Action Learning is Life long learning

Revans pioneered action learning as a management discipline and although he had never produced one single definition to the process, he passionately believed it to be the ancient form of acquiring wisdom. For him, there was not one single form (format) to the approach.

Action learning requires a profound and meaningful engagement and commitment to the process of being changed through the learning process which ultimately could not be communicated through a simple formulaic or technique. .

The future of everything we do is directly connected to the future of how we (humans) process (life long in most case) learning added to our ability to communicate wisdom beyond the information gathered, since the pure application of the latter is already dominated by intelligent machines. Needless to say we cannot compete with them in their own game.

Therefore, learning should moves us towards applied wisdom and not simply towards more application of information and knowledge simply.

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Action Learning

Where there’s a ‘why’ there’s a ‘way’

Where there’s a ‘why’ there’s a way.

It’s not that highstreet is dead it is just that most old timers lost their ‘why’ along the way.

Question: “Why do we do the things we the way we do and continue to do them that way? Why are we in business? Why do we engage with people in general and most importantly with our customer base this or that way? Why should we continue to go along that path? Doing things purely based on mechanical memory will kill any business moving forward. “Well that is just the way we have always done business” said the bankrupt company director…

Heritage, traditions and core business values can (and perhaps should) always be kept and preserved providing they are not cristalised in the form, shape or model. Adaptability and willingness to change carry the form.

When we are bold enough to question why we are doing certain things the way we are, we open the way to understand ‘how’ we should be doing them too. Taking too long to discover that, and we might as well find ourselves out of business. To paraphrase Heraclitus ‘Change is the only true constant in nature.’

High street retail the way we’ve know it for years is dead but it was not digital that killed most of them. Their own business myopia and shortsightedness did. Some shops are still thriving and will continue to do so.

In the end of the day there is only P2P

people centric

Traditionally companies have been seen mostly as B2B or B2C organisations, but truly, if we stop to think, there is only one way a business goes, and it is by building their people-to-people competences. If we do not stop thinking customers and consumers, staff, suppliers, partners and instead start thinking HUMANS we will miss the biggest opportunity the digital environment and online networks offer us.

When it comes to customer engagement, being customer-centric is not enough in today’s hyper-connected world. You’ve got to learn pay attention and care, LISTEN! Then speak with a human voice.

I normally define these new hyper-connected consumers with three classic British Rock’n’Roll songs: “All I need is love” (The Beatles), I can get no Satisfaction” (The Rolling Stones) and “I want it all, I want it Now” (Queen). They want all our love and care, they are never satisfied and loyalty is as good as the new offer or product to get their attention away, and hey it all now or never… (OK, but that is another song…)


What can businesses do? How communication and engagement should occur? What about transparency and openness? Humanising their activities, release internal staff to grow and develop their full potential.

It is time to rethink core business functions and redress relationships internally and externally with all parts involved in a honest two-way conversation. After all as Carnegie has expressed….

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Average is a dead game… Extraordinary is the new norm! 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Drucker

There’s no average in the future… With increasing  pressure to adopt  and develop digital capabilities, both people and businesses are now challenged to embrace an attitude of life-long learning and collaboration.  

The age of silo-thinking is over and yet many business departments and units, companies in all sectors and of all sizes, still insist in operating that way. We either work closely together or we die. We must get passed production and processes in order to embrace immersion and personalisation. 

Whatever way you want to stir your business or career there’s one and only truth: average is a dead game, build extraordinary experiences to add value and grab attention.

We have got to learn to bring the whole organisation within one single purpose and that is of designing superior remarkable experiences.

Average is dead for individuals as well as for corporate entities. Being remarkable, unique and special is not an option in a hyper-connected world with fast networks and way too much noise.

Inmovation is not anymore a case for those working in consumer brands, electronics, hightech products or fashion design for example. 

Ok, how many of you have ever purchased a black toilet paper? (Well, why would you ever need to that for starters?)

(Renova Factory Portugal)

I’ve recently had the privilege to visit Renova, a giant FMCG Portuguese manufacturer of napkins, tissues, tolilet papers and other paper products.

They have turned their industry and market they operate upside down taking the whole game to another level by adding a lot of colours to their line of toilet papers and other products, creating a great compelling story of personalisation with the slogan “the sexiest paper on earth” and it caught on!

Average is dead and Renova is showing a new way with a great example of extraordinary success in automation, streamlined and sustainable operations, departamental integration and customer personalition becoming a toilet paper’s love story. 

The key to survive in this day and age is by focusing on how value added innovations can help you deliver higher customer experiences no matter in which sector you operate, even for an every day boring product such as tolite papers. 

Secondly, how you build internal capabilities by integrating and rethinking traditional business functions, developing digital competences with a strong employee culture.

But it really doesn’t make sense does it? After all it is just a functional product? But, who cares? This is not the 40’s, the 60′ or 00’s, this is the age where the norm has all but disappeared and the designing of superior experiences trumps mass production even in an every day FMCGs sector.

Even though they produce in economies of scale selling to great superstores all over the world, Renova are able to customise and deliver to the individual consumers who go online to order personalised party napkins for their children.

They have learned that their core business is not to be found in the products they make, neither in the paper they sell, but the story behind the paper and how they sell and package the whole experience.

Average is mediocre, is bland, is boring!

Having something unique and packed in a beautiful luxury box sells not only tolite paper but big Mac’s too. 

Renova sells something people can identify with, give as a gift, share and laugh about it with their friends. They can post pictures online and use on their social media channels. Definitely something that is not AVERAGE but sexy and cool!

Renova have successfully humanised their brand and their image. It speaks in a language consumers understand and are happy to pay more for the whole experience.

How can you take your company or career from average to remarkable?

If you have another successful story feel free to share it here with us.