Do you know what your organisation will look like five years from now?
In modern organisations, change is the only constant. Moreover, the pace of change is only increasing. This reality requires new ways of working and new skills for employees. The main question is always whether today’s employees are future-proof, especially when change is difficult to define in precise terms and also very difficult to predict.
That the nature of work is changing is clear enough. It is much more challenging, however, to know in advance what exactly will change and what this change will mean. Although someone may be suitable for position A today, the nature of that position may change drastically in the future. In some cases, the position may even cease to exist. It is therefore important to know how rapidly someone can adapt to a new situation. This ability is referred to as Learning Agility; the good news is that it can be both measured and developed.
The five dimensions of agile employees
Learning Agility is the ability to rapidly develop new, effective behaviour in the face of new experiences. People who achieve high Learning Agility scores are more open to learning from new situations than those whose scores are low. They absorb more from a novel experience and are always looking for new challenges. In addition, they seek feedback for the purpose of learning, recognise patterns in unfamiliar situations and effectively engage others to understand experiences and make them meaningful.
These qualities mean that - next week, next month, next year and onwards into the unknown future - they will be more effective in response to new environments, new work and new expectations. They will help others to learn together. Above all, they will be and remain effective when the world changes. Recognising and nourishing these qualities are therefore vital to the resilience of your organisation.
Learning Agility consists of five dimensions: Change Agility, Mental Agility, People Agility, Results Agility and Self-Awareness. They have one key thing in common: those who achieve high scores in these dimensions learn more from experiences and more rapidly apply what has been learned in new situations.
People who score high on Change Agility are constantly curious, and this curiosity is stirred by the new and unfamiliar. They like to experiment and try things out, and they have a passion for new experiences. As a result, they experience more. They can learn more from their experiences because they are intrinsically motivated to investigate matters and enjoy dealing with issues that are not yet familiar.
People who score high on Mental Agility enjoy complex or unclear problem solving, because this provides them with an opportunity to use new ideas to create clarity. They like to analyse and can often achieve greater understanding of the issues at hand by thinking outside the box and adopting a different approach. They are open-minded and like to be challenged by new ideas. They therefore recognise patterns in new experiences more quickly than others. They more easily understand the situation and what they can learn from their experiences.
People who score high on People Agility are constructive towards others and are open to people who have different backgrounds and opinions. They always seek to properly understand what others mean and take the opinions of others seriously. It is therefore easier for them to establish contact with others and learn from the input of others. Moreover, they can more easily adjust to people from different cultures.
People who score high on Results Agility have a strong need to be successful and always look for the best way to achieve results. They are often ambitious and confident, and they remain calm under pressure. Because they are more able to set goals in new and unfamiliar situations, they maintain greater focus and learn more quickly about what is and is not relevant in the context of converting new issues into successful outcomes.
People who score high on Self-Awareness are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are often critical of their own performance. They therefore focus more on how they can improve and, as a result, their general willingness to learn is greater. Self-Awareness occupies a special place in the context of Learning Agility, because a high score in this area indicates greater potential on the other domains, while a low score indicates lower potential. Someone who is aware of their development areas or who seeks to become better will learn more effectively than someone who is easily satisfied with his or her own performance.
Learning Agility provides resilience for the future
Learning Agility measures whether someone has the potential to rapidly familiarise himself or herself with new demands. People who have a high level of Learning Agility can rapidly take up and familiarise themselves with issues in all kinds of new situations.
Assessing Learning Agility makes it much easier for you to identify job applicants and existing employees who can maintain the strength and dynamism of your organisation in the future, and who can act as change agents within teams. Different measurements and reports can be used for selection, development and succession planning.
Would you like to try a Learning Agility assessment or find out more? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org