Agile learning brings the learning from the classroom into the working operations. It is about developing methods that address the incremental need for learning and change and about developing an inquiry-based mindset and learning through self-discovery and experience. After all, words don’t teach, the experience is our only master.
When you undertake agile learning, the onus of responsibility to take the initiative is on you, so don’t wait to be informed or told.
If you are a perfectionist and a hard critic of yourself (or others), you are going to struggle to work in an agile learning team. The reason for this is agile learning requires that we move outside our comfort zone to try new things and new ways of doing things, that are yet untested. This means it is highly likely it is going to ‘fail’ several times before it is right. That is not only OK, but it is also an essential part of the process. Note we said ‘it’ not you. You cannot possibly design or try something completely new and get it perfect the first time, otherwise, it would not be ‘new.’ The process of iterative learning is learning, doing, reflecting, learning, doing, reflecting…and so on.
Six Habits of Leaders Who Undertake Agile Learning
1. EMBRACE THE UNKNOWN
As an agile leader, you should be ready to move outside your internal comfort zone and be willing to fail or even look silly. Growth and learning demand taking risks and embracing challenges that may not go according to plan at first. If you find yourself succeeding too often, it’s time to raise the bar and aim for “failure.” By doing so, you’ll develop agile ownership and foster a mindset for agile project management.
2. UNLEASH YOUR STATUS MOJO
You can enhance your learning by stepping outside your external comfort zone and engaging with new networks and circles of people. Coaching can help you here. Whenever possible, interact with individuals who are different from you and those within your comfort zone. In the spirit of agile performance management, do something entirely new every day for at least a month. These activities can be small but must be something you’ve never done before. Examples include taking a different route to work, trying a new exercise class, or exploring a book or movie outside your usual taste.
3. EMBRACE DIVERSITY
As an agile learner and leader, you are a collaborative worker. You learn best by working together with others and building agile teams. To effectively collaborate, you must recognize your unconscious biases (which everyone has) and work to increase your self-awareness. Embrace differences in human nature and culture, as they make learning more exciting and valuable. By addressing your unconscious biases and celebrating diversity, you’ll unlock new avenues for growth and development.
4. REFLECT AND GROW
Exposing yourself to new experiences, people, and situations isn’t enough to guarantee to learn. As an agile learner, you should actively seek feedback from those around you and engage in self-reflection. Continuously question your assumptions and behaviours, asking how you can improve, streamline, or innovate your actions. Consider whether your behaviour elicited the desired response in specific situations. By embracing feedback and self-reflection, you’ll gain deeper insights and become more self-aware and mindful in everything you do.
5. THINK SMART, NOT HARD
“Working hard” often means trying the same approach repeatedly while expecting a different outcome. Persisting on outdated methods in a new environment can be toxic and stressful. To succeed in agile performance management, you need to adopt a new paradigm of working smart.
To think and work smart, let go of your old ways of doing things and make room for your subconscious to provide new insights. When facing a problem or challenge, set aside any preconceived ideas and be open to fresh perspectives.
6. AVOID THE BLAME GAME
Agile learners and leaders do not resort to blaming themselves or others. Embrace full responsibility for everything you do while being forgiving and compassionate to yourself and others. The blame game stifles growth and hinders agile learning while taking responsibility opens your mind and heart to new possibilities. By cultivating this mindset, you’ll enhance your ability to learn and grow in an agile environment.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
As a master facilitator, experienced group coach, design, and innovator in digital L&D practices, London based Fi has been successfully transforming behaviour and culture for the past 15 years.
As an innovator in learning and culture change, she is recognised as the ‘teacher of teachers’ in transformation. The creator of Cafe Style learning, a bite-size experiential learning methodology that is proven to accelerate learning in organisations across Europe, Middle East and South East Asia. She has now digitised her method to support the exponentially changing workplace.
Her trail-blazing new method of digital scalable microcoaching is now delivered through a coach in your pocket app, housing transformational programmes for leaders and staff. Used for development, resilience, and wellbeing it is getting great results, allowing organisations to digitise and scale coaching in just minutes per day.
Her latest innovation, the Virtual Coffeehouse app to help organisations digitise, blend and scale coaching, build resilience and an emotionally fit workforce.
Fi has worked extensively to support both public and private sector organisations in the UK and Internationally. Her clients have included: Deutsche Bank India, BT, London Borough Lambeth, Royal Borough of Kingston, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, NHS, Durham Police, Northumbria Police, New York Life, Legal and General, Department of International Trade, Employsure, Gemini Parking Solutions, Energy Saving Trust, Kent Police, London & Quadrant and many more.
“Fi herself is a fireball of energy and wisdom What’s great is that she gets to know all of the individuals, working with deep attention from within, not just delivering another standard package. Her events are lively, energetic, and fun! Fi is a fireball of energy and wisdom whose personality drives that fun and engagement. A delight, fun, engaging and touching experience”
– Rob Chorley – Legal and General