Collective Learning for Transformational Change
A Guide to Collaborative Action
Routledge – 2013 – 288 pages
This step by step guide is for those seeking to undertake a transformational change process based on strong collaboration among diverse interests. Guiding transformational change goes beyond small changes to an existing system. It leads to lasting change in the system itself. The collective learning process achieves a systems change through a continuous learning spiral based on open learning among diverse interests. The sixteen case studies cover guided transformational change in personal learning, team-building, community development, organizational change, monitoring and evaluation, and cross-cultural learning. Each transformational change has been treated as a celebration of mutual learning.
Part one of the book provides an outline of the theory and practice of collective learning. The theory draws on the experiential learning cycle developed by David Kolb. The practice follows the rules of open space learning, dialogue and valuing diversity. The case studies in Part two are examples of collective learning leading to transformational change in a wide range of contexts, from cities to councils to organisations. Part three offers thirty-two activities on which the programme designers can draw in the course of guiding transformational change.
This innovative book is of immense value to researchers, students and professionals in the fields of organizational change, organizational behaviour, management education, and sustainability training, education and leadership.
‘This "Guide to Collaborative Action" is a systematic and accessible resource – providing direction and inspiration for current and future change agents. Decades of experience have been synthesized in an innovative, integrative and invaluable guide that opens new and creative pathways toward transformational change.’ – Margot Parkes, Professor, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada and President, International Association for Ecology & Health
‘The Collective Social Learning process is simply outstanding. We have found that the framework energises participants, leads to individual and collective action and is transformative. Collective learning has become one of our key change processes in our city’s sustainability journey. We have also used the guide to conduct collective learning programs around Australia, and in the USA, New Guinea and Ethiopia.’ – Greg Bruce, Executive Manager, Integrated Sustainability Services, Townsville City Council, Queensland, Australia
‘As a consultant in the field of international development, I highly recommend this book for everyone who is facilitating intentional transformational change. Based on concepts of collective learning, it brings together clear exercises and an A-Z of essential tools. The many case studies demonstrate how the collective learning spiral can be a vehicle for transformational change in a wide range of cultures.’ – Sara Cummings, International consultant, Integrated Knowledge Management Emergent, a European Aid Development Initiative and Editor, Knowledge Management for Development Journal
Part 1: Instructions: Collective Learning for Transformational Change 1. The Theory: Collective Social Learning 2. The Practice: Party Time 3. Following the Collective Learning Spiral 4. Step 1. Setting the Scene: Who to Invite? 5. Step 2. Collective Ideals: What should be? 6. Step 3. Collective Facts: What is? 7. Step 4. Collective Ideas: What could be? 8. Step 5. Collective Action: What can be? 9. Step 6. Following on 10. Guiding Transformational Change Part 2: Case Studies: Celebrations of Collective Learning 11. Holding the Party 12. Managing Whole-of-Community Change: Bon Voyage 13. Introducing New Ideas: Cocktail Party 14. Initiating Long-Term Change: Opening Night 15. Changing Problem Communities: Housewarming 16. Achieving Collective Thinking: Coming of Age 17. Monitoring and Evaluation: Street Party 18. Teamwork: Bring a Plate 19. Working from the Guidebook: Going it Alone 20. Summing Up Part 3: Resources: The A-Z of Collective Learning
Valerie A. Brown is Director of the Local Sustainability Project, Human Ecology Program, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University.
Judith A. Lambert is Director of Community Solutions, and works in the interface between the social and environmental aspects of sustainable living.