
He runs a successful consultancy business based in Ripon, North Yorkshire and is Senior Research Fellow at the School of Social Science and Public Policy, Keele University; Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Associate at Skills for Health. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Action Learning: Research and Practice, Leadership in Health Services and the International Journal of Healthcare.
He is the author of the books Action Learning in Health Care: A Practical Handbook (2011) and The Action Learner’s Toolkit (2003) and is author of many journal articles on action learning.