Learning agility – what is it and how do you achieve it?
In today’s business world, everything happens with the blink of an eye. Consumer behaviour may change overnight, new technologies soon become the industry standard and market competition is fiercer than ever. As a result, learning agility – the ability to stay flexible, to adapt to new environments fast, to learn from mistakes, and to rise to a diverse array of challenges – has never been more needed. How do you become more agile in your learning? Here’s how:
Research, research, research
There is no quick and easy way to become more agile. Learning only happens when you apply your knowledge on a daily basis and reflect on your thoughts. This means that the only way to become more agile is to gain more knowledge! Apart from being a master in your field, go a little further. You may want to read up on some topics that complement your expertise, talk to an expert, or even, write an article! By utilizing multidisciplinary thinking, you are better able to adapt to any situation and emerge successful!
Thoughts are useless unless they become action. After all, thoughts are theories and you have to apply them to see if they work. Experience is the best teacher. If it works, think about how you may improve it. If it does not, think about what went wrong. Here, you may even develop new pathways of approach and even become an industry pioneer.
Be bold with your ideas and do not be afraid to challenge assumptions! Sometimes, people get too comfortable with a way of working and are reluctant to change them because they are “tested-and-proven”. However, these “tested-and-proven” techniques may not be entirely suitable for a new business challenge. The value in questioning these techniques is that you make sure that they are still relevant. If they are not, it is time for you to change them and guide others as they learn in your footsteps.
Check your ideas
Ideas need to be checked to see if they make sense. Talk to a colleague or your manager to get more insights and ask them for a critique or a feedback. In talking to them, you gain a fresh perspective that allows you to see what you may have missed. Know that this is not the final step. Checking should always be routinely done to make sure that your new ideas or your improvements to current ones are logical and practical.
An investment in knowledge is an investment in yourself. The development of learning agility is an ongoing process and the only way to master it is to use it frequently and incorporate it as part of your life.