Everyone these days is talking about ‘Learning agility’.
What is Learning Agility
Why the sudden focus on Learning Agility?
Need for Learning Agility at work
Advantages of being Learning Agile for individuals, leaders, and organizations
Competency inventory to measure and develop Learning Agility
Mettl Learning Agility Matrix for Measuring and Developing Organizational Learning Agility
What is Learning
Learning agility is the ability to continually and rapidly learn, unlearn, and relearn mental models and practices from a variety of experiences, people, and sources, and to apply that learning in new and changing contexts to achieve desired results.
Why the sudden focus on Learning Agility?
Learning Agility-Fact or Fad
When I first came across the term ‘Learning Agility’, I was not sure if it's just a passing trend or an upcoming trend. But the reality is, it is an existing trend which is here to stay for a long time. Anyone who has any corporate work experience can just look back and observe that ‘learning agility’ is the key skill that defines high performers - people who seem to be sailing smoothly in their career without getting stressed or overwhelmed no matter how difficult a task is handed to them.
This is especially true for freshers, who have just entered the corporate world and need to learn fast to keep up with people who have some work experience. When you are new in a job, you need to learn new skills, tools and get used to the way of working in that organization. The learning curve is getting steeper and new employees are expected to start performing tasks independently almost immediately.
Need for Learning Agility
The world is rapidly moving away from institutionalized education that is provided in colleges and formal education after school is getting replaced by people learning mostly on the job. In such a fast-changing scenario, how are organizations supposed to know if a person is fit for a job role? Let’s think more long term. How are organizations supposed to know if a candidate will succeed at his/her job role and prove to be a high potential? After
Keeping up with the changing paradigm of learning, a new kind of talent is proving to become more and more essential by the day. This new talent is called ‘Learning Agility’.
“We have found that learning agility is the leading predictor of success, number one above intelligence and education!”
-Laszlo Bock,Former senior Vice President HR of Google
When you look at job openings today, the number of jobs requiring data analytics, coding, and software development skills is staggering. You can barely find a job that simply requires soft skills such as verbal ability, basic numerical skills or communication skills. This is because any job that requires performing basic repetitive tasks are getting automated. This a source of concern for individuals who do not have any technical skill sets and are from a non-tech educational background. The old age thinking of working as per one’s educational training is hindering the ability of people to learn new skills on their own. The siloed thinking of people that makes them stick to a certain type of job role is going to be a major cause of unemployment in the future.
The present business environment is so fast changing that businesses tell customers what they want and not the other way around. The whole trend of ‘keeping up’ with whatever new and exciting is happening and the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ is what is driving today’s global economy. Individuals that pride themselves in their ability to always be on top of things when it comes to being knowledgeable about the latest technological advancements are the kind of individuals companies are looking for- People looking forward to
To know how being learning agile makes a huge difference in your work performance- Let us compare two employees who joined their first job, have the same skill training and educational background but possess different levels of Learning Agility.
As you can clearly see, the employee with high learning agility is the dream employee every company is looking for, whereas the employee with low learning agility is on the verge of becoming obsolete in terms of driving organizational productivity and profitability. Employee B can be easily relied upon to take up leadership positions and is more dependable in terms of their present and future performance.
Competency Inventory to Measure and Develop Learning Agility
Now that we have established beyond a shred of doubt, how important learning agility is for achieving individual, leadership and organizational success, its essential to know the competencies that define high learning agility.
An individual’s Learning Agility is dependent
- Ability to learn: essential cognitive competencies that predisposes a person with the ability to learn quickly by identifying patterns, logical rules
andtrends in new data.
- Orientation to learn: essential behavioral competencies which will predispose the respondent to learn new things faster than others.
Measuring Learning Ability
An individual’s ability to learn is determined by their fluid intelligence or their ability to learn new things from scratch and then apply that knowledge in different ways. Fluid intelligence can be measured with the help of abstract reasoning or spatial reasoning tests.
Learning Ability = Fluid Intelligence = Ability to discern patterns and linkages and ability to make fresh connections between different concepts.
Measuring Learning Orientation
An individual’s orientation to
Learning Orientation = Open Mindedness + Inquisitiveness + Drive for Mastery + Consciousness = Essential behavioral competencies which will predispose the respondent to learn new things faster than others.
Developing Learning Agility
Just like any other skill or competency, an individual can learn to be learning agile by strengthening their fluid intelligence and by developing an interest in learning new things.
Mettl Learning Agility Matrix for Measuring Organizational Learning Agility
Any company can require employees with basic to
Mettl Learning Agility Matrix is a matrix that measures an individual’s/organization’s Learning Agility and provides actionable insights needed to improve the organization's performance and productivity
The level of learning agility that any job role in any organization requires, determines the level of learning agility that employee’s working in that job role must possess. Journalism requires enthusiasts whereas accounting requires
Learning Agility is among the top skills that organizations look for while hiring and while selecting people who can take up leadership positions in the organization. Employees having high learning agility have proven to be high performers and high potentials. Organizations that are focusing on selecting and promoting learning agile talent are more future ready and will have a much easier time adapting to technological, skill and business environment changes.