Organizational “Learning Agility” Interventions

M.M. Lombardo and R.W. Eichinger introduced the concept of “learning agility” in organizations, and proposed its correlates to workplace performance.

They defined four elements of learning agility in employees:

·         People agility – know themselves, learn from experience, treat others with consideration, display calm and resilience under changing conditions

·         Results agility – obtain results under difficult conditions, inspire others to perform “above and beyond”, inspire confidence in other

·         Mental agility – think through problems with a fresh perspective, comfortable with complexity, ambiguity, communicating  reasoning

·         Change agility – curious about ideas, willing to experiment and develop skills.

Lombardo and Eichinger’s framework has been used by subsequent researchers to measure the impact of learning agility (“learning from experience”) on workplace performance.

De Rue, Ashford, and Myers point out that this concept “lacks conceptual clarity” in their recent article in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and  they propose that learning agility is characterized by differences in speed of learning and flexibility in incorporating new information and skills.

In addition, they suggest that learning agility  includes  both cognitive processes and behavioral processes that can be enhanced by:

·         Cognitive simulations – visualizing scenarios to forecast issues and potential solutions

·         Counterfactual thinking – imagining “what might have been” if different choices had been taken to clarify cause-and effect relations

·         Recognizing patterns – categorizing apparently dissimilar experiences into repeating patterns

·         Seeking feedback  – proactively requesting corrective recommendations and varied perspectives from others, and making it “safe” to provide this information

·         Experimenting – trying new behavioral and thought patterns

·         Reflecting – considering and consolidating “lessons learned” to guide futures behavior decisions

Peter Senge

Peter Senge

Much past research on learning agility has not fully considered the degree to which the organizational culture and climate provide a context of psychological safety and acceptance of risk-taking, but Peter Senge has called for this type of supportive context in his work on The Learning Organization.

-*How do you differentiate “learning agility” from elements of “Emotional Intelligence”?

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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

©Kathryn Welds

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One thought on “Organizational “Learning Agility” Interventions

  1. Pingback: Why and How of Business Storytelling | Kathryn Welds |Curated Research and Commentary

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