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Cafe IFAL - What is Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL) and Why Did I Develop It?

  • 29 Jun 2020
  • 14:00 - 15:30
  • Zoom
  • 0


Registration is closed

What is Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL) and Why Did I Develop It? presented by Yury Boshyk

Monday 29th June 2020 14:00 - 15:30

I’ll be discussing this topic within the context of several interrelated subject areas, including the history of Action Learning, the contributions of some pioneers of Action Learning and their work with the business community, and varieties Action Learning. I’ll also look at the present climate and future for Action Learning.


1. Within the broad Action Learning community, generally speaking, does a bias exist against working with businesses? And if so, why?

2. Has Action Learning focused too much on small group Action Learning Sets and minimized its potential to help organizations, companies and their leadership learn and change on a larger scale?

3. The principles and even the term Action Learning was first launched in a comprehensive way by  Reg Revans in 1972. We often refer to it as “classical” Action Learning. But is it fit for purpose and fit for people living in the 21 st century?

4. Do you think Revans was wrong to be so critical of facilitation and facilitators? One of the pioneers of Action Learning, the late David Casey, thought so. In his 1993 book, Managing Learning in Organizations (pp.28-30) he wrote:

“…Reg Revans, with whom I worked for many years and whose genius has been an inspiration for a lot of my work, is fanatical about the value of group members learning ‘with and from each other’ and that at the same time is strangely reluctant to value the role of the facilitator. I have never quite understood this nor have I let it bother me too much because I think Revans is wrong about it. He is so very right about so much else which concerns small groups as learning places, that his ambivalence concerning the role of facilitator should be ignored as a quirk…I think his worry may well stem from an abiding concern that learning processes should remain firmly in the domain of the learner and not be confiscated by academics, about whom Revans has become quite suspicious. The sentiment that learning processes should not be hijacked has my undying support, I part company with Reg Revans only in this one respect, that I am sure from experience, that a competent facilitator can add greatly [sic] to the potential for learning within a small group, without taking away from participants the necessary control of their own learning.”

This session is brought to you by Yury Boshyk CEO and founder of the consultancy Global Executive Learning (GEL), Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL), and the annual Global Forum on Strategic Transformation, Leadership and Learning, a by-invitation-only and not-for-profit international community of practice started in 1996. Formerly, Professor of Strategy and the External Environment at IMD; Assistant Professor, Harvard University (Department of History), and Assistant Professor, the University of Toronto (Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures). 

His articles and books cover such topics as global trends, Leadership and Organization Development company best practices, as well as historical studies and archival guides pertaining to refugees, and World War II. Palgrave Macmillan published Yury’s edited books on Action Learning: Business Driven Action Learning: Global Best Practices (2000), Action Learning Worldwide: Experiences of Leadership and Organizational Development (2002); Action Learning: History and Evolution (2010); Action Learning and Its Applications (2010) the last two co-edited with the late Robert L. Dilworth. Yury is now working on A Guide to BDAL, and an article on Understanding the Many Varieties of Action Learning.

Yury completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College), his MSc degree at the London School of Economics, and his B.A. at the University of Toronto. He was born in Toronto and after thirty years in Europe, now lives in the Ottawa region of Canada.

His other activities included defending Soviet human rights activists, and advisory roles as a member of the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Community and Race Relations, the Canadian federal government’s committee on multiculturalism, and TVOntario.

Café IFAL is a virtual discussion forum where Action Learning practitioners can share their experiences of using Action Learning in real situations. Whether you wish to present a piece of work you’ve delivered – the struggles and successes - or simply contribute to the debate, join us at Café IFAL.

The format of this virtual event includes a brief presentation of a particular piece of Action Learning practice, followed by open discussion where we share related experience and create opportunities to learn with and from each other.

Sessions last 90 minutes and take place on the Zoom platform. 

Numbers are limited to 15 people.  Costs are £10 for members and £20 for non-members.  All fees go towards hosting further events.

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