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Are you ‘learning agile’

Are you ‘learning agile’

Agility and the ability to learn fast are key attributes for success and can safeguard your future employability.

Without this agility, you may find it difficult to embrace incremental changes in your business or the game changers brought about through artificial intelligence, market disrupters and evolving global markets. Research and experts are suggesting that learning agility is one of the most important skills for the future. So, how can you be ‘learning agile’?

People who are learning agile are great at learning from experience and applying this to new situations or problems. They constantly seek out new challenges, actively ask for feedback on what they’re doing, reflect about what’s going on and make connections between seemingly unrelated challenges. They are happy to let go of the ‘tried and tested’ and will look at each situation with fresh eyes, being willing to let go of what has made them successful in the past. These people are more likely to be successful at work and are also more likely to feel fully engaged and motivated.

There is widespread agreement that these behaviours can be learnt – that anyone can develop or increase their learning agility. The first step is to reflect. How learning agile are you across the four areas of mental agility, people agility, change agility and results agility?

Mental agility

  • Are you curious about things, always asking questions to understand more?
  • Do you try to identify the root cause rather than just solve the immediate problem?
  • Do you make connections between different things?
  • Are you comfortable if there’s no obvious solution and things are ambiguous?

People agility

  • Are you aware of your impact on others?
  • Do you understand other people’s needs?
  • Can you flex and change your behaviour to fit in with others?
  • Do you seek feedback on how you’re doing?

Change agility

  • Do you test ideas out and experiment?
  • Do you contribute fresh thinking and new ideas?
  • Are you energised by change?
  • Do you constantly look to improve things?

Results agility

  • Can you help a team work well together?
  • Are you focused on the goal and achieving results?
  • Can you adapt your plans as the situation changes?
  • Can you find new ways to deliver when things are tough?

These questions will help you to understand how learning agile you are. Be honest with yourself, how many of these things do you really do? You could also ask others for their feedback – research suggests that people who are not very learning agile will tend to overestimate how good they are, meanwhile, people who are very learning agile tend to underestimate it!

If you want to build your learning agility, here are a couple of simple habits you could introduce.

Reflect on your performance: Make it a habit to regularly ask yourself what went well, what didn’t go so well, what will you do differently next time? Then put this into practice and reflect again…

Broaden your perspective: Avoid the temptation of quickly jumping to a conclusion, always ask yourself ‘how else could I tackle this, and how else?’, you’ll be amazed by the new solutions you will identify…

Give it a go – after all, trying things out is part of learning agility!