Learning Agility Training
Some notes on Learning Agility Training I happen to be going through right now:
- A key indicator of high potential
- A comfort level with new, different, and challenging situations
- A willingness & ability to learn and develop from “lessons of experience”
- Studies repeatedly show the ability to learn from experience differentiates successful executives
- Essentially, it is an ability to figure out what to do when you don’t know what to do
Jobs that require Learning Agility
- Not a well defined job, different stuff all the time
- Not long focus
- Creative positions
- Problem Solvers
- Chaotic Enviornment
- Define processes
Jobs that don’t require Learning Agility
- Same set of tasks all the time
- Controlled Enviornment
- Adhere to processes
Dimensions of Learning Agility
- Mental Agility - Curious, gets to the root cause - Resourcefulness
- People Agility - Likes to help others succeed; Agile communicator - Relationships
- Change Agility - Can take the heat, introduces new slants - Resielance
- Results Agility - Drive and presence, builds high performing teams - Results
Finding those with Learning Agility
- Look for people that have lots of stories that make parallels between very different scenarios. e.g. taking an experience and applying the learning in a completely different situation.
Learning Agility Profiles
- Problem Solvers - Explore complexities of ambiguous problems to develop solutions & involve others along the way.
- Thought Leaders - Seek insight & truth by asking hard questions and striving to make difficult connections. (Behind the scenes fact finder asking hard questions in an introverted way)
- Trailblazers - Use their determination and lase-focused sense of where they need to be to get there, sometimes by whatever means available. (the Captain Kirks, breaking rules, find solutions where there are none)
- Champions - Save the day in grand style, handle difficult situations with humor and grace (General / Leader / Motivator)
- Pillars - Craft & implement highly refined solutions, tending to focus more on creating an improvement than making a dramatic change.
- Diplomats - Deftly size up others and adjust their style to fit the moment when stakes are high and smooth people skills are called for. (Follow anywhere since they will get you out of a problem)
- Energizers - Inspire others with their hard-working, achievement-oriented work ethic and build committed, capable teams to get the job done. (e.g. John F. Kennedy)
- In which elements of your job (or types of work in your job) do you excel?
- In which elements of your job do you sometimes struggle?
- How does your learning agility profile type help you overcome that struggle?
Drawbacks & Composition
- Problem Solver - Mental Agility, step on people’s toes, singularly focused, miss the basic operational issues
- Though Leader - Mental & Change Agility, Not necessarily execute, don’t get it done, don’t speak up, they need to have the resources to execute, stragesit, not up front, potentially not with many direct reports.
- Trailblazer - Change Agility and Mental Agility. Not focused, not a good manager, churn & burn, work people too hard
- Champion - People Agility. Not share the glory, self-serving,
- Pillars - Results, People & Mental - implement too many / too complex processes. Lack higher level strategic approach. May not make a connection between different problems that have same root cause
- Diplomats - People, Change. Lack Depth. Open Doors, probably not the person to close the deal.
- Energizer - People, Results, Mental, Change Agility. Burn others out.
Barriers to Learning Agility
How the truly learning agile work through overcoming barriers
- Put it in context - Dive into details
- Step back / Pause - talk to colleagues, family, think about it in shower
- Reassess -
- Develop a Plan Using Past experiences
- Observe yourself
- Goto Step #1 if there still is a problem
Environments that foster learning agility
- Ability to pause
- Freedom to make mistakes
- strong communication
- Good peers & mentors
- collaborative enviornment
- Trust in managers, colleges, reports
- reward learning agility moves
- recognized for your learning agility
How to use this information
- recognize pitfalls in self
- recognize pitfalls in others
- Ask for and Take the pauses to clear mind and think
Questions to ask:
- What did you learn?
- What are you going to do differently with what you learned?
Learning Agility based interviewing is better than Behavioral Based Interviewing (Kornferry process)
- What was a situation
- What did you do to respond
- Where else did you use that learning
- Korn Ferry Institue: Seven Faces of Learning Agility: http://www.kornferryinstitute.com/files/pdf1/Seven_faces_of_learning_agility.pdf
- Identifying the Learning Agile Leader (Human Capital Institue White Paper): http://www.guideconsulting.com/~guidecon/images/IdentifyingtheLeader.pdf
- Using Learning Agility to Identify High Potentials around the World: http://www.lominger.com/pdf/LearningAgility_whitepaper_DeMeuse.pdf