Action Learning Sets

Action Learning with Ansuz Action

If you have a sticky situation you’d like to explore, a seed of an idea you’d like to bounce off others or need feedback on a future plan, and would like creative, thoughtful and practical input from like-minded people as well as a plan for some realistic solutions, then action learning is for you!

Action learning is a powerful approach to problem-solving. Our action learning sets give you a space for organisational or personal reflection and challenge you to come up with steps you will take to create a solution based on the insights and learning generated with set members. Action learning sets are a time- and cost-effective way for participants to collectively energise, develop and flourish. (See our Action Learning Set FAQs below for more information)

We offer two Action Learning Set options:

‘Open’ Sets:
If you would like to work with people from other organisations to share and overcome challenges then you can join one of our ‘open’ sets. Open sets bring together a group of people around something they have in common – typically they work for different organisations but do similar work. We have run sets which bring together public sector CEOs, small business leaders, and early career academics. We have also run sets which bring together individuals doing very different roles.  The learning outcomes are rich and rewarding whatever the context.

‘Closed’ Sets
Does your organisation have something big going on – for example working through a change process or starting a complex project? An action learning format would enable your teams to make breakthroughs and find solutions. We run closed sets for organisations to support a variety of different challenges.

Format and prices

  • Following Covid-19 guidance, our action learning sets currently take place online.

  • After an initial 1-hour introductory session, each set will be 2 hours long.

  • Sets generally take place monthly.

  • Participants must be able to commit to every session.

Costs per session
4 people – 4 x monthly sessions + introduction = £450 per person
5 people – 5 x monthly sessions + introduction = £550 per person
6 people – 6 x monthly sessions + introduction = £650 per person

To find out more and discuss your situation…

Action learning FAQs

Action learning is a powerful approach to problem-solving. It’s a process and a space that lets you:

  • explore a real-life challenge that has stumped you to the point where you ‘cannot see the wood for the trees’
  • surface something that has been at the back of your mind for a while
  • helps you to shape a plan for the future.

Skilful, powerful questions from other set members enable you to reflect on your issue from different, fresh perspectives and help you come up with a plan of action to take you forward.

Due to the current restrictions on meeting together, your Action Learning Set will take place via Zoom.

Between 4 and 6 people make up a set plus a facilitator.  You will come together at regular intervals over an agreed period (typically monthly over six months). Each session will be 90 – 120 minutes, to allow one person to present and explore their issue, as well as give time for feedback on the progress of other set members’ action plans. Once you have outlined your challenge, your set will ask constructive and incisive questions that:

  1. open up new insights
  2. challenge any deep-seated assumptions and limiting beliefs that may be getting in your way
  3. identify different actions you can take
  4. make progress by forming a plan of action.

 Crucially, between sets, you work on your action plan and will have the opportunity in the following sessions to report on your progress. It is the interplay of action and reflection that promotes powerful experiential learning.

The issue you bring to the set must come from your own lived experience –  something that you are invested in and have a responsibility to change.

For example, there may be conflict or tension in your team and you are struggling to find a way to resolve it, or you have the seed of an idea for a project that you want to explore before you discuss with colleagues or you might be planning a change in direction in your work and need help to move from idea to action.

Through the questioning process, you are encouraged to reflect critically on your situation, which will help you develop a deeper understanding and uncovering actions that will make a difference.

 Your choice of issue is important. It should be something that will stretch, interest and excite you and will meet your learning objectives.

Action Learning offers you the opportunity to explore an issue from different perspectives. The benefits of such holistic thinking include:

  • personal development
  • collaborative working, and improved networking
  • exploration of both the depth and breadth of your challenge
  • ownership of solutions that are practical and appropriate,
  • learning from the experience by committing your insights to action
  • realising that time for reflection is an integral and valuable part of your work practice.
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