Team Learning 2 1 Team Learning Report Yuejin Li BA Leadership, Trinity

Team Learning 2

1

Team Learning Report

Yuejin Li

BA Leadership, Trinity Western University

LDRS 310: The Learning Organization

Professor Hank Prins

05 November 2022

Team Learning Action Research Report

Today’s organizations are struggling to adapt to an increasingly complex world undergoing rapid change. Homer-Dixon (2003) describes the problem as an ingenuity gap—that is, there is a growing gap between the complexity, pace and unpredictability of events facing organizations and our collective ability to be smart enough at the right time, and in the right places, to keep pace with the emerging challenges and opportunities. A promising strategy for organizations to close this gap is to become more intentional about learning (Garvin, 2000; Marquardt, 2018; Senge, 1990). This learning systems approach to adaptation seeks to enhance an organization’s ability to (a) know what to do, (b) do what it knows, and (c) continuously grow its capacity to learn new things and act on new knowledge (Garvin, 2000; Senge, 1990). How can leaders help an organization learn? Marquardt (2018) argues action learning is an effective way to build learning organizations, because “it has concurrently become a primary methodology utilized by companies around the world for developing leaders, building teams, and improving corporate capabilities (p. 3).” In this paper, I will reflect on the development of action learning I experienced as a student in the context of a university leadership course.

Description of the Situation

The setting of the team learning experience considered in this paper is a third-year university course titled The Learning Organization. The participants are made up of young adult learners with a range of cultural and industry backgrounds. Our Learning Pod met several times over a semester using an online facilitated learning tool in which we worked together to learn about leading groups, solve problems and develop facilitation skills and team abilities.

Review of the Action Learning Concept

When encountering complex problems in learning, the problem can be solved by forming a group and mobilizing the wisdom of each member, rather than relying too much on solving them individually. Action learning is a relatively simple and easy process. It allows group members to learn while they figure out how to solve problems. Action learning can not only be a norm, but it also combines theories from many different fields and practices them at the same time (Marquardt, 2018). By mastering action learning and using the imagination, creativity, and innovation of the group, the group will continue to develop well. The action learning method is a very scientific way of learning, which can solve the critical problems of the moment, assess, and form practical and feasible action plans, and is a team decision plan. In addition, the main purpose of action learning is to understand oneself by trying to observe the actual actions of other people or group members, to find out the motivation of actions and the possible results of their actions. There are many stages and ways of presenting action learning in a group. It includes solving independent or group problems, solving related tasks, arriving at a unified and agreed-upon answer at the end of the problem and so on (Marquardt, 2018). According to the Optimizing the Power of Action Learning, action learning practitioners use team-oriented learning and problem solving to go deeper in their learning through this method. In a group, it is common to have different ideas and disagreements. How to resolve this conflict is the biggest problem. At this time, it is important to learn some useful communication skills and adopt them to resolve conflicts tactfully.

Action Learning Team Experience

In our action learning group, there are two boys and two girls. We are all young and hard-working students, and friendly as well. We all have the same goal which is to have great grades. Although we are from the same place and have the same native language, we think and act in different and unique ways. However, those conditions did not stop us from being able to work as a team and do a good job of getting in the way of each task. At the beginning, we were not very familiar with each other, and we became more comfortable with the members through some introductions and the similarities of school classes. Gradually, we had more and more discussion, and there was always a leader who organize and lead us during these discussions. In addition, members are now more willing and active in expressing their opinions and ideas than they were at the beginning when they were too shy to share. Although there were times when members were absent, we discussed the unfinished discussions after class. Also, there were occasional moments of silence when we discussed issues that we were not sure about. I hope that through the upcoming activities, we can become more active in our discussions.

Discussion of the Issues

The analysis of my team learning experience uses the Trinity Western University Learning Lab (2021) integrated group and leadership development for understanding collective learning and leadership. The Learning Labs were designed by a team of leadership faculty to be a place for social connection and a community where professional development of leadership skills can flourish. I will reflect on my experience from the seven Learning Labs I participated in with my assigned group. My reflections will be focused on how I gained competencies in three major areas of leadership: Helping groups grow using Appreciative Inquiry. Lead engaging conversations with Liberating Structures and Cultivate Meaningful Community. My reflections will be supplemented by the seven Class Worksheets (Prins, Hank, 2021) I submitted during the fall semester.

