This Week in Agility Research: Oct. 26, 2015

Here are a few items of new agility-related research that popped up on our radar this week. 

Using Science to Identify Future Leaders
By: Kenneth De Meuse

A recent influx in assessment tools being developed and utilized by consulting, firms for the measurement of learning agility, has sparked research interest regarding the construct of this concept. Learning agility in itself is considered in its infancy compared to other theories within the field, and is identified as one’s ability and desire to learn, with a willingness to utilize the acquired knowledge for leadership challenges. While several consulting agencies utilize measurement tools for assessing and predicting learning agility for leadership potential, the lack of consensus among researchers and practitioners lends itself to a need to redefine, conceptualize, and standardize measurement of this construct.    

Improving Ourselves for the Sake of Others: Our Baldrige Journey
By: Jayne Pope, Emily Padula, and Debby Wallace-Dooley

In keeping along the lines of agile leaders and organizations as a whole is the application of Baldrige Framework, which one healthcare facility found to improve their sustainability in a turbulent and constantly changing environment. Utilizing the framework as a foundation for self-assessment, this organization has increased their agility through consistent and measurable performance reviews. This helps create a more strategically driven and adaptable organization, leading to better success. 

Would Gandhi Have Recycled: Does Evolving as a Leader Correlate with Increased Corporate Social Responsibility?
By: Greg McCann and Michelle DeMoss

Leadership models have long described facets, concepts, and attributes of specific types of leaders and their development. The emerging agility leadership model lends itself to questions regarding the values, attributes, and behaviors throughout the development of an agile leader. Using a vertical model, an agile leader’s feelings and behaviors of societal responsibility are questioned, along with their impact on the triple bottom line (profit, people, and the planet). Thus, the question of environmental responsibility and awareness of agile leaders is examined.

Leading into the Next Frontier
By: Lorraine, Stomski

Utilizing the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) description of economic business characteristics, Dr. Stomski addresses how leading companies are managing, developing, and leveraging their leader’s abilities to apply a fact based approach in such turbulent times. The descriptions provided of top companies development of their leaders is parallel to the agility leadership dimensions required to take smart risks and cultivating a similar culture. The best practices of leading companies can be utilized to identify and develop these agile leaders, while also keeping them engaged to leading through challenges. 

U.S Strategy in a New Geopolitical Age
By: Barry Pavel and Peter Engelke 

New challenges and opportunities arise in what has been deemed the Westphalian-plus world, where global issues and trends bring rapid changes to business across nations. Global governance requires an approach that encompasses dynamic stability, characterized by agility, resiliency, and transparency. 

What are leader’s experiences of reflection? 
By: Elaine Patterson

Understanding one’s leadership abilities requires reflective practices. This study examined the quality of outcomes for leaders within businesses who practiced reflection. The results indicate that those who are able to take time to examine themselves, engage in efforts to not only revisit their experiences and practices as a leader, but create plans to become better leaders. 


About Elizabeth Patterson
Elizabeth Patterson likes to swim, bike and run really long distances as fast as possible. An Ironman triathlete and strategic planning officer in the U.S. Army National Guard, she continually tests her own agility while managing projects, improving processes and implementing Lean Six Sigma. A certified Project Management Professional, she holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the field.  Learn more about Elizabeth.