WIAL Annual Conference Warsaw, Oct 19-20 2016

Developing Agile Leaders through Action Learning

Oct 19-20, 2016, Warsaw, Poland

The 2016 annual conference of the World Institute for Action Learning will focus on the development of agile leaders in business and other types of organisations through the method of Action Learning. We will learn about the traits of effective leaders and ways to develop them. We shall touch upon the issue of leadership not only in agile project management but also in other areas, where resourcefulness, agility and the pace of decision making as well as ability to work in teams is necessary to achieve extraordinary business efficiency.

The presentations and workshops will relate to Action Learning and how to use this simple yet effective tool to develop leaders of 21st century.

The idea of the conference is also networking. WIAL Poland wishes to create a unique opportunity for people from Poland and abroad to establish international contacts and build partnerships which in the future will turn out to be beneficial and creative. Thus, we will have enough time to speak, exchange experiences, business cards, ideas and proposals.

All the best and see you in Warsaw!

Tomasz Janiak

Director of WIAL Poland

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Michael Marquardt (USA)

Prof. Michael Marquardt (USA)

Professor of human and organisational learning at George Washington University, one of the founders of the World Institute for Action Learning. Author of over 25 books on leadership, action learning and building learning organisations. Consulted with: Marriott, Microsoft, Sony Music, Goodrich, Nortel, Alcoa, Boeing, Caterpillar, Xerox, Nokia, Constellation, Samsung and others.
Dr Bea Carson (USA)

Dr Bea Carson (USA)

Current president of WIAL, a consultant and Master Action Learning Coach. Consulted with many businesses in North America, including Constellation Energy Company, a $12.5 billion Fortune 200 company. For many years Dr Carson has been committed to training and mentoring Action Learning team coaches.
Jean Michel Cramier (France)

Jean Michel Cramier (France)

Jean Michel Cramier is presently head of the corporate relationship department of La Rochelle Business School as well as co-founder of WIAL-France. He is a certified action learning coach, an entrepreneur, a business consultant and a student instructor. He has a wide management experience as a practitioner and former head of the French affiliate of an American company. He specializes in business development, strategy consulting and team management. His researches are dealing with employees engagement, motivation and collaboration, especially with the promotion of action learning.
Daniel Belet (France)

Daniel Belet (France)

Professor of human management and leadership at la Rochelle Business School and co-founder of WIAL-France. He is a senior action learning coach and has been using action learning in his management and leadership courses for years. He has authored books and articles about management education, the learning organization and leadership development. He is experienced in management teaching, consulting, coaching and training, which he has been practising for more than 35 years.
Twan Paes (Holland)

Twan Paes (Holland)

Team coaching and management specialist, professor at EMORA School of Teammanagement. Twan Paes MBA started his career as a sports coach and later in life switched to pursue a career in the corporate world. Twan is Senior Action Learning Coach (SALC) and cofounder of the Action Learning Academy in the Netherlands. Twan is also lector and examinator of Action Learning at several Business Schools.


John Heywood (UK)

John Heywood (UK)

John is an experienced facilitator, executive coach and project manager with more than 25 years of experience. He is the current Chairman of the International Foundation for Action Learning and has been working as an action learning facilitator since 2004, and as a virtual facilitator since 2008. His experience includes working virtually with clients from twenty-five countries.
Lidia Czarkowska (Poland)

Lidia Czarkowska (Poland)

Director of the Center of Coaching, head of the post-graduate studies: Executive Coaching and Professional Coaching as well as an adjunct professor at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland. Practitioner and expert in psychology, sociology, management, organizational communication, motivation, team building, conflict management and human potential development.
Peter Cauwelier (Belgium/Thailand)

Peter Cauwelier (Belgium/Thailand)

Peter started ASIO Consulting, an independent consulting company focusing on helping teams reach excellence. Operational improvement and organizational development built around the core team are the keys to long term success. Peter has worked with teams in Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. Peter is the first Thailand-based Action Learning coach certified by the World Institute for Action Learning www.wial.org, and one of the few Belbin® Team Roles Accredited coaches in Thailand.
Shannon Banks (UK)

Shannon Banks (UK)

Shannon Banks, Managing Director, is a consultant, facilitator and executive coach with extensive experience working with leaders and teams in the commercial sector. Shannon has a passion for social leadership and created Be Leadership to work with global clients on becoming more authentic, more aligned and more engaged. Prior to her current work, Shannon spent 20 years in the technology industry, where she held a variety of global leadership roles across the business and HR. She has won global awards for her work in leadership development and talent management and is a sought-after public speaker.
Ewa Francis (UK/Poland)

