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Cafe IFAL - How do cultural norms affect how we practice Action Learning?

  • 23 Feb 2022
  • 12:00 - 13:30
  • Online in Zoom


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How do cultural norms affect how we practice Action Learning?

 A Cafe IFAL event presented by Heidi Schaefer

I moved to Canada a number of years ago and have been trying to introduce Action Learning, as I practiced it in the UK, since then. I’ve run lots of tasters and recognised a range of differences exist between Canadians and British people in terms of the norms around work cultures. I’ve wondered whether this contributes to the small uptake of Action Learning in Canada. Of course cultural differences between organisations, groups within societies and between nations is a very big and multi-layered topic.

In this Cafe IFAL, I’m curious to explore how at a set level different cultural norms and expectations play themselves out and affect the outcomes of what is discussed. How is this discussed and how are different cultural norms experienced between set members? 

We will explore questions such as: 

  • How do we recognise and address the diversity of cultural norms?
  • What difference does fluency in the set’s chosen language make?
  • What role does the facilitator play?
  • How does a facilitator make space for this?
  • What have others done? 

As with any Action Learning issue I’m interested to learn from the discussion. 

This Café IFAL is in advance of an upcoming series IFAL Presents: Understanding the Many Global Varieties of Action Learning, which will explore both the different approaches and the geographic context in which the particular variations are applied and practiced. 

Heidi Schaefer is an Action Learning facilitator, coach, trainer and consultant based in Toronto. She has been practicing Action Learning since 1997 and is the co-chair of IFAL.

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