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Before starting on this assignment make sure to go through the background materials carefully and go through the main textbook readings. Also, reflect carefully upon your Module 1-3 Case Assignments and think about some major areas that you would like to improve upon for your own leadership development based on the self-assessments you have done so far in this class.
Once you have reviewed the background materials and gained a solid understanding about the main steps and challenges of action learning, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following questions:
- Since this is your last Case Assignment for the class, start out this assignment by reflecting on what you have found in your Module 1-3 Case Assignments. Based on your prior assignments and what you have learned so far, what do you think are some of the main areas you and/or some of the coworkers that you have written about should try to improve upon?
- Now turn to Chapter 1 of Pedler and Abbot (2013) and pages 41-42 of Passmore (2011) where the potential benefits of action learning is discussed. Based on your answer to Question 1 above and from these two readings, what would you hope to improve upon using an action learning program? Do you think action learning would help you improve in these areas? Explain your reasoning both with respect to the readings and the areas for improvement in your leadership that you have identified so far in this class.
- Go to the “Organizational Readiness for Action Learning” quiz on pages 43-44 of Pedler and Abbot (2013). Fill it out and report your results. Overall what does the quiz say about your organization’s readiness to engage in an action learning program? Do you agree with the results? What kind of challenges do you think you would face in setting up an action learning program at your organization?
- Finally, take a look at pages 37-38 of Passmore (2011) and Chapter 8 of Marquardt (2004), which give step-by-step guidelines on setting up an action learning program. Based on your answers to Questions 1-3, how would you design an action learning program in your workplace? Include in your answer what kind of problem your set would work on, who you would include in your set, how often you think the group should meet, and other relevant steps outlined in the required readings. Explain the reasoning for your choices and what kind of outcomes you would hope to get out of this experience.
For this assignment, pretend that you are a leadership development coach assigned to help some organizations fix their action learning programs. For each of the scenarios below, explain what you think went wrong and how it could be fixed based on what you have learned about action learning in the background readings. For each of the three scenarios, explain your diagnosis and use at least one citation from the required readings to support your diagnosis. Your paper should be two to three pages in length:
- A group of 20 from different departments from within an organization is put together to form an action learning set. At their meetings, every person is allowed to present and receive feedback from other set members and their coach. At first they are allowed to present and receive feedback for a half hour each but group members become exhausted from 10 hour meetings. Then this time is cut to 5 minutes per person but group members feel they are unable to learn or get adequate feedback from their coach and other group members in this amount of time.
- A CEO picks an important problem for an action learning group consisting of five senior managers. The group meets every month for a full day for nine months. After nine months, each group member feels that they have learned a lot from receiving feedback every month and has improved several areas of their leadership skills. The group presents to the CEO a detailed plan along with steps they have already taken to help solve the problem and the results they have seen. But the CEO is upset because they didn’t come up with the solution the wanted and orders the group out of his office.
- A group of several managers is put together to form an action learning set. The group members are very motivated to start this program and excited about the possibilities for developing their skills. The facilitator for the action learning program is a top assistant to the CEO. During group meetings, team members are reluctant to discuss difficulties they are facing in their tasks. Whenever a team member gives a presentation, they tend to only discuss positive experiences and they never criticize the organization.