Different minds – different ideas. Take the most out of your group and develop together!

„We have to learn to discriminate between cleverness and wisdom”

On April 14, 1912, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, the Titanic, which was considered unsinkable, collided with an iceberg, and sank.

We all know the tragedy of the Titanic. In 2017 I participated in an Action Learning Facilitator training where I gained new knowledge of this story which made a big impact on me and gave me a brilliant new tool in the field of group coaching.

At the time of the Titanic’s tragedy Reg Revans was 5 years old. His early memories included meeting a delegation of seamen with his father as part of the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic. When he later asked his father, what had been the most important lesson learned from this disaster, the reply was “What I learned from the Titanic inquiry was to discriminate between cleverness and wisdom”. Revans held this as one of the most important incidents in his life, and his father’s insight became a touchstone of action learning.

(Reg Revans: Sources of Inspiration, Practice and Theory)

So, what is Action Learning? It is a group coaching methodology where the participants act as coaches and with their questions, they support the person who brought his dilemma to the group. It involves a small group working on real problems, taking action, and learning as individuals, as a team, and as an organization. It helps organizations develop creative, flexible, and successful strategies to pressing problems.

According to Revans’s theory, learning is realized as a result of guided knowledge and conscious questioning.

The methodology is based on one of the amazing features of human beings, namely that we already have all the necessary answers that are looking for. Action learning helps the individual / group / team / organization to build on this ingenuity with the help of other participants and through their questions.

The methodology works effectively in companies, in teams – bringing a new dimension to common thinking. At the same time, it works great on individual topics in a group of “strangers”, groups of friends, sports teams – everywhere. With the help of questions, curiosity, and inherent knowledge, we support the topic owner in finding an individual solution.

Action Learning has become one of my favorite methodologies over the years.