Distance: An Action Learning Delusion?

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Distance: An Action Learning Delusion?
Andy Radka, SIG Leader
The distance between our actions and the observable, known, impact of those actions can be close (when we have a coaching conversation with a team member) or far (when we take a decision at head office and the primary impact is in the customer/patient experience in another country). When the distance is far then the ability to learn from our actions and experience is surely substantially reduced.
Does the theory and practice of Action Learning need to be revised to include the impact of physical and observable 'distance'.
Does the same apply with psychological and emotional 'distance'?

Distance or Buy-in?
Thea Pelser, Member
Hello Andy,
Not sure if I agree with the concept of physical distance and the impact thereof on learning from actions. In your example of a head office decision, it sounds more like buy-in that can be problematic. In my experience physical distance can be overcome with technology such as video conferencing. In my mind, relationships remain important for sharing and learning. A head office can be in the same city and yet the "distance" can have the same impact as if it was in another country.

Distance or Buy In?
Andy Radka, SIG Leader
Thanks for contributing Thea. I understand what you say about distance not being insurmountable. It is also a good point about how 'distance' can seem greater even when certain units are actually closer together. My experience has been that learning is more effective if you can see and feel the impact of your actions on other people more directly.



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Andy Radka

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