Study-Action Teams: Learning Through the Power of Conversation

A Study-Action™ Team (SAT) is a unique approach to learning that creates an environment in which new possibilities emerge, disagreements are explored, and trust is built within a team.  A team that is engaged in the SAT process is exploring the real issues that are preventing change from happening and learning about new ways of thinking inside the organization or the project team.

The Study-Action™ Team concept was developed by LeanProject more than 15 years ago as a way to explore a new approach to solving a problem, open up a space for a new way of thinking and acting, or to transform the way work is being done.  First, a team designates a facilitator for the team, then they set a goal for the SAT, and then they select a book that they will read and discuss together. The SAT provides a safe space in which a team can explore new concepts in a supportive environment.  Members of a SAT learn how to give and receive assessments, tolerate different opinions, and become better listeners to the concerns of others.

For many members of the SAT this is the first time they have seriously read a book in several years and the SAT approach to reading is different than past experiences.  The members of the SAT read the book with questions in mind which transforms reading into a very active and purposeful activity. As a team, we explore how the concepts and ideas presented by the author in the book could be applied to the problem we are trying to solve.  We learn to explore our assessments about what is possible, and the assessments of others on the team, through regular facilitated discussions.

As the team concludes the reading and discussion portion of the SAT we shift into an intensive planning session in which the team plans a new path forward based on what new possibilities have emerged as part of the reading and discussions that have taken place.  The team uses A3’s to capture the deployment strategy for the new initiatives that are developed in the planning session.

At LeanProject we have facilitated many successful SAT sessions that have led to a new path forward in companies and on projects. Teams often achieve breakthroughs that did not seem possible at the beginning of the SAT.   Please reach out to one of us at LeanProject to start the Study Action Team™ experience with your team today.

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