Action learning workshop
  10-11 September 2020

Building leadership and resilience through action learning

An action learning program allows organisations and communities to implement valuable projects.  At the same time they increase the skills of their people at facilitative and collaborative leadership, improving change management, decision-making and planning.

Increasingly, these are the skills that a more volatile and less predictable future requires -- of its people generally, and of its leaders.

Action learning participants achieve real change and develop real skills by working on real projects in real time.  Each action learning project team becomes a seed bed in which a new culture and new skills and attitudes can be nourished.

In an action learning program, participants develop relevant new understanding and skills on the job through relevant project work.  In a well designed program, therefore:

  • skills and understanding transfer to normal work because the skills and understanding are learned in a natural work setting
  • participants learn teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making and facilitation by doing it
  • if enough project teams are set up, the action learning program can be used to support more team-based ways of working and more initiative throughout the organisation
  • the skills learned can be those that improve organisational resilience and distribute more leadership throughout the organisation
  • cultural change can be achieved; action learning team members develop the required skills and attitudes as they work together collaboratively on their projects
  • in addition, the organisation achieves the completion of important projects; the participants learn skills that aid their personal and professional development.

Though mostly used in organisations, action learning is also valuable in other settings.  It has yielded good outcomes in secondary and tertiary classrooms, and in community settings for community development, capacity building and the like.

Who is it for?

This workshop is designed for people who wish to improve their own leadership, practice and performance while they achieve good outcomes for their organisation.  People who will benefit include:

  • managers who would like to involve their team more directly in organisational improvement
  • managers who are looking for ways of improving their own leadership and team facilitation practices
  • facilitators who wish to add action learning methods and processes to their repertoire of facilitation applications
  • learning and development managers, and senior executives, who are attracted to the thought of adopting more effective learning and development practices that also bring about organisational improvement and enhance leadership development
  • community development practitioners interested in processes that can achieve high community engagement in practical programs for community change and capacity building
  • project managers would would like to enhance the collaborative and people aspects of their project management
  • educators striving to develop both skills and understanding for their learners and looking for more effective and more relevant group-based approaches in their classrooms.

When is it?

Two days:
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday 10 September (registration and coffee from 8:30 a.m.)  and 9 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. Friday 11 September 2020.


Walkabout Creek conference centre, 60 Mt Nebo Road, The Gap. This is a bushland setting in Brisbane's western suburbs. There is parking on site.

(Some satnav devices give the suburb as Enoggera Reservoir.)


Workshop content will be developed partly in consultation with participants.  It is likely to include skills, concepts, processes and techniques for

designing a program to develop leadership and resilience and to initiate the associated cultural change

creating an action learning infrastructure -- setting up the action learning program, determining roles, and recruiting participants, mentors, sponsors and facilitators

negotiating mutually-beneficial projects with participants

setting up the action learning groups

facilitating the action learning groups.

Both traditional action learning (where participants work on different individual projects) and current approaches (where project teams work together on projects) are likely to be addressed.  Participants will experience working in a learning group during the workshop, as they help each other identify how to make best use of their learning back in their own organisation.


Participants will help to determine the process and content of the workshop.  Subject to this negotiation they can anticipate an involving process which provides a mix of theory, discussion and practice.  There will be small group work to help participants consolidate the skills, techniques and concepts.  Participants will have first-hand experience of being in an action learning project team.

There will be appropriate handouts.


The workshop facilitator is Bob Dick, an independent Brisbane-based educator, facilitator and consultant whose reputation in these fields is based on almost five decades of experience in a variety of settings.  His experience includes the effective use of action learning in organisational, community and educational settings.

Those of you who are familiar with his work will know that his style is casual and participative, his processes robust and learnable, and his documentation clear, readable and practical.  His workshops are characterised by an integration of theory and practice, with equal emphasis on the development of skills and understanding.  The processes and models he helps others learn are those which he makes use of in his own work.


The fee for the two days is $770.00 payable in advance.  An early bird rate of $660 is available for fees received 4 weeks before the workshop start.  Fees cover morning and afternoon tea, lunch, and handouts.  All prices are in Australian dollars and include GST.

Cancellations will result in a 90 per cent refund if received at least 9 days before the workshop, and a 50 per cent refund if received at least 48 hours before the workshop start.  Alternatively, participants who are unable to attend are welcome to substitute someone else.

A limited number of half-price bursaries may be available for those genuinely unable to pay the full fee, or other arrangements may be possible.  To encourage attendance of more than one person from an organisation, there are also generous discounts for team attendance for two or more participants from the same organisation.  Ring Bob or Camilla on 07 3378 5365 to discuss this.

To register

Telephone Camilla at 07 3378 5365 to charge your attendance to your Visa or MasterCard or to arrange payment by bank transfer. Or print out and complete the subscription form (PDF), and mail, email or fax it to Interchange (contact details on the registration form).


Negotiate your own in-house workshop

If you wish to have a workshop specifically designed to meet your particular needs, and run for you in your organisation or community, Interchange would be pleased to do that.  If you would like help in setting up an action learning program for cultural change, resilience and leadership development, we can do that too.

Important advantages of in-house and in-community workshops include their relevance (we fine-tune them to your needs), and their greater ease of application to real local issues.

Interchange   37 Burbong Street  Chapel Hill  Queensland  4069    Australia
Telephone +617 3378 5365   Fax +617 3878 4338  
email or

Maintained by Bob Dick.  This page last revised 2019 12 18.

 [ top ]   [ home ]   [ subscription form ]   [ action research ]   [ action learning ]   [ conflict management ]   [ foundations of facilitation ]   [ advanced facilitation ]   [ experiential learning ]   [ community and organisational change ]   [ participative evaluation ]   [ collaborative performance improvement ]