Action Learning: A Shared Benefit

The philosophy of the Key Executive Leadership MPA Program is grounded in an active approach to learning known as "action learning." Action learning, a form of learning-by-doing, challenges each Key student to work on a real problem facing the student's agency or organization.

Action learning is a powerful tool for self-awareness and group-awareness that accomplishes four objectives simultaneously:

  1. It helps organizations solve urgent problems,
  2. It helps build groups that learn,
  3. It helps enhance the leadership skills of group members, and
  4. It helps develop the emotional intelligence of individuals and groups as a whole.

Action learning involves real people working in real time on an urgent organizational problem, asking questions, learning from the process and taking action to implement a set of solutions. Since action learning solves real problems in real time, it simultaneously advances leadership development, team building, paradigm shifts, organizational learning and culture change. In action learning, rather than a quick fix, the group seeks to go deeper into the thinking process to uncover aspects of the problem that may be barely visible.