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Learning Agility: A Shield to Thrive in a Turbulent World

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

How developing Learning Agility can serve as an insurance policy to guard against an uncertain and increasingly complex future.

Think about the job or role you’re in today. Is it pretty much the same as when you started? About as complex, about as many moving parts as before? Is everything crystal clear about what’s expected of you now and in the future? No uncertainty, nothing ambiguous?

If you answered no to most or all of these questions you’re not alone. As you look out over the global work landscape, it’s obvious that the era of job stability and predictability is over. What has become the norm is the need to acquire new skills…all the time; skills to equip you for a work environment where external forces like rampant globalization, disruptive technologies, and world financial uncertainties are pressing on business strategies, regardless of industry.

So how can you arm yourself to successfully tackle those new, unfamiliar situations that are bound to come your way? Through learning. And not just any learning, but learning from your experiences. How? By reflecting and harvesting meaning, or lessons, from each experience you have. By making sense of them and distilling them down to rules of thumb or principles. When you are faced with new and possibly tough situations, those lessons manifest as varied approaches, ideas, solutions, techniques—a treasure trove of options for you to choose from, depending on what the particular challenge calls for.

There is a name for this ability to learn from experience in a consistent, systematic way and then apply that learning in new situations. It’s called learning agility.

Learning agility isn’t an abstract concept. It’s a set of behaviors and preferences—both in how we go about our work and the choices we make when on and off the job. And because it’s a set of behaviors, you can detect learning agility in action. And not only can you start to spot these behaviors, you can also choose to develop these qualities in yourself and help build them in others.

Today, and probably even more so in the future, it’ll be unlikely that you can walk into a job, role, or assignment having all the answers (or even close to it!). This is where learning agility can make a difference. In this ever more complex and volatile business environment, your past accomplishments will certainly still matter, but they won’t be enough. Going-forward success won’t be about looking in the rearview mirror. Success will depend on how effectively you are able to adapt and perform when confronted with unforeseen circumstances, dilemmas, crises, and complex problems.

Stay tuned as we explore together how learning agility comes to life in leaders from business and all across the world stage. And how you can start to build the qualities of agile learning and recognize them in those around you. We’ll explore together learning agile strategies to help you move from ‘survival mode’ to thriving mode. …so that in work and life you will know what to do…when you don’t know what to do.

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