CREATIVITY ACTION LEARNING SETS
To reiterate from the Course Orientation document, in case you missed it: Action Learning Sets You are organised into action learning sets. The dynamics of team formation just described to you will be directly relevant. In reality, action learning sets are a particular type of team: ‘they are semi-formal groups which offer opportunities to gain input and alternatives from others and receive structured support’ (Cottrell 2010: 144). Thus, they provide the link between individual and group learning. You will be expected to remain in your action learning sets for the remainder of the course, and you will be given the opportunity to reflect on the group dynamics in your assessments. What is an action learning set? It is a group of between 4 and 7 people, who meet regularly to support one another in their learning. Members of the ALS can raise learning issues while the others ask searching questions and reflect on the actions to be taken for the member airing the problem. The power of the ALS comes from the type of questions used and time for reflection. Members also consider the process within the ALS: was it effective, what questions worked well and what issues were considered? Revans (1982) summed up the ALS process in the following formula: Learning (L) = Programmed Knowledge (P) + Insightful questioning (Q) Programmed knowledge is the knowledge available in books (or in this case, the academic content of the MBA course) – or, what we have been told to do for years (explicit knowledge). It also refers to our own acquired personal and professional knowledge (tacit knowledge). Both of these need to be questioned
Questioning asks what aspect of that knowledge is useful and relevant, here and now. It is also a way of saying 'I do not know'.
Learning results from the combination of P & Q. So, what does this process look like during an ALS session? Action learning posits that we possess knowledge but what we need are new ways of...