What is Learning Agility?

May 22, 2021

by Management Dynamics

What is Learning Agility?

According to Korn Ferry, Learning Agility is core to becoming a self-disruptive leader who can adapt and thrive in new, ambiguous, uncertain situations.  The relationship between Learning Agility and leadership adaptability has been well-established by scientific research over several decades. Learning Agility helps get people into new and challenging situations. Challenging situations, in turn, develop people’s resilience and adaptability.

Learning Agility comprises 5 factors: Self-awareness, Mental Agility, People Agility, Change Agility and Results Agility.  Self-awareness is about understanding yourself including your strengths, weaknesses, interests, motivations and hot buttons. It’s also about how well you understand the impact you have on others, how you react to others and manage yourself and adapt. Mental agility is how you think and it’s not just about intelligence. It’s the capacity to consider multiple perspectives, join the dots, identify themes, and pick out the critical factors from a complex issue. People agility is about reading people well and adjusting your style and behaviours to enable them to be the best they can be. To influence and connect and build good relationships. Leaders with high levels of people agility understand people across a wide spectrum and are able to flex to build relationships and communicate effectively. Change Agility describes the restless nature of the high change agile leader. They are always looking to improve something, tirelessly searching for what can be better and they are comfortable with the heat. They do not mind being the only ones pushing for the transformation. Results agility is about delivering. Finding solutions to meet the targets and goals as the world changes around you, identifying different ways to overcome obstacles and challenges, and bringing people with them.

The inspirational leader is high on results agility, inspiring and encouraging their people to follow and do what they had not thought possible while clearing the path that lays ahead of them.
There are not many leaders who are high in all 5 factors and we have seen that all 5 have been tested during 2020. The power of learning agility comes when you have all 5 operating together. That is when you can really see the transformative results of a leader in this accelerated disruptive world.

If you would like to learn more about Learning Agility or develop your leaders please contact us.

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