What is BDAL

alAction Learning (AL) is a form of learning by doing. It involves working on real problems, focusing on learning and actually implementing solutions. By using the knowledge and skills of a small group of people combined with skilled questioning, individuals are enabled to re-interpret old and familiar concepts to produce fresh ideas.

Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL) is a process for bringing together a group of executives with varied levels of responsibilities, skills and experience to analyze an actual work problem and develop an action plan. It is a holistic process of developing leadership and achieving business results for the benefit of the organization, the team and the individual.

BDAL involves the collective intelligence and reflection of the group, and the integration of experiences and knowledge from the outside-in.

Source: Business Driven Action Learning ¨C Global Best Practices Edited by Dr. Yury Boshyk, 2002

Action Learning is the most successful learning method.

Retention Levels as a Result of Different Training Methods

Active Participation (Action Learning) 75%
Discussion Group 50%
Demonstration 30%
Audio/Visual Simulation 20%
Reading 10%
Lecture 5%

Business Driven Action Learning is different from typical executive education programs in the following aspects:

Typical Executive Education Program Business Driven Action Learning
In-class focus
Academic based classroom experience which may have been completely conducted on a university campus, at a conference center, or at a corporate education facility

Field focus
At least half of the educational experience would take place outside the classroom in the form of planning, gathering data, and analyzing a problem at a business location or in another country/city

Emphasis of learning
Emphasizes Individual development
Emphasis of learning
Emphasizes a combination of individual and team development, and emphasizes learning through team interaction. Learning experience is heightened through the imposition of the tension, time pressure, and performance pressure inherent in the solution of a live business problem and the preparation and presentation of a report to management
Passive learning
In the classroom, the transfer of information depended upon the ability of the individual to process what he or she heard from the faculty and fellow participants, relate it to personal experiences, and decide how to apply the learning to his or her own business.
Active learning
In the field, the participant would apply the knowledge gained during the academic portion of the program, integrating it with the cumulative experience of his or her own business life, and exchanging the result with the other team members in a coordinated effort to solve a business issue
Paradigm of Case studies
of past business situations as a basis for class discussion, to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation
Analysis of a real, unfolding, current situation
in which the class would come face to face with the business leaders, their teams and their customers and have to justify and defend a finding of ¡°effective or ineffective¡± to the actual people involved
¡°Booking acts¡± model
where program flow was often influenced by the availability of ¡°star faculty¡±
Model with a tight program sequence and flow
where a group of core faculty with schedule flexibility and ability to work together and coordinate their material with each other to present a seamless, integrated academic portion of the program to the participants
Faculty role
Imparting cognitive knowledge to participants
Faculty role
Coaching: faculty members work with teams as they develop their project approaches, coach them on team process skills, critique their draft project reposts, and even accompany them on project data gathering visits
Business Focus
General business focus
Business Focus
A theme upon which the learning areas and the project can both hang in a coherent manner

Adapted from ¡°General Electric¡¯s Executive Action Learning Programms¡± by Stephen Mercer, 2002

Special appreciation and acknowledgement to Dr. Yury Boshyk and Global Executive Learning for sharing their expertise and partnering with Universal Ideas in the field of Business Driven Action Learning.