Action Learning Coaches as Organizational Change Agents

I frequently mention during my training and coaching work that Action Learning (AL) is a very powerful method for bringing about large system changes. I also describe AL as one of the most effective Organizational Development (OD) strategies available for organization. Because AL is so effective in solving critical, urgent, and complex problems, AL coaches often have many opportunities to develop “add-on” business using many of their other talents skills. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities are never turned into actual business because coaches don’t have the consultation strategies or organizational change framework necessary for convincing clients that they can meet their large system change needs.

During the past week, I had the privilage, with Arthur Freedman, to design and deliver a course on consultation and OD skills for trainers and consultants at the American Management Association in Shanghai, China. In keeping with our philosophy of using real problems to help people learn, participants in the program identified a current client to work with to developing new business. Also in keeping with out learning strategies, we provided “just-in-time” training content to meet participant needs at each stage of the consultation process. As we had hoped, most of the participants were able to generate additional business with their clients.

Arthur and I also learned a great deal about helping AL coaches grow as organizational change consultants and look forward to other opportunities to offer an even more effective version of this workshop.

Skip Leonard, PhD
Master Action Learning Coach

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