Ewa Francis (UK/Poland)

Ewa is a Learning and Development Professional, Facilitator, Executive and Team Coach with over 17 years’ experience across UK and Central European markets. Since 2007 she has run her own L&D consultancy having previously worked in management, and consulting roles in a variety of sectors and cultures (Global FMCG; Local Government; Healthcare and Engineering). She is a practitioner with a particular interest in context sensitive methods such as Action and Peer Learning, Coaching, Mentoring. She is passionate about optimizing individual and team capabilities by combining her expertise and her multi-cultural background with a client’s willingness to achieve their goals.
Dr Agata Dulnik (Poland)

Dr Agata Dulnik (Poland)

Leadership Development Lead for Europe and the Middle East in Accenture Strategy Capability Network. Business-savvy, optimistic, future-focused global Leadership and Talent expert oriented towards building environments where talent can blossom and culture supports organizational growth. Certified in a number of psychometrics, Executive Coaching, and Action Learning methodologies. Experienced in working cross-nationally, cross- industry, and on projects of various formats and scale.






9:00 – 9:15

Tomasz Janiak
and Norbert Ogłaza


9:15 – 10:00

Prof. Michael Marquardt

What is Action Learning and how have I implemented it in business?

  • What is Action Learning

  • How have I used it in global business?

  • What results have I seen in companies I have worked with?

Practical takeaways: knowledge of the essence of Action Learning, its benefits and examples of use in business

10:00 – 10:45

Dr. Bea Carson 

How do WIAL and Action Learning sessions develop agile leaders?

  • Who is an agile leader?

  • How do Action Learning participants train their leadership agility?

  • How do Action Learning Coaches show the traits of Agile Leaders?

Practical takeaways: a model that you can use to naturally develop agile leaders, ultimately transforming the organization to a learning organization

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 11:45

Adam Górecki

The role and competences of leaders in Poland

  • What do statistics say about leaders in companies registered in Poland?

  • What does the success of a leader depend on in managing a Polish team?

  • The development of leadership skills ‚alla polaca’

Practical takeaways: knowledge of the leadership development trends in Poland and the characteristics of managing Polish teams.

11:45 – 12:30

Twan Paes

Action Learning & Balanced Leadership – Drive it, Shape it, Own it!

  • Why link the ratio and emotions in your organization?

  • How can Action Learning influence Human Resource Development?

  • What are the steps to integrate Action Learning and LEAN?

Practical takeaways: an Action Learning Process model (ratio & emotions) that you can use in developing leadership in your company.

Read Twan’s article here.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch


Prof.Daniel Belet and
Jean Michel Cramier

Action learning as a powerful method to develop the manager’s agility to face a major corporate change: our experience with a major chain retailer- Auchan Ukraine

  • The managers’ agility vs change management

  • How can Action Learning change management and improve human engagement?

  • How did Action Learning contribute to change in Auchan Groupe?

Practical takeaways: a case study with tips helpful in change management through Action Learning

14:15 – 15:00

Discussion Panel

Action Learning as a quick and efficient method of individual and organisational learning

  • What should I consider before implementing an Action Learning program ?

  • What obstacles may arise?

  • How does Action Learning differ from other methods of HR development?

1. Mike Marquardt

2. Andrzej Woźniakowski

3. John Heywood

4. Shannon Banks

5. Agata Dulnik

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break

15:15- 16:00

John Heywood

Virtual action learning: practice-based observations

  • How to manage the work of geographically dispersed teams?

  • What are practitioners’ experiences of virtual action learning (VAL)?

  • What do you need to pay attention to when setting up virtual action learning sets?

Practical takeawaysChecklist for setting up a VAL programme (this can be done as group exercises or as a presentation).

16:00- 16:45

Dr Agata Dulnik

Supporting leadership effectiveness during times of rapid organizational change – an M&A case study

  • The human side of mergers and acquisitions
  • Leadership development in mergers and acquisitions – case study
  • Al as a key component of the solution


WIAL Awards Part 1

Awards for individuals and organisations of different kinds, given for effective implementation of Action Learning, building learning organisations as well as team and leadership development. Each of the winners will give one practical tip- what to pay attention to so that Action Learning brings the desired effects.

DAY 2 WORKSHOPS (click to view)


ROOM LILIA (classes in English)

ROOM ORCHIDEA AB (classes in Polish)

ROOM FREZJA (classes in Polish)

Translation will not be provided in breakout sessions.

09:00 – 10:30

Shannon Banks THE FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP: Thriving in an Agile World.