Next, I will use the three major areas of leadership as my framework for analyzing my experience within my team and identify areas where I experienced growth in my leadership, areas where I could improve my skills as a leader and where my pod could improve as a learning team. 3

3 Adapted with permission from “Team Learning Paper Instructions” by H. Prins, 2021.

Helping Groups Grow Using Appreciative Inquiry

Give a brief summary of your understanding of Appreciative Inquiry and using your experience in your Learning Pod, describe how your pod grew together as a group.

Key resources:

Marquardt, M. J. (2018). Optimizing the Power of Action Learning (3rd ed.). Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

LDRS 310 Class Worksheets

Overview of Learning Labs (https://far.twu.ca/community/learninglabs/overview )

Using words to create worlds.

Using inquiry to create change.

Choosing what we want (to study).

Creating images (of the future) that inspire action.

Generating positive momentum through positive questions.

Word count: Aim for about a ½ page; double-spaced.

Leading Engaging Conversation

Analyze the patterns of conversing in the team learning experience.

Key resources:

Marquardt, M. J. (2018). Optimizing the Power of Action Learning (3rd ed.). Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

LDRS 310 Class Worksheets

Overview of Learning Labs (https://far.twu.ca/community/learninglabs/overview )

Running a meeting where you help a group collaborate with each other.

Holding space for meaningful conversations, awkward conversations, important conversations to take place.

Scharmer, C. O. (2018). LEADING FROM THE FUTURE: A NEW SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY FOR OUR TIMES. [ https://thesystemsthinker.com/leading-from-the-future-a-new-social-technology-for-our-times/ ]

Creating safety for people to show up as their unique, authentic selves with no judgments or bias.

Setting aside your advice and empowering others for their own learning and growth.

Giving and receiving productive feedback that help people grow and develop.

Word count: Aim for about a ½ page; double-spaced.

Cultivate Meaningful Community

Analyze the patterns of organizing formed the environment of your team learning experience.

Key resources:

Marquardt, M. J. (2018). Optimizing the Power of Action Learning (3rd ed.). Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

LDRS 310 Class Worksheets

Overview of Learning Labs (https://far.twu.ca/community/learninglabs/overview )

Connecting

Thriving

Serving

Word count: Aim for about a ¼ page; double-spaced.

Summary of Findings

Review what you wrote in your analysis and identify the most significant leadership or teamwork issues you see as emerging themes. Identify limitations (or blind spots) that could be addressed in your Learning Pod. Keep in mind, that the issue you identify here is the one you will be responding to in Part III.

Word count: Aim for about ¼ page; double-spaced.

Design for Action

Imagine you are taking on the role of action learning coach for the team’s future sessions. Reflect on the summary of issues you wrote above and select a specific issue you will address as coach and why you think it is a priority. \

Word count: Aim for about a ¼ page; double-spaced.

Future Coaching Action

Briefly outline your future action strategy for the team’s development, which may include:

Set SMART Goal(s)

Breakdown the Work

Define the Critical Path

Schedule the Work

Word count: Aim for about 1 page; double-spaced.

Conclusion

The closing section of your paper should tie all the above sections together into a satisfying conclusion. First, restate your thesis. Then, summarize your core points. Lastly, bring your paper to a close with a statement about the importance of the topic, a future looking question your paper raised, or you may choose to sum things up with by making a final practical recommendation, or several, for others.

Word count: Aim for ¼

References

Garvin, D. A. (2000). Learning in action: A guide to putting the learning organization to work. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Homer-Dixon, T. (2003). Human Adaptation and the Ingenuity Gap. Brook Education, 12(3), 1-22.

Marquardt, M. J. (2011). Building the learning organization: Achieving strategic advantage through a commitment to learning (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

Prins, Hank. (2021). Class Worksheets. In G. Dept. (Ed.), LDRS 310 The Learning Organization. Fall, 2021. Langley: Trinity Western University.

Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Trinity Western University. (2021). Learning Labs. (Open Matter Course Hub) Retrieved Sept. 2021, from Learning Labs: https://far.twu.ca/community/learninglabs/overview

Marquardt, M. J. (2018). Optimizing the power of action learning: Real-time strategies for developing leaders, building teams and Transforming Organizations. Nicholas Brealey.