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About C-ALF

Who we are

We are a small international consultancy and accredited training provider who specialise in the field of health and social care and the not for profit sector.  We are the founders of Socially Driven Action Learning and deliver a wide range of sustainable programmes of innovation using action learning methodology.  We also conduct research, author books and journal papers with the aim of sharing insights from our programmes to support wider professional, community and organisational learning and innovation.

Our previous clients include

Hertfordshire County Council ● Leeds City Council ● Slough Borough Council ● MacMillan Cancer Support ● Church of England ● British Legion ● Care Quality Commission ● Skills for Care ● Certitude ● Voluntary Action Academy ● East Midlands Regional Health Authority ● IOW NHS Trust ● Beijing Hospitals ● Graz Geriatric Hospital ● Pathology Services DoH ● South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust ● South Lambeth and Maudsley NHS Trust ● Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS ● Equinox ● Terra Institute Italy ● Bank of China ● Graz Local Government ● University of Bled ● Bayer ● N Vision – Munich ● BMW ● Siemens 


Christine Abbott

Christine Abbott - Director 

I first met Mike in 1986 when I took part in an NHS action-learning programme for HR Managers. Mike was one of the facilitators – I was bewildered but intrigued by action learning. We met again a year later as part of a Doctors and Managers programme – again Mike was a facilitator and I was a participant learning about myself, my work and my organisation through action. I was hooked and the following year I became a facilitator and have worked with action learning ever since.

I have always been intrigued by the possibilities of action learning and what makes it such a powerful process when it works – and crucially what happens when it doesn’t and how do we know? 

As a practitioner, I am interested in the impact of action learning in the organisation and the organisational culture. I get involved with projects on professional development both with the individual and the profession and leadership development. Not exclusively – but most often – this involves the use of an action learning as a way of working.   

I am currently the Chair of the Board of Trustee of the The Institute of Leadership and Management and I am also an associate of the Open University and Leeds Metropolitan Universities.


M Pedler

Mike Pedler - Associate

As a practitioner I am interested in how we can learn to organise better in the businesses and services on which we all depend. When I work with projects on management and leadership learning, on network development and the learning organisation, I usually approach these from an action learning perspective. 

I am also Founding Editor of Action Learning: Research & Practice – the international journal for action learning from Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

I am now Emeritus Professor of Action Learning at Henley Business School, University of Reading. I also have visiting posts at Lancaster, Leeds Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam Universities.

In 2016 I resigned from my position as Co-Director of C-ALF.

Reflecting on and writing about what I do are important aspects of my practice, and I have written and co-authored a number of books including:

Facilitating Action Learning O U Press/McGraw-Hill 2013 (with my colleague in C-alf, Christine Abbott)

Action Learning for Managers 2nd Ed. Gower 2008

Action Learning in Practice 3rd Ed. Gower 2011

A Manager's Guide to Self-development 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill 2013

The Learning Company: A Strategy for Sustainable Development 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill 1997 (These last two with my colleagues John Burgoyne & Tom Boydell)