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Do your leaders have the most important ingredient for change success? - 15 question guide

Leaders who have this ingredient show the following traits.

  • Constantly look out for new experiences to learn from.

  • Thrive on complex problems and challenges.

  • Enjoy making sense out of the different experiences they encounter.

  • Deliver better performance as they have new skills ingrained in them.

Have you been able to guess what is the most important ingredient yet?

Here is another clue?

  • It’s our ability to learn, adapt, unlearn, and relearn to keep up with constantly changing conditions.

  • It’s how we can figure out a way through a new situation without actually knowing what to do, by using past and present experience to make sense of an uncertain situation.

  • It’s being open to new ideas, to innovate through an unknown problem rather than rely on outdated information.

The ingredient is learning agility as individual and leading towards an entire learning organizational culture.

In a research by Korn Ferry (2,242 managers and executives) , they were able to identify about half of them to possess a high learning agility which allows them to solve complex problems and displays curiosity in making sense of complexity.A person who is learning agile has more lessons, more tools, and more solutions to draw on when faced with new business challenges.” (Hallenbeck, Swisher, and Orr, July 2011. This can be illustrated by a swiss-army knife, having an equipment or apparatus ready for most or if not all tools needed for any situation.

Learning agility encompasses five factors:

  • Mental agility—embracing complexity, examining problems in unique ways, making fresh connections, and staying inquisitive.

  • People agility—being open-minded toward others, enjoying interaction with diverse groups, bringing out the best in others.

  • Change agility—willingness to lead transformation efforts, continuously exploring new options.

  • Results agility—delivering results in tough situations, responding to challenge, inspiring others to achieve more than they thought possible.

  • Self-awareness—being reflective, understanding strengths and weaknesses, seeking feedback and personal insight.

Use 15 questions as a guiding point to determine if you have learning agility

  1. I consider my personal role in both success and failures.

  2. I am not afraid to develop big ideas.

  3. I evaluate solutions before deciding on one.

  4. I question my instinctive reaction and rationalize it.

  5. I question fundamental assumptions to see if they are relevant.

  6. I stay calm and assess my options when faced with a challenge.

  7. I challenge the status quo to make improvements.

  8. I set aside time to critically think about my experience and actions.

  9. I examine my past failures and successes for lessons.

  10. I refer to case-studies for potential ideas when developing a solution for a problem.

  11. I volunteer to take up challenging assignments.

  12. I know the importance of minor issues as they may help me develop a fuller understanding of a problem.

  13. I make an effort to gain knowledge on areas beyond my expertise.

  14. I seek feedback constantly by discussing my ideas.

  15. I incorporate the feedback received to improve my ideas.

If you score yes to more than 12 questions, you are most likely to have learning agility in you. Lead the change



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