Praxis - Establishing Action Learning’s Deeper Value in High-Potential Development

Here's how to get the most out of your action learning projects to increase long-term learning agility through critical reflection on development experiences.

Does it seem that when your action learning project is solved participants go their separate ways, often leaving the experience and the lessons learned in the past? While the project’s value is measurable to the organization, Korn Ferry research has found that when you embed critical reflection to the design and delivery you can significantly increase long-term learning agility in participants – maximizing your program’s ROI.

How? Critical reflection teaches participants to “learn how to learn” – developing their ability to reflect on their experiences in a way that embeds a continual learning mindset. Leaders who develop a learning mindset know not only how to solve a problem, but how to adapt their thought processes to solve unfamiliar problems as they arise.  

To leverage critical reflection, there are five components you’ll need to build into your action learning program:

  • A diverse group of participants
  • An action learning coach
  • A knowledgeable internal sponsor
  • A specific organizational problem without easily identifiable solutions
  • Collaborative, critical reflection techniques

It goes back to the old maxim: you can give someone a fish or you can teach them how to fish. The same principle applies: you can give a leader a learning experience or you can teach a leader how to learn from their experiences. We propose that “learning how to learn” is more beneficial and the highest value goal for action learning. 

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