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Learning Agility: The Intangible Key to Success

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“Learning Agility” is a competency or capability which describes a person’s speed to learn. It is the ability and willingness to learn from experience, and subsequently apply that learning to perform successfully under new or first-time conditions. In short, Learning Agility is the ability to learn, adapt and apply ourselves in constantly morphing conditions.

This skill is considered one of the most important factors in having a great Business Career or Personal Life. 

Individuals with strong “learning agility” can rapidly study, analyze, and understand new situations and new business problems. They have developed techniques and a passion for “fast learning” and are not afraid to jump into a problem and try to understand its various causes and ramifications quickly.

Learning Agility is not necessarily an academic skill, more like an EQ (Emotional Intelligence) Skill. It describes a person’s ability and passion to quickly study a new problem and use their learning process to gain a deep understanding before making a decision. It is not, for example, the ability to “take shots in the dark” or “shoot from the hip.”

The problem lies with the use and application of information – not its possession. This creates a unique teaching dilemma – how do you teach people how to ask the right questions and think critically? While some may believe these skills are infused at birth – you have them or you don’t – the reality is that these skills can be learned. The most important skill a person can have today is not coding, language ability, or photographic memory. It is learning agility. Be agile and opportunity will follow.

Traits of Learning Agile people

  1. They know what to do – when they don’t know what to do
  2. They know the questions to ask, the people to work with to find the answers they need and they are comfortable being uncomfortable
  3. They are critical thinkers who examine problems carefully and make fresh connections with relative ease
  4. They know themselves well, leverage their strengths effectively, and know-how to compensate for their weaknesses
  5. They like to experiment and are comfortable with the discomfort that comes from change
  6. They deliver results in first-time situations through team-building and personal drive

Three important Strategies to increase your Learning Agility competency (Practice these daily)

  1. Commitment – Be super committed to learning and growth. Make it a priority to learn something new every day
  2. Opportunity – Accept the opportunity to be put into challenging situations. If there is no opportunity available – create on
  3. Reflection – Take time every day to analyze what you’ve done during the day. Ask yourself “What have I learned?”, “What can I improve on?”.. Most importantly – Be relentless in seeking and accepting feedback about your performance. Doing this will give you a non-biased opinion on areas of improvements

5 dimensions are crucial to Learning Agile leaders:

  1. Mental Agility: Thinking critically to penetrate complex problems and expanding possibilities by making fresh connections
  2. People Agility: Understanding and relating to other people, as well as tough situations to harness and multiply collective performance
  3. Change Agility: Enjoying experimentation, being curious, and effectively dealing with the discomfort of change
  4. Results Agility: Delivering results in first-time situations by inspiring teams, and exhibiting a presence that builds confidence in themselves and others
  5. Self-Awareness: Being reflective and knowing themselves well; understanding their capabilities and their impact on others

Develop yourself and your key talent across these dimensions and you will activate enduring human and strategic potential

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