Learning Together

Study Action Teams: A Great Idea For Learning Together

Why have a “Study Action Team”?

  •    Every organization and every project team includes several life-long learners who have a thirst to learn and improve.

  •    Projects and departments with even one small Study Action Team find those participants increase their leadership skills and become an engine for continuous improvement.

How to convene and run a STUDY ACTION TEAM (“SAT”)

  •    Start with a handful of trusted people around you.

  • Invite them to join you in an SAT of 8-10 people in your own office or team.

    •    Invite. Don’t sell.
    •    Start with those who show an interest in learning new ways of doing your work better.

  • Invite them to watch the same short video (or read the same book chapter) and get together weekly for 30-60 minutes to discuss what we’ve learned and how to put it into action today.

    •    Make it easy and fun – maybe during Wednesday lunch.

  •    Pick a short video or video series to watch and then discuss. (Everyone can watch a 3-9 minute video; even those who are not “readers”.)

Find or be the “champion”

  •    Study Action Teams are easy to organize and tend to self-manage. But they do need a “champion” to facilitate the group’s sessions.

  •    The champion organizes (and later reorganizes) the group, suggests study topics and sends out reminder calendar invitations.

  •    The champion either facilitates discussion or passes the baton to another in the group. Taking turns facilitating is also a learning opportunity, especially for newer staff.

Keep participation voluntary

  •    Let folks enter and leave the group as they need to or want to.

  •    If one or two were too busy to watch this week’s video, play a few minutes at the start of the session. Then let listen to the good ideas of others to motivate them.

  •    An SAT does not have to be a long-term commitment. SATs can form and dissolve and reform and dissolve as time and interest requires.

Work the “ripple effect”

  •    As SAT participants gain value from the actions flowing from group study, encourage them to tell others.

  •    When more show an interest in SAT, help them form their own.

Choose SAT material relevant to continuous improvement

  •    Lean topics tend to offer the greatest value.

  •    Short lean videos can quickly spur discussion and action.

  •    Let the SAT participants make suggestions and govern by consensus.

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