More funding should be available for action learning programmes in
the voluntary and community sector, according to Jane Watts,
project manager at the Action Learning for Managers project.
Since starting three years ago, the project has coached hundreds of
The work consists of a set of meetings in which managers discuss
workplace problems and issues with their peers. The meetings often
focus on management development and leadership issues.
Watts said: “Each person gets equal time to talk through an issue.
Your peers ask questions and this helps you develop an insight. You
then leave with a series of action points.”
She added that managers were often isolated in their place of work
and relished the chance to meet others in similar roles. “The whole
process allows people to work together better.”
Julie Hawkins, chief executive of Barnet Voluntary Services
Council, who has participated in the learning, agreed. “Your
thinking is challenged and you can explore different dimensions of
your work,” she said. “It is a good opportunity to share resources
and knowledge. Some of the issues I have raised include staff
relationships and the supervision of staff.”
The ALM final report confirms that action learning improves
motivation and confidence among senior managers.