The importance of learning agility

Five traits that are most relevant for people in organisations with rapidly changing landscapes.

Identifying high potential people is vital for any organization and current performance is often taken as an important indicator of future potential. Current Performance is not a reliable measure of Future Potential. As an alternative, many organizations have started to assess Learning Agility, which is regarded as an important predictor of longer-term capability. This is linked to the view that the ability to learn from experience is central to what makes and develops expert leaders.


Learning agility is the best indicator of a candidate’s future potential because it reflects a person’s ability to absorb new demands and grow within the business. It can be defined as the ability to develop new, effective behaviour based on new experiences. While these behaviours and habits may not be currently relevant, they become important for the individual’s future success in the organisation. Candidates with high levels of Learning Agility. People with high Learning Agility can pick things up quickly in a variety of new situations; they have an attitude of self-awareness and interest in constantly exploring and learning new things


According to an article on Forbes, there are five traits of learning agility:


1 Mental agility relates to the ability to think critically to penetrate complex problems and expanding possibilities by making fresh connections.


2 People agility refers to emotional intelligence and the ability to genuinely relate to people and understand social environments.


3 Change agility refers to the tolerance of ambiguity and willingness to explore & develop opportunities.


4 Results agility is about the level of focus that a person has towards delivering results, making a valuable contribution impact and inspiring others.


5 Self-Awareness relates to the extent to which a person is reflective and has a good understand of their own capabilities and their impact on others.