At the risk of showing my age, I remember when recruiters faxed CVs to hiring managers. Nowadays, CVs can be shared quickly via email or Teams or any other collaborative platform with a few clicks of the mouse. I suspect there won’t be too many changes to this particular process. However, this year has taught me anything is possible, and we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Learning agility is not a new concept. Against the backdrop of 2020, I think it’s a concept we need to be talking more about.
Learning agility encompasses the ability to learn from experience. It’s the ability to respond to new environments and situations by applying relevant skills, experience, and practices. Productive learning agility can involve unlearning, as we recognise approaches that have been successful in the past may no longer be relevant in current circumstances.
My prediction is the speed of change will only become more rapid, impacting how we work and the skills we need. The challenges, opportunities, and threats in our working world will also change continuously. They will often be ambiguous, and as we’ve seen this year, unpredictable. Learning agility will help organisations flex and evolve in response to change, enabling them to not only survive, but to thrive.
Who would have predicted a huge number of organisations would have their entire workforce working from home? Or that distilleries would branch out to make to hand sanitisers instead of whiskey? To help spark the conversation about learning agility, I’d like to share what I’ve learnt about promoting learning agility in workplaces.
I worked with a manager who told me in my first few weeks of joining, “A lot of new starters make the mistake of coming up with new ideas without truly understanding the business. We are a very complex business.” Further along in my career now, I can appreciate where they were coming from. However, a statement like that can stifle innovation. You’ve potentially lost the benefits from gaining the perspective of “fresh eyes”. It may dampen enthusiasm for new ideas. It could also create a culture that fears making mistakes. By the time the individual has a good grasp of how things operate, they may no longer have the time, energy, or desire to push for change or innovation.
At Clicks, some of the things we do to foster innovation include:
- Investing in best-practice technologies to deliver process and operational efficiency. This frees up our team to spend their time focused on creative ways to support your recruitment needs.
- Encouraging knowledge sharing, including developing our own training videos.
- Providing time for the team to catch up regularly and reflect on what they’re doing and brainstorm ideas for improvement
- Partnering with other specialist providers (such as Specialisterne Australia)
- Constantly rethinking how we structure our resources to look beyond traditional roles and responsibilities to meet our objectives.
I have made a number of mistakes in my career at Clicks. I’m not afraid to admit this. I have a supportive leader and these failures are some of my greatest lessons. Once I resolved any issues that arose, I took the time to reflect on what I could have done differently and why.
At Clicks, we create an environment for our staff to view failure as an opportunity by promoting a growth mindset. Our staff know that setbacks provide feedback for learning, as well as professional and personal growth. Striving for excellence and the best outcome is important to us. However, sometimes just jumping in to give things a go – testing, failing, and learning – create experiences that can be applied going forward. We’ve seen our team flourish further in areas of resilience, flexibility, adaptability – while still having lots of fun at work!
Learning agility is not only critical for success at an organisational level, it also supports continual growth and satisfaction within individuals.
To discuss learning agility further, please email or call me directly on 0407 860 925. For contractor support or any hiring needs, please reach out to your Clicks Account Manager or me. We’re talking to exceptional IT professionals every day and are ready to help.
Regional General Manager, VIC and ACT