Keeping up with these changes is increasingly difficult for organisations and their leaders. Often, the organisation looks to Human Resources for guidance on building a flexible, proactive and agile workforce that can keep up.
It is critical to understand how your organisation’s teams and leadership cope with change, as each person is unique. These coping styles or learning styles in the face of change are defined as Learning Agility. Learning Agility, in a nutshell, is understanding someone’s potential to adapt to new, unknown situations. What could be more valuable than this within an organisation? Leaders who thrive are proven to demonstrate high Learning Agility and are geared to build teams that can also adapt to change.
Here are our top five tips for introducing the concept of agility and building agile teams in your organisation.
Tip 1: Define what Learning Agility means to your organisation
To create a positive culture around change, it’s essential to understand what Learning Agility means to your organisation. HFMtalentindex defines Learning Agility as the “ability to develop new effective behaviour quickly and flexibly based on recent experiences and then to apply this behaviour successfully.” It is vital to unpack this definition and to ensure employees are familiar with Learning Agility and understand why it is essential.
Understanding how learning agile employees are gives leaders an idea of whether their employees can manage any changes they may face. Management can then decipher who to put at the forefront of change and who will drive that change throughout the organisation.
Tip 2: Know how Learning Agility is measured
For change and agility to be seen positively by all employees within the organisation, it is essential to understand how Learning Agility is measured. Learning Agility can be broken down into five different dimensions: Change Agility, Mental Agility, People Agility, Results Agility and Self-awareness.
Learning Agility is a well-defined construct that can be measured using a combination of assessments, namely personality and motivations. The results from these assessments provide an overview of an individual or team’s potential to adapt to changes.
Tip 3: Identify employees who are Learning Agile
Measuring Learning Agility gives organisations a reliable way to identify high potential in current and future leaders.
Measuring Learning Agility applies both at an individual and team level. This allows organisations to identify teams with low and high potential.
Teams and leaders with high potential are the ones that organisations will look to, not only to be able to adapt to changes but also to develop and build those with low potential to assist them with coping with change. This creates an employee force that can not only deal with change, but also proactively drive that change to ensure the organisation has the flexibility and power to thrive.
Tip 4: Create an environment for accepting change
“Change" is a big, scary word that most people are uncomfortable with. But change is inevitable; the sooner this is accepted by organisations, the easier it is to deal with.
High Leadership Agility increases an organisation’s chance for survival within an ever-changing environment. These leaders can demonstrate agile behaviours, and employees can follow by example. Agile leaders can coach and mentor those individuals who have a low potential for change, thereby structurally developing Agility in the organisation.
The key to this is not for employees with lower results to know that their Agility is low, but rather for leaders to know who needs to be developed and how to best to develop them.
Tip 5: Develop Learning Agility
Learning Agility should not only be measured, but also developed. Even if an individual demonstrates high potential for change, their Learning Agility can still be developed further. This builds more confident employees, teams and leaders.
To develop Learning Agility in both leaders and teams, setting specific tasks and goals against the lower-scoring agilities has proved to be an effective method. There needs to be sufficient openness, and a desire to develop, to see optimal results.
People do not want to be left behind, and being able to cope with change is what builds great leaders and teams. The pandemic has brought to light the need for adaptability, and organisations have now realised that agility is what is needed to survive. Understanding, measuring and developing Learning Agility is the key to building and developing agile leaders and teams.