Engine Room Articles

Learning Agility Can Be Learned … how?

Innovate: Repeatedly ask, “What else? What are 10 different ways I could approach this? What are several radical things I could try here?” You might not actually execute all the ideas you come up with, but you shouldn’t dismiss anything out of hand.

Trust your intuition: Always look for a pattern. For instance, think through the similarities between current and past projects and the common thread that ties various aspects of your business together. Cultivate calm through meditation, and learn to listen before immediately reacting in a stressful situation.

Become more reflective: Explore “what-ifs” and alternative histories for projects with which you’ve been involved. Never pass up an opportunity for genuine feedback, asking: “What are three or four things I could have done better?” Make sure the question is open-ended but specific so that you can take action on what you learn.

Take more risks: Look for stretch assignments where success isn’t a given. These might involve new roles, new parts of the company, or new geographies. Learning and exploration, rather than positive business outcomes, should be the main goal.

Avoid getting defensive: When a risky project fails, don’t scramble to cover your tracks or look around to see who you can blame. Accept that you’re fallible and acknowledge the misstep. Capture the key learnings and make a conscious effort to take a different path next time.

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