WIAL Model

The WIAL (World Institute for Action Learning) Model is a problem solving and leadership development approach that relies on the principles of action learning. Developed by Dr. Michael Marquardt and Reg Revans, the WIAL Model aims to improve organizational performance, enhance personal and professional development, and promote innovative thinking through small group coaching sessions.

Purpose and Role: The purpose of the WIAL Model is to help individuals and organizations tackle complex problems and challenges while fostering personal and professional growth. By using the principles of action learning, the model encourages participants to reflect on their actions, learn from their experiences, and apply their insights to real-world situations.


  • Problem or Challenge: A real, urgent, and significant problem or challenge faced by the organization, which serves as the basis for the action learning process.
  • Action Learning Group: A diverse group of individuals who work together to address the problem or challenge. The group typically consists of 4 to 8 members who bring different perspectives and expertise.
  • Action Learning Coach: A facilitator who guides the group through the action learning process, ensuring that the group remains focused and productive while fostering a supportive and reflective environment.
  • Reflective Inquiry: The process of asking and answering insightful questions to stimulate critical thinking, promote self-awareness, and uncover new perspectives and solutions.
  • Commitment to Action: The group identifies actionable steps and solutions to address the problem or challenge and implements these actions in their work.
  • Learning and Development: Through reflection and application, participants learn and develop both individually and collectively, enhancing their problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork skills.

Importance: The WIAL Model is important for promoting continuous learning, innovation, and improvement in organizations. It enables participants to tackle complex problems effectively while developing critical leadership and teamwork skills. The model's emphasis on reflective inquiry, learning from experience, and applying insights to real-world situations makes it a powerful tool for personal and professional growth.

Benefits and Pros:

  • Enhanced problem-solving: The WIAL Model helps participants develop innovative and effective solutions to complex organizational problems.
  • Leadership development: The model fosters the development of essential leadership skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and adaptability.
  • Team building: The action learning process strengthens team cohesion and collaboration by encouraging participants to work together to solve problems and learn from one another.
  • Continuous learning: The WIAL Model promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement by encouraging participants to reflect on their experiences and apply their insights to new challenges.


  • Time-consuming: The WIAL Model requires a significant investment of time for group meetings, coaching sessions, and reflection, which may be challenging for some organizations.
  • Group dynamics: The success of the WIAL Model depends on the group's ability to collaborate effectively, which may be influenced by group dynamics or interpersonal conflicts.
  • Implementation challenges: Implementing the actionable solutions identified during the action learning process may face resistance or resource constraints within the organization.

In summary, the WIAL Model is a powerful problem-solving and leadership development approach based on the principles of action learning. By promoting reflective inquiry, collaboration, and continuous learning, the WIAL Model helps organizations tackle complex challenges while fostering personal and professional growth among participants.

See Also