What are Action Learning Sets?

Action learning sets are structured meetings where small groups of people meet together to collectively discuss real issues and devise solutions that address these issues.

Who is it for?

This initiative is targeted at all managers and leaders across the university.

Why are these being set up?

The current pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways and the current home working norm has isolated many employees. Participants at initiatives set up for managers and leaders across the university have suggested that they'd like to meet and support each other and the action learning set structure lends itself to meeting this need. The issues will be brought by the participants and the expertise within each group will be used to solve the issues presented. This programme of meetings will be set up for the next six months after which the groups can continue, self managed, or be disbanded, depending on the individual and institutional need.

What are the benefits of action learning sets?

Action learning sets increase learning, create networking opportunities and provide support to participants as well as creating solutions to real life issues.

How will they work?

Monthly meetings will be set up for the next six months until January 2021. These will be initially facilitated by members of the People and Organisational Development team and then be self managing using the Zoom meeting platform. After an initial input to describe the structure and agenda, participants will be split into breakout rooms of around five or six participants. Each participant will be asked to briefly present an issue that they are currently facing. The group then selects one of the issues and goes through a series of steps to develop solutions to the issue, resulting in the articulation of a final plan of implementation. The sessions will last for 90 minutes with the intention of the small group exploring one issue in each meeting.

While the action learning set group membership will initially be set up randomly, after the first meeting the membership will remain the same to build up relations within the group. Each action learning set will be asked to identify one member who can act as chair for the duration of the session within the breakout room.

What sort of issues should I bring to my action learning set?

Below are a list (not exhaustive) of example issue that participants might bring along:

  • how to go about launching an initiative
  • a staffing problem
  • how to influence a certain situation
  • how to achieve support for an initiative
  • how to overcome a customer service problem
  • how to cope with a heavy workload
  • how to make a specific key decision

When they will run

  • Thursday 27 August 2020; 09:30-11:00
  • Wednesday 23 September 2020; 14:00-15:30
  • Thursday 22 October 2020; 14:30-16:00
  • Wednesday 25 November 2020; 10:30-12:00
  • Thursday 17 December 2020; 14:30-16:00
  • Tuesday 26 January 2021; 14:00-15:30

How do I sign up?

Please note that attendees will need to be able to join all of the sessions.

To sign up for these action learning sets, please complete the Google Form confirming your personal details and your availability for the six monthly meetings. Calendar invitations from People and Organisational Development will follow shortly.

Complete the online application form