‘Action Learning’ is based on the relationship between reflection and action, where the focus is on the issues and problems that participants bring and planning future action with the structured attention and support of the Action Learning Set (ALS) members. Put simply, it is about solving problems and getting things done (Fry et al).
A major advantage of action learning is that participants can look at the real problems, issues and challenges which concern them, rather than considering hypothetical ones
An ALS is a group of usually 4 - 7 people who get together (on a regular basis) to discuss issues of personal or mutual importance. They are designed to deal with the specific needs of the set members and require agreed action by the end of each meeting.
An ALS may, or may not, be facilitated, or may start with a facilitator and later become self-facilitating. Whichever the case, it is important for some ground rules to be negotiated at the outset. There are usually three stages: identifying and clarifying the problem; listing possible actions; and selecting which specific action to take.