Marquardt and Mourillon Bring Action Learning to Dominica

June 07, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
The National Bank of Dominica Ltd (NBD) has been cited for its use of Action Learning to embed strategic thinking. This was noted in the article The Future of Action Learning (Waddill et al) appearing in the most recent issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources which is published by SAGE six times a year. Waddill et al are of the view that Action Learning is likely to have significant impact on globalization, strategic planning and decision making, leadership development, and service learning in this century.

Action Learning is a method that uses simple rules to ensure participants think critically and work collaboratively to creatively solve complex problems. Action learning requires participants to improve their leadership and team effectiveness skills while creating winning solutions for the organization. To be most effective this method uses six components: an urgent organizational problem; an Action Learning group or team; a process of insightful questioning and reflective listening; an action taken on the problem; a commitment to learning and an Action Learning coach.

Professor Michael Marquardt of George Washington University is the foremost proponent of the US version of Action Learning. Marquardt promotes the method around the world through the World Institute of Action Learning (WIAL). His association with Verieux Mourillon began in 2006 and in 2007 they worked together on an Action Learning intervention that involved the Human Resource Managers of CARICOM Central Banks.

Verieux Mourillon, now NBD's Executive Manager Human Resource & Organizational Development invited Marquardt to facilitate an Action Learning project at the Bank during the current financial year. The project involved thirty employees, mainly managers. Five key strategies emerging from the process were further developed by action learning groups facilitated by Marquardt. The Action Learning project had provided the bank with powerful insights into key issues and most of all had developed problem solving skills, team skills and leadership abilities in a critical mass of employees across the organization. A surprising result was the ease and excitement with which the NetGens or millenials embraced the method! The few of them involved in the process shared their creative ideas enthusiastically and they will no doubt continue to add increasing value as a result of their participation.

The National Bank ( in Dominica, a small island state in the Eastern Caribbean intends to continue using Action Learning. The aim is to nurture a culture of strategic thinking that will position the bank for leadership among indigenous banks of the region. Action Learning is an excellent tool for small island states like Dominica which must be able to solve complex problems rapidly using a limited pool of human resources. The method is also a good vehicle to globalization as it relies on the integration of a wide range of thinking in an atmosphere of mutual respect.