Action Learning

What is Action Learning?

At Fulcrum People, we believe leaders are made not born. There is however a limit to what can be learned from text books and training room programmes.

The originator of Action Learning is Professor Reg Revans, an Englishman who established a reputation in the UK and Western Europe.  From first beginnings in the 1970’s, Action Learning is now a world wide methodology of choice and is found in various forms in the best MBA and leadership development programmes globally e.g. Harvard, Governor’s Leadership Foundation, GE.

Revans spoke of the necessity for finding new ways for managers to acquire skills in a working environment which is subject to constant change.  He predicted, as many had before him, the dire consequences for those who cannot cope with change – who turn their back on the inevitable and pray for a “quiet organisational life”.

He believes that using wisdom, judgement, street smarts, gut feel, acumen and savvy before taking decisive intelligent action (what he called “Q”), can be accelerated if the right learning and development techniques are employed.  Managers don’t develop judgement by watching and listening to others, they learn by doing and being guided intentionally through their experience to identify what they have learned.


Revans developed the following formula to illustrate this point :

L = P + Q + R + I


L = learning

P = programme knowledge

Q = the ability to ask the right questions and apply sound judgement to solution implementation

R = review and reflection on what has been learned

I = integrating what has been learned into future behaviour

The purpose of Action Learning is to have the participant overcome substantial personal discomfort by being placed in an unfamiliar environment, given an unfamiliar task which is not reliant on past experience, but is important to the organisation.

“A stranger in a strange place with an important job to do”

Consult us on the use of Action Learning for the identification of talent and rapid development of executive capacity.



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