Friday 23 July 2010

Learning, in the genes of the future CEO

CEO Face
Originally uploaded by rogerimp

Here's an interesting quote from a report by the Korn Ferry institute called "Discover the DNA of future CEOs".

They believe that learning ability (or learning agility) is part of that DNA. I quote from their report.

"According to Ian Smith, Former CEO of Reed Elsevier: “There needs to be openness to learning. It’s a paradox as in order to learn you need to make yourself vulnerable – but great leaders walk a tight rope between being open to learn (vulnerable) and striving forward.”

Here, there is a striking parallel with previous research by the Korn/Ferry
Institute. In our 2008 White Paper “Using Learning Agility to Identify High
Potentials Around the World” De Meuse, Dai, Hallenbeck and Tang underlined
the importance of ‘learning agility’ as a predictor of high potential in business executives. Learning agility is, in simple terms, the ability to learn from experience and to quickly adapt to, as well as drive, change.

Successful executives learn faster than those who ‘derail’, not because they are more intelligent, but because they have the necessary skills and strategies, and are therefore ‘learning agile’. By contrast, those that do not learn from their jobs, and simply repeat their previous performance in each new role, will never become the most effective leaders"

So if the future CEO is learning-agile, can we expect them to develop a similar learning agility in their organisations?

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