Edited by Michael Leitner.
L&D professionals can learn from the qualities of Ninjas, who teach us how to respond calmly, using the right tools, while staying focused and mindful. So, what does it take to be an Agile Learning Ninja?
The ways we work, shop or how we find love are essentially different to how it was 10 years back, just to mention a few aspects of our lives. A number of cornerstones that we considered essential have evolved or have been replaced completely. The same is true for businesses. The way businesses operate today, the way production is executed, products sold and the workforce optimised is a world away from the past.
In essence, the attribute that influences most how people and businesses adapt and respond to change is Agility.
L&D Professionals are required to channel this same quality when embracing an Agile Learning approach to keep their workforce up-to-date and ready to respond in times of transformation, just like Ninjas have been historically associated with Agility. So, what are those Ninja qualities and how do they overlap with Agile Learning? The similarities could not be more apparent.
- Zen-like calm: A Ninja must develop continuously, and his calmness intensifies his focus. Similarly, agile learning professionals need to embrace the fact that ongoing development and change is what is expected from not only them but the people they train.
- Ruthlessness in focus. Agile L&D professionals, like Ninjas, succeed because of their ability to focus extra-ordinarily. That is, to focus on the thing that matters the most in each work and learning situation. What is it that learners need the most now? What helps them most?
- Tool savvy: Agile Learning Professional need to choose and use their tools right, and smartly. Know-How about tools eases not only corporate work life, but also the one of a Ninja, who is known to possess the right weapons, or tools, and a mastery of these tools.
- Unorthodoxy: Agile Learning requires the assessment of the status quo, and provide answers that may be out of the box. Very much like Ninjas, who too question the status quo and are often inspired from the unusual.
- Stealth & Camouflage: Agile learning trusts in the abilities of the learners to not only know what they need to know, but also in their ability to self-educate. It is the ability to work alone, but also in teams. At the same time, Agile Learning Ninjas need to be flexible in interpreting their role. They may need to be the communicator in the learning department one day, and a marketer convincing people about the benefits of a new approach the next.
- Agility & Preparedness: L&D Professionals need to put in place an efficient system that allows for quick reactions, and create awareness of actionable options. Ninjas and agile L&D professionals both need to be aware of the constant possibility of something new crossing their path. For that situation, Agile Learning Ninjas need to plan ahead, and take appropriate actions.
- Mindfulness in the Present: Agile Learning Ninjas should be aware of their surroundings, of what is going on a constant basis. Agile Learning is a communicative approach, requiring good communication skills that help to understand what is going on, and knowing how to react swiftly. So, it is important for L&D Professionals to know how to ask questions and where to get relevant answers from.
- Human, not a Super-Hero: Ninjas, like L&D Professionals, are wont to make mistakes; they embrace that weakness and take it in their stride. One would not be a good Ninja, if he or she would not know how to deal with a mistake and learn from it.
There is no test that certifies one as an Agile Learning Ninja. This attests to the very philosophy of the idea of Agile Learning, which is the first point in the Agile Learning Manifesto: Prioritise demand over tests and certificates.
One just does it. With a zen-like calm.
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Ghenwa is a passionate Human Resources Professional with 15 years’ worth of experience operating at Management level in multiple sectors across GCC, Africa & Asia within multinationals. Ghenwa’s approach in driving business is through managing a robust and agile Talent Management Division. She is an engaging strategic thinker who can translate vision into strategy, drive change and lead the team to deliver on business strategy to shape organisations' cultures.
Furthermore, she is passionate and a strong advocate for diversity, inclusion and equal representation of genders across organisations.
Michael Leitner is part of Learn Tomorrow. With cBook.AI, Learn Tomorrow aims to create eLearning tools that support Agile Learning approaches, and support them with Artificial Intelligence.
Learn Tomorrow is an eLearning technology provider. cBook is an integrated Learning Experience Platform (LXP) aiming to create digital learning experiences with impact. Tailored to the needs of businesses, academies & trainers.