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Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time Hardcover – January 31, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0891061915 ISBN-10: 0891061916 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey America; 1 edition (January 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891061916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891061915
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Especially noteworthy is his model of whole-leader development using real-time, real-world problems, firmly grounded in crucial components of emotional intelligence. -- Training Magazine, July 2004

Marquardt, expert on action learning process, details exactly how methodology works and how it can be used for important problems. -- Soundview Executive Book Summaries, August 2004

People with an interest in knowing details of action learning will find the answer to their prayers in this book. -- getAbstract, June 2004

The book uses the experiences of thousands of managers in hundreds of organizations as a foundation. -- T&D Magazine, June 2004

From the Inside Flap

Sweeping across the corporate landscape, action learning is one of today's most powerful and cost-effective tools for solving problems, developing leaders, building teams, and transforming organizations. And Michael Marquardt is leading the way. For more than a decade, he has helped organizations and governments around the world revolutionize the way they face the challenges of change. Now he calls on his pioneering experiences and the fundamentals introduced in his best-seller ACTION LEARNING IN ACTION to deliver the next-generation tools and techniques to make action learning successful each and every time, in any organization.

Moving action learning from good to great, OPTIMIZING THE POWER OF ACTION LEARNING zeros in on the skills needed to apply its six critical components: the problem; group diversity; a reflective inquiry process; action strategies; individual, team, and organizational learning; the all-important participation of a well-trained action learning coach; and step-by-step procedures for introducing, implementing, and sustaining action learning. Using twenty best-practices examples--including Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, and Deutsche Bank--this comprehensive guidebook builds on the real experiences of thousands of managers in hundreds of companies, explores recent innovations in the field, and demonstrates how the power of action learning can help any organization thrive in today's fast-changing global marketplace.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 11 customer reviews
Michael Marquardt captures the essesence and detail of the action learning process.
Dr. Harry Lenderman
Having read most of his books, I find this particular one extremely focus on the impact of action learning on organisational and individual learning.
DR MOHD EFFENDY RAJAB
In addition, the author explains how to apply the components and principles covered in this book by giving specific examples and procedures.
TAEBOK LEE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on July 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Michael J. Marquardt has developed a problem-solving tool. His process, which can be adapted by organizations of any size not only provides solutions but also builds leaders and teams.

Marquardt, a professor of HRD and Program Direction of Overseas Programs at The George Washington University, is an expert in action learning. His process has six components.

1. A problem - It must be significant and urgent.

2. A group - The ideal group has between 4 and 8 diverse members.

3. Questions - Initially, team members are restricted to questions. This reflective inquiry period develops a thorough understanding of the problem.

4. Action - The group is authorized to implement their solution.

5. Learning - A commitment to the process is as important as the solution.

6. A coach - Someone is needed to keep the group focused.

A key step is "action." Learning is meaningful only if some type of action is taken. Action generally involves four steps:

1. Understand and Redefine the Problem. This is often the most important step.

2. Articulate a Goal.

3. Develop and Test Strategies.

4. Take Action and Reflect on the Results.

Marquardt includes a 12 step plan to introduce action learning to your organization. Properly implemented, it will accomplish three goals for your organization:

1. It will provide solutions to problems.

2. Develop leaders.

3. Build a problem-solving culture.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kramer on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
With this book, Marquardt has created the most exciting and practical model for executive development I have ever seen. Warren Bennis recently asked, poignantly, "Is there a future for leadership?" Marquardt is leading all management educators into the future of leadership. As director of an executive Master's program at American University, I am astonished at how powerful Marquardt's model is for developing "leaderly learners," in the magical phrase coined by Peter Vaill. Action learning is perfect for leaders who want to learn and learners who want to lead. Marquardt's chapter on the role of "action learning coach" is, by itself, worth a shelf of books of leadership. My executive participants are raving about how action learning has transformed their individual mindsets, allowing them to surface take-for-granted assumptions, as well as helped them begin to transform the culture or collective mindsets of their organizations.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TAEBOK LEE on March 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Overall, this book is invaluable in that it provides readers with great insight into the ¡°what,¡± ¡°why,¡± and ¡°how¡± of action learning. It explains key components and principles of action learning in great detail. In addition, the author explains how to apply the components and principles covered in this book by giving specific examples and procedures. The usefulness of this book is illustrated by the questions and checklists, which are very practical. I believe this book will surely serve as an action learning manual for HRD practitioners for years to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
People with an intense interest in knowing all the details of action learning will find the answer to their prayers in this book. Author Michael J. Marquardt writes with the zeal of a revival tent preacher, filled with the sincere belief that action learning can help solve any problem, meet any challenge or achieve any aspiration. As he clearly explains, action learning is intended to build both knowledge and leadership. He sets out the steps your organization should pursue to implement action learning, and to use it well. He includes questions, checklists and extensive examples. All he omits are any caveats or cautions about this approach. He's a booster and an expert, just so you know where he's coming from. We recommend his manual to human resource professionals.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is desirable but not imperative to have read Michael Marquardt's earlier work, Action Learning in Action, before reading this one. He defines action learning as "both a process and a powerful program that involves a small group of people solving real problems while at the same time focusing on what they are learning and how their learning can benefit each group member and the organization as a whole." The benefits of action learning include shared learning through all levels and areas of an organization, greater self-awareness and self-confidence for all involved because of their new insights and feedback interaction, improvement of their ability to ask better questions and to be more reflective, and improved communication and collaboration enterprise-wide.

How do task forces and quality circles differ from action learning groups? First, [they] tend to focus on the specific problem of task to be addressed rather than on identifying the organization wide, environmental, systemic elements in which the problem resides, and which also be affected if lasting change is to take place...Second, [task forces and quality circles] generally do not have the power or the expectation of taking action...Third [they] are charged with addressing a problem or improving a product or procedure; any learning that occurs is incidental." Marquardt suggests that action learning programs are built around six interactive components: a problem, the group, the questioning and reflection process, the commitment to taking action, the commitment to learning, and the facilitator. It is important to add, a "commitment to action" includes both identifying a given problem's causes and correcting it, and, then ensuring that the problem does occur again.
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