In the dynamic landscape of agribusiness, one of the greatest challenges we face is distinguishing among internal candidates vying for senior roles.

When multiple candidates appear equally qualified for a complex position, how do we determine who possesses the greatest potential for success? The stakes are high, as getting it wrong can have significant consequences.

At Agri Talent, we apply a concept that transcends conventional measures of capability – learning agility.

Learning agility refers to the ability and willingness of an individual to learn from new experiences, adapt to changing situations and apply new insights to future challenges. It encompasses a set of cognitive, emotional and behavioural characteristics that enable individuals to thrive in dynamic environments and rapidly evolving circumstances.

At the senior executive level, the crux of the matter lies not in questioning whether an individual can learn, but rather in examining their willingness to do so – particularly from those they lead.

Those with lower learning agility tend to cling to the strategies that brought them past success, often doubling down when faced with adversity. Conversely, individuals with high learning agility recognise that past achievements may not necessarily translate to future success. They remain receptive to learning from diverse sources within and outside the organisation.

Individuals with high learning agility are often mistaken for being humble, while those with lower learning agility are perceived as self-confident and, at times, even arrogant – qualities traditionally associated with senior executive roles.

In recruitment situations where all other factors appear equal, the concept of learning agility emerges as a valuable predictor of potential. In fact, it could be said the age-old adage “leaders are readers” takes on a newfound relevance here – neatly encapsulating the value of continuous learning and adaptability in leadership.

You can find out more from Agri Talent, the leaders in executive search for Australian agribusiness.