1) What are the causes of the current business transformation?

2) What does that mean for organizations?

3) What leadership skills are needed in the future?

4) How can action learning help create an agile organization?

Practical takeaways:

  • Knowledge transfer around the business transformation happening today and the development of the Social Age

  • An exercise to help you consider your own social leadership skills

  • New insights around how action learning can help create an agile organization and support the development of new social leadership skills

Tomasz Janiak Introduction to Action Learning

  • Review of the essence of Action Learning, its components and groundrules
  • Demonstration of an Action Learning session
  • Discussion and Q$A session
  • Everyone will have a chance to participate in the Action Learning session
  • You will have a chance to lead a session as a coach, if you wish

Practical takeaways:

  • A list of necessary components to include while running an Action Learning session
  • Coach’s script

Coach CERTES Introduction to Action Learning

  • Review of the essence of Action Learning, its components and groundrules
  • Demonstration of an Action Learning session
  • Discussion and Q$A session
  • Everyone will have a chance to participate in the Action Learning session
  • You will have a chance to lead a session as a coach, if you wish

Practical takeaways:

  • A list of necessary components to include while running an Action Learning session
  • Coach’s script

10:30 – 10:45

Coffee break

Coffee break

Coffee break

10:45 – 12:15

Ewa Francis Peer Learning: Reflective Action in Service of Developing Agile Leaders

  • What are peer-learning groups?
  • What are the critical components and the little things in the design that make a big difference to the success of Peer Learning?
  • Where you can use them?

How does Peer Learning work?Practice using a Reflective Action Map as a tool to develop agility in leaders

How can Peer Learning help to develop Agile Leaders?

Practical takeaways:

  • Key facts about Peer Learning
  • A Reflective Action Map to develop agile leaders i.e. those who have the commitment and ability to STEP BACK to…..RE-EXAMINE the challenge, to FRAME it in order to create ideas and respond to change with ACTION that is timely, focused and flexible.
Agnieszka Biegańska Leadership and building joint responsibility

  • Empowerment as a tool for building joint responsibility.
  • Can empowerment mean lack of leadership?
  • When does a leader become mature enough to share his power?
  • How does a mature leader shape new leaders?
  • What is the new role of the leader who has shared his power and responsibility?

Sława Mickiewicz Competences of an agile leader- how to test and develop them effectively?

  • What methods and tools it is worth using in developing leadership development programs?

  • Why and how to use available development and diagnostic tools?
  • What information can you gain and how to take advantage of them?
  • What to remember about while using diagnostic and development tools?
  • How to use them in practice?
  • What results and benefits can be gained?

12:15 – 13:15




13:15 – 14:45

Peter Cauwelier Team Psychological Safety – what Google discovered about high-performance teams.

* What is team psychological safety and why is it critical for team performance ?

* What impacts team psychological safety and how can you further develop it

* What is the impact of Action Learning on team psychological safety ?

Practical takeaways: A framework to help you design development programs that will develop team psychological safety

Dr Paweł Pietras The role of a leader in agile project management.

  • What role does a leader play in the traditional approach?
  • In what projects and organisations does the traditional approach prevail?
  • Why and what projects need agile management?
  • What is the leader’s role in agile management?
  • How to introduce agile management?
Monika Skibińska Action learning yesterday and today – a journey through centuries.

  • Action Learning in ancient times
  • the Torah, the Bible, the Quran- how in different religions people have passed the idea of learning and constant development
  • A little closer to our times- Deming and others
  • KAIZEN philosophy- its impact of change today, Controversial? – Jobs, Musk, Branson, Sobieraj – case study

14:45 – 15:00

Coffee break

Coffee break

Coffee break

15:00 – 15:30

WIAL Awards Part 2- plenary session  

15:30 – 16:15

Plenary session

Lidia Czarkowska  How to support emotional intelligence (EQ) and mental toughness through Action Learning?

  • How to use the 5-factor EQ model in diagnosing the leadership capital?
  • What is mental toughness and how can we measure it?
  • What influences mental toughness development?
  • How does mental toughness determine success in business development?
  • A model of 4 pillars of a leader’s personal causative force – a business coaching tool.


Tomasz Janiak and Ewa Rosik – Ogłaza



The conference will take place in the heart of Warsaw, in Novotel hotel, very close to the old town center.

Address: ul Marszalkowska 94/98,00-510 Warsaw, Poland



WIAL members, coaches and associates:

EUR 295

Business representatives: One person: EUR 465,  and sebsequent persons EUR 260!


Please contact us to get discounted prices!

Do you have a question or would like to register more participants? Contact us!