Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $4.14   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

2004-01-31 Hardcover 1 New 0891061916 NEW/UNREAD! ! ! Publisher overstock. --Be Sure to Compare Seller Feedback and Ratings before Purchasing--Tracking is not available for ... orders shipped outside of the United States. If you would like to track your domestic order please be sure to select the Priority/Expedited Shipping option. Read more Show Less

Ships from: McKeesport, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


This new and fully revised edition of a groundbreaking guidebook puts the action in Action Learning, clearly demonstrating how and why this powerful method for addressing today's increasingly complex organizational challenges actually works. From Saudi Arabia to Singapore, Sweden to South Africa, profiles of such Global 100 leaders as GE, Sony, and Boeing tell the story of the power of action learning to create new products, improve service quality, and transform organizational cultures for competitive advantage and sustained success. It includes examples from the governmental and non-profit world, as well as offering up new better questioning techniques and creative strategies for organizational development.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Novartis, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical conglomerate with more than 72,000 employees in 140 countries, recently formed a consortium of six noncompetitive companies from different sectors. At the heart of the consortium are six to eight action learning groups formed of members from each of the six companies. The action learning groups work as teams on specific business projects of importance to their respective companies. The overall goal of the action groups is threefold: to solve the business problems of the companies, to develop leaders, and to build organizational capacity.

Around the world, writes George Washington University professor Michael J. Marquardt, companies and organizations of all sizes are using the action learning methodology to solve major problems and build productive and effective teams.

In Optimizing the Power of Action Learning, Marquardt, an expert on the action learning process, details exactly how the methodology works and how it can be used for important problems impacting businesses large and small.

Six Components of Action Learning
Action learning is a problem-solving tool that at the same time builds successful leaders, teams and organizations. The six components of action learning are:

  1. A problem. Action learning centers on a problem or, more specifically, a project, challenge, opportunity, issue or task. The resolution of this problem has to be of great importance to the organization - action learning is not for minor issues. The problem must be significant and urgent.
  2. A group. The second component of action learning is an action learning group or team. The ideal group has four to eight diverse members, who bring various perspectives and fresh viewpoints to the task of resolving a significant organizational problem.
  3. Questions. A process of insightful questioning and reflective listening is key to the success of the action learning initiative. Action learning succeeds because the process focuses on the right questions, not the right answers. Questions build group cohesiveness, generate innovative and systems thinking, and enhance learning results.
  4. Action. Action learning requires that the action learning group be able to take action on the problem to which it has been assigned. The group must either have the power to take action, or be assured that its recommendations will be implemented. If neither of these conditions is in place, raising the specter of recommendations sitting in the bottom of a drawer, the team will lose its focus and energy.
  5. Learning. An equal commitment to learning is also essential for the success of action learning. While the short-term action steps needed to address the problem will be valuable to the company, it is the long-term learning gained through the exercise that most benefits the organization and its members.
  6. A coach. To keep the group focused on the important as well as the urgent, an action learning coach is required. Through helping group members reflect on how they listen or how they may have reframed the problem, for example, the coach keeps the group focused on what they are achieving, what they are finding difficult, what processes they are employing, and the implications of those processes.

Action learning is at its peak if all six of these components are in operation, interweaving and reinforcing each other.

Solving Problems at National Semiconductor
Here's an example of what action learning can offer a company:

Executives at National Semiconductor's Portland, Maine, plant recognized that they were having difficulties providing quality service at AT&T (National Semiconductor is one of AT&T's major suppliers).

Their response was to create an action learning team called the Customer Request Improvement Team. Members of the Customer Request Improvement Team were pulled from the sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and planning functions of National Semiconductor. The team also included members from AT&T.

Over a period of three months, the team considered more than 40 ideas for improvement, which resulted in four specific action initiatives:

  1. Analyzing in new ways the delivery misses.
  2. Increasing frequencies of lead-time updates.
  3. Creating critical device lists.
  4. Developing pre-alert reports.

Following the implementation of these initiatives, AT&T recognized National Semiconductor as one of its "world class" suppliers. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780891061915
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Author
Ch. 1 Emergence of the Power of Action Learning 1
Ch. 2 The Problem 27
Ch. 3 The Group 45
Ch. 4 Questions and Reflection 69
Ch. 5 Action Strategies 89
Ch. 6 Individual, Team, and Organizational learning 109
Ch. 7 The Coach 133
Ch. 8 Introducing, Implementing, and Sustaining Action Learning 161
References 197
Index 205
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2004


    People with an intense interest in knowing all the details of action learning will find the answer to their prayers in this book. Author Michael J. Marquardt writes with the zeal of a revival tent preacher, filled with the sincere belief that action learning can help solve any problem, meet any challenge or achieve any aspiration. As he clearly explains, action learning is intended to build both knowledge and leadership. He sets out the steps your organization should pursue to implement action learning, and to use it well. He includes questions, checklists and extensive examples. All he omits are any caveats or cautions about this approach. He's a booster and an expert, just so you know where he's coming from. We recommend his manual to human resource professionals

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Great Resource & Easy to Read

    Marquadt has done a fantastic job of explaining Action Learning and teaching readers how to introduce and implement it with his 12 step process. The book is a great resource for anyone involved in leadership development & team problem solving.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2004

    Excellent guide-book

    Marquardt's book is a completely up-to-date explanation of the effective use of action learning. This is an excellent guide-book on action learning that is actually easy to follow and utilize.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2004

    Excellent How-to Book

    Mike Marquadt has done it again! This book is an especially useful in that it lays out the process of Action Learning in easy to follow how-to steps. It makes an outstanding handbook for anyone looking to harness the power of Action Learning.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)