Staying mindful in action: The challenge of 'double awareness' on task and process in an Action Lab

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Action Learning is a well-proven method to integrate ‘task’ and ‘process’, as learning about team and self (process) takes place while delivering on a task or business challenge of real importance (task). An Action Lab® is an intensive Action Learning programme lasting for 5 days, which aims at balancing and integrating individual challenges and business challenges, as well as the ‘Action’ and the ‘Learning’ of Action Learning. However, in spite of the aspiration to balance and integrate ‘task’ and ‘process’, a tendency and a challenge is experienced: When deeply involved in delivering on a business challenge, participants tend to shy away from or see reflection on the process as disturbing or disrupting. This tendency is like a seesaw: When the pressure of the task increases, awareness about the process goes down. This account of practice aims at exposing and understanding better this tendency by sharing a study looking into what hinders and promotes mindful awareness on the process, while dealing with a business challenge in an Action Lab®. Drawing on the findings, the account of practice will share some recommendations for the Action Learning facilitator to take up the challenge of integrating task and process whenever the seesaw is tipping.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAction Learning: research and practice
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Important information from the publisher: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Action learning on February 25, 2016. Available online:

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