International Foundation for Action Learning
As new members of the IFAL Executive, Genevieve Cother and Yury Boshyk had an online conversation about their aspirations for IFAL. Following is a transcript of that conversation.
Hi, I'm Genevieve Cother. I'm the Business Development Manager at The Action Learning Institute. We claim to be the first education institution in the world to deliver nationally recognized qualifications entirely through action learning. And this is made possible because of our software platform that we've designed and implemented called myLearningMap.
I'm here today with Yury Boshyk, and Yury is not only a legend in the action learning community, he's an advisor, educator, author, founder, and Chairman of Global Executive Learning, the global forum on strategic transformations, leadership and learning, and founder of a unique approach to organizational and leadership development, called Business Driven Action Learning.
Yury and I are both new additions to the executive committee for IFAL. At our first meeting, we were asked, what were our aspirations for IFAL? I also volunteered to become the editor of the newsletter and we thought it might be a nice idea for Yury and I to share with you our aspirations for IFAL. I'm going to let Yury go first.
Well, that was a change in the schedule, but I'm perfectly happy to do so. Yes, it's a great pleasure to have you as a co-new member, newbie, to the executive committee. You bring to it a freshness and an educational learning context, which is both technology-based and also design-based. And it's almost, to my mind, it's almost as if you are the next generation of implant action learning, where you say that all workplaces are a place for learning, including the factory floor, including the highest levels of an organization, so to speak, as well.
And the vision, that's the vision that you have, so, I'm very pleased by that too, and the energy that you bring too.
I've always considered IFAL to be a premium - an organization with great potential. In 1977, when Reg Revans founded it, the approach for the business community at that time, he called it the Trust, the Action Learning Trust. And that was supposed to be for business and for industries. But at the same time, in 1977, the same time practically, IFAL was founded to service the social sector, the not for profit, for charity. And that was, in fact, they were supposed to fall in Revans's principals and so on, but you see, they divided it into two: industry and then, of course, for non-profits. And what I've seen is that over the years, in 1982, when he decided to put this all together in a way, and he called it the Revans, to be actually correct here, the Revans' Action Learning International. And it was supposed to serve all action learning, be it in the public sector, private sector, social sector. And like you, and your Institute, it's also community-focused as well. So, I saw the evolution of action learning and I saw IFAL as a place of ecumenical, as you say it, adaptation, but also inclusion.
I like that, yeah.
There are very few organizations like that in the world. In fact, there are none. Where action learning and its 40 different varieties now, it can be actually a place for collaboration and cooperation to move that forward, experiential learning as well. So, my aspiration, therefore, is to see this collaboration. To see the inclusion of all kinds of action learning varieties for the benefit of community and also for the benefit of learners around the world. So, that was one of my major aspirations. So, I will stop there and let you have a chance to speak.
Thanks, Yury. And that's really attractive to me and, I'm sure, to many other people that understand that action learning does take so many different forms and it's so unstructured, and it's there to be used in any way or as a vehicle for any kind of change really. And I guess my aspiration for IFAL is to be both, that, I guess, custodian of the history, but also a place where people can get creative with action learning and really push it, and test it in all its different varieties, and in many different contexts. And I think that it's a safe place to do that. And also, it offers opportunities to meet with other people who understand action learning, have deep knowledge and experience of action learning to be able to test those theories.
And my aspiration, I guess, is to really bring that community together from all the places around the world where action learning is being used, and is maybe not recognized, or people who are struggling alone to build something using action learning, to come together and talk about their experiences, and share those. So that we can not only understand the existing knowledge that we have, but also create that new knowledge about action learning, which is part of the ethos of action learning. Yeah. So, that's what I think.
I agree with you fully. I also too, I believe, like you do, that action learning is the future.
That in the 21st century, it is completely, completely relevant, both in terms of small group learning and organizational change, and transformation. The thing is, to bring it together somehow and that's what we've been discovering, that you and I are doing in a way. Both the organizational side and the kind of individual small set approach as well. And they're not mutually exclusive, they're actually aligned quite nicely.
Oh, definitely. Yeah, yeah.
That all the 21st century... that need for change, thinking of how we learn. The emphasis by organizations on learning, finally, and societies, like in Singapore, continuous learning. So, I think, if we go back to that famous Scottish philosopher that Reg Revans very much appreciated. "All meaningful knowledge for the sake of action, all meaningful action for the sake of community."
Yes, yes. I like that. Yeah. See? This is what I like is that, you know, I get exposure to information like that, which then inspires me to go and learn more. And that's what I love about IFAL. Yeah. And I agree with you completely. I mean, I think that some of the greatest challenges that we have as, as a human race require us to act quickly, but in a sober and informed manner, which lends itself very well to action learning. So, I guess my aspiration is that IFAL and action learning will eventually save the world.
Yes. And I hope it becomes a resource, a place for people that if they want to learn about action learning, experiential learning, they can come and learn about the different varieties, and learn about the past and the history, and some tools that would be very useful for them in their work. I'm hoping we can do that as well. And I'm looking forward to working with you and the team, of course.
I'll look forward to your first issue of the newsletter too.
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