Mission & Method

The purpose of Action Learning Ltd is to help clients improve bottom line performance through improving the human dynamics in organisations. Technologies and systems are important but it is through culture that organisations transform intent into outcomes.

Our work is based on the following guiding principles:

  • People, in general, want to excel in their work and are capable of articulating the values that will guide the way they will go about it.
  • People at the bottom of the organisation have the best idea of what needs improving and are often the best placed to implement the solutions
  • Improvement comes through dropping an existing way of doing things and adopting a new one
  • Our role is to coach, train and facilitate new approaches
  • Improvement is institutionalised when people see that, by using new approaches, their effort made something of value to them better.

An approach based on science and measurement

Action Learning applies sound and accepted research into human motivation, in particular a model for constructive behaviour. The guiding templates for what we do are sourced from leading universities in the USA and cover the fields of organisation development and personal and team effectiveness. There is a strong and valid measurement component to our work which involves benchmarking personal, team and organisational capabilities. These measurements come from diagnostic questionnaires used to both model what you want and reveal the existing state. In addition, the questionnaires' supporting material provides the guidelines for change.

These tools are used by leading New Zealand companies in their development strategies. John Laurent of Action Learning has nearly twenty years of experience in this field and is regarded as a leader in his understanding of the material and their application. The diagnostic questionnaires enable action plans to be developed, create a call for action and provide a goal to work towards in achieving improvement.

The measurement questionnaires include:

Individual development through 360 feedback

  • Life Styles Inventory (LSI)
  • Leadership Impact (LI)
  • Management Impact (MI)
  • Management Effectiveness Profile System (MEPS)
  • Supervisory Skills Inventory (SSI)

Team and organisation analysis and development

  • Group Styles Inventory (GSI)
  • Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI)
  • Organisational Effectiveness Inventory (OEI)

Moving beyond diagnosis and prescription

Our experience is that the prescription for improvement provided by the diagnostic questionnaires needs to be actualised through action. Our action learning approach involves:

  1. Enabling members of teams to put on the table the real issues they think are constraining their effectiveness
  2. Teaching and facilitating improvement activities using these issues as the subject of improvement and constructive behaviour as the guide for activity
  3. Reviewing for success and recycling activity.
  4. Ensuring knowledge transfer of "how to do it" into the organisation.

The goal

We have a simple goal. This is to positively influence the stories your staff tell their friends (in the weekend) about what it is like to work in your organisation. An example would be "in our company when we see something that isn't working we work together to fix it for ourselves. That gives us a greater sense that we are accomplishing something".

"John has a pragmatic, approachable and down to earth style that suited the various personalities in my sales and marketing team. By teaching us to deal with root causes rather than the superficial issues we were able to improve our teamwork and ultimately our results."
- Lorraine Moser, Sales and Marketing Manager, Nutra Life Health & Fitness (NZ) Ltd