Summary of Optimizing the Power of Action Learning

Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time

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Optimizing the Power of Action Learning book summary
When action learning teams address real problems for your organization, be prepared for fast, but thoughtful, solutions.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


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. getAbstract recommends his manual to human resource professionals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to apply action learning; and
  • Why this is an effective way to solve your organization’s problems.


Action Learning Basics
An intellectual innovator named Reg Revans first applied the principles of action learning in the Welsh coalfields in the 1940s. Action learning involves assigning a group to solve a real problem, making it clear that their future depends on how well they solve it...
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About the Author

Educator and consultant Michael J. Marquardt, is professor of human resource development and Program Director of Overseas Programs at The George Washington University. As president of Global Learning Associates and director of The Global Institute for Action Learning, he has trained thousands of managers around the world. His previous books include Building the Learning Organization, Action Learning in Action and Global Teams.

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