An action learning course awakened me to the spirit of ubuntu. It is deeply satisfying as a human being to experience a group process where the group is so closely aware of each other that some knowledge is created that truly transcends the thinking of any individual in the group, and that is truly owned by the group as a whole. This requires each group member to listen closely to their own thoughts and feelings as well as to genuinely hear and value those being expressed by the others. The experience is of a magic flow which builds through the process and culminates in something that makes us individually and together richer as a people. Isn’t this what is meant by ubuntu?
The World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL) model developed by Michael Marquardt can deliver this experience and more. I completed part of the training to use this WIAL model from 26 – 28 May 2009. Simply put, action learning “is a process that involves a small group working on real problems, taking action, and learning while doing so.” The action learning process actively values diverse perspectives within a group and teaches sensitivity and awareness toward every individual in the group.