Workspaces are changing a lot. Leading a project might not necessarily make you a leader. One of the most important skills that are emerging in the fields of leadership is “learning agility”. This has become a very important skill and depends on how quickly one can change themselves in challenging situations and learn from it. Research has found that the most common problem in the downfall of a leadership is failing to adapt to new changes. When a leader lacks learning agility, he hits a plateau. This can be a huge setback for the organization too and it can even cost them a fortune. Hence it has become imperative for organizations to find out potential leaders who have learning agility.

What is learning agility?

Learning agility is the ability to learn from unknown experiences and reapply the lessons learnt in other contexts too. The cut-throat world of business today needs leaders who can not just lead well, but can adjust to new things and learn quickly. The ability to adapt to changes and learn new lessons from it is known as “learning agility”. Experts claim that having learning agility is the single most important trait for a leader to have, as it can be ranked above intelligence and education. Relying on intelligence and education has only made executives stagnant. They sort of get complacent with their company’s position. They often fail at relationships, stop learning new things and are blind to their own faults.

How can it be measured?

Learning agility can be measured via five key dimensions. Here are they:

  • Mental Agility is the ability to work with complex problems.
  • People Agility is the ability to work with all kinds of people.
  • Change Agility is the ability to experiment and not be afraid to lead from the front.
  • Results Agility is the ability to deliver results for in situations that have not appeared before.
  • Self-Awareness is the ability to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

Based on these dimensions there are tests to find people who have learning agility. These tests can vary from Learning Agility Indicator that finds out someone’s ability to explore, examine or imagine. Learning Agility Simulation, is another way to test a person for it. In this test, simulated exercises are created which are to be completed by the examinee.

Learning Agility Is No More An Option

The complex world of business no longer runs on sheer intelligence or high-profile professional degrees. It is an ever-changing world and those who do not adapt to the new ways, will surely hit a dead-end. Developing new leaders is a highly challenging task for organizations today. Using assessments that measure learning agility can help recognize potential leaders. It is not an option, but a necessary condition in today’s work environment.

One of the most potent and motivating quotation of today’s world happens to be Steve Jobs’ Stay hungry Stay Foolish. Nothing explains learning agility better than this quote.