As leaders, we can foster a workplace of learning agility by providing ongoing, daily opportunities for employees to learn and apply new information and skills. Be aware of teachable moments that occur during the day or be intentional with brown bag lunches to discuss new books or ad hoc brainstorming meetings to develop a fresh approach to a customer request.
Archive for July, 2013
My focus of late has been on studying and measuring the impact of self-awareness, a dimension of Emotional Intelligence, on learning agility. Self-aware people take an intentional, laser-like focused approach on how they learn best, and under what circumstances. For example, if a person discovers that online learning provides the best kind of stimulus for learning and retaining information, he or she can build those types of learning opportunities into their development.
There’s a plethora of web and professional journal articles about the renewed energy around Baby Boomers’ desire to stay in the workplace longer and continue to learn new concepts and skills. The old adage, “use it or lose it” is actually true when it comes to brain fitness. If older workers don’t stay open to new information and ways of learning, the brain can lose some of its plasticity and ability to absorb and use new information. The challenge for training professionals is to keep learning experiences current; varied; meaningful; and divided into small segments for learners of all ages.
Some astute training and development professionals are taking into account the important correlation between participants’ mood and learning outcomes. Research by Caruso and Salovey for their 2004 book, The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, found a direct relationship between positive mood when learning new information and recall ability. Successful trainers foster a positive, interactive and fun learning environment to promote learning agility.
I’m observing that Human Resource professionals are ramping up their interest in neuroscience in order to understand how they can foster a workplace full of individuals who are energized by innovation and continuous improvement. Medical researchers are already studying what occurs in the brain when people are placed in an interactive, motivating environment – and it’s very positive! This is information highly relevant to those of us who want to select, develop and leverage the talents of a workforce that has learning agility.