Action Learning Set Advisor Development & Certification Program

Since being established in 1988 TLA has developed singular expertise in the utilization of Action Learning to help optimize organizational and personal performance, and to aid in satisfying work-life balance For example, see numerous papers published on AL by TLA Associate Peter Smith.

Peter Smith and his TLA colleagues designed the Action Learning Set Advisor Development & Certification Program in collaboration with an Advisory Panel of highly regarded Action Learning authorities (Jean Lawrence, Ray Mahoney, Dr. John Morris, and Dr. Alan Mumford). The program was approved in 2004 by the International Foundation for Action Learning - UK (IFAL - UK), a charity and company limited by guarantee with Chapters in Europe, Scandinavia, and N. America, first set up in 1977 to articulate, promote and safeguard the accepted principles and practices of Action Learning.

The overall approach used in delivering TLA’s Action Learning Set Advisor Development & Certification Program is itself an adaptation of Action Learning (AL) methodology. Members of the Program Advisory Panel, as well as IFAL – UK’s executives and TLA’s principles, have worked in AL for many years with other world authorities including Professor Reg Revans the originator of AL. These professionals all pooled their extensive expertise in collaboratively developing the unique interactive face-to-face AL-based Action Learning Set Advisor Development & Certification Program offered by TLA.

AL deals best with problems, not puzzles:

  • Puzzles are challenges with known solutions, even if the answer is not yet known e.g. calculating a financial balance sheet. This is where traditional business schools and training programs excel.

  • Problems are challenges with no known, or no “one best way” solution e.g. how to lead an organizational change initiative, or organize a leadership development program. Problems can only be successfully addressed by the gathering of insight, wisdom, experience and practise, and this is the approach employed throughout by TLA in the design and delivery of the Action Learning Set Advisor Development & Certification Program. 

What You Achieve In The Program

  • Familiarity with AL history, founding principles and practices

  • Freedom to refine your personal Set Advisor style and skills

  • Further understanding of, and ability to deal with, AL Set dynamics

  • Skills in encouraging listening, questioning, reflecting, and learning

  • Chances to develop strategies to deal with issues faced by Set Advisors

  • Expertise and confidence in designing and running AL programs

  • Sensitivity to the benefits and radical implications of AL programs

  • Opportunities to augment your personal and professional development

What The Program Enables You To Do

  • Explain what Action Learning and Set Advising mean in today’s business and social climates and define the benefits

  • Demonstrate satisfactory Set Advisor capabilities in an AL “Set” (Group)

  • Understand how to begin to design and implement AL programs in formal and informal contexts

  • Develop personal action plans that will help you continuously improve your Set Advisor skills and your satisfaction with AL

  • Show a return on your investment in this program through enhanced career potential and/or improved organizational performance

Highlights Of The Program

The program comprises one initial 3-day offering plus two 1-day follow-on sessions at roughly monthly intervals. During these intervals, participants are expected to further develop by performing AL Set facilitation in contexts that they themselves arrange. Certification takes place at the final 1-day session.

  • Pre-work:

  • Self-assessment: “Readiness for Action Learning Set Advisor Role”

  • Days 1 – 3 (topics only … not in order):

  • Introductions, Expectations, Pre-work

  • AL foundation, principles, and practice

  • AL “Fishbowl” demonstrations

  • AL exploration of participants’ issues

  • Set Advisor practice

    • Understanding and dealing with set dynamics

    • Setting up AL programs, benefits, concerns

  • Day 4:

    • AL exploration of participants’ issues

    • Advanced AL topics

    • Set Advisor practice

  • Day 5:

    • AL exploration of participants’ issues

    • Set Advisor Certification

Some Key Participant Requirements

  • Participants are required to:

    • Have previous experience of Action Learning at least as Set members

    • Be prepared to work in the program utilizing a contract of confidentiality 

    • Reflect on their own performance and that of others, and take personal responsibility for adoption of insights as these emerge during the program

    • Keep a confidential journal during the program to document their findings and learnings

On Successful Program Completion

TLA will award you a certificate that confirms that you have undergone a highly interactive face-to-face workshop and workplace Action Learning based program designed to provide you with the basic understanding, capabilities, and confidence to function effectively as an Action Learning Set Advisor. The offering is founded on Action Learning principles and practice widely accepted internationally, and has been approved by the International Foundation for Action Learning – UK.

Please contact us for further information or to explore your needs