I stumbled into IdeaCast from HBR a couple of weeks ago. First of all I love the title “IdeaCast”. You can’t pass up a pod-cast series with such a title. Like Knowledge@Wharton podcasts, this is an invaluable source of information. One of the pod-casts I listened to recently is about the Changing Role of Leaders. In this podcast Marshall Goldsmith talks about five of the new traits of a Future Leaders. Then Marshall goes on to add another (saying that he got it from one of the readers who commented on his blog post). He calls it Learning Agility.
- They are critical thinkers who examine problems carefully and make fresh connections with relative ease.
- They know themselves well, leverage their strengths effectively and know how to compensate for their weaknesses.
- They like to experiment and are comfortable with the discomfort that comes from change.
- They deliver results in first-time situations through team-building and personal drive.
The author identifies a set of related characteristics, agile people may have:
- Mental Agility -Ability to separate action from strategy and vision
- Results Agility – Personal drive and presence
- People Agility – Ability to build teams which includes Conflict Agility
I think Learning Agility is an important trait, for companies – especially startups. Most of the founders have it. A bigger challenge is to make it an essential ingredient of the startup culture.