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Learning Agility – The Key to Leader Potential

By David F. Hoff and W. Warner Burke

EASI•Consult® is pleased to announce that David Hoff and Warner Burke’s book on Learning Agility will be released on December 1st.

The book, published by Hogan Press, will be soon be available on Hogan’s website, the EASI•Consult website and on Amazon.

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The genesis of the book, aptly title “Learning Agility – The Key to Leader Potential,” was based on a series of conversations between Dave Hoff, Warner Burke and EASI•Consult CEO, Dave Smith.  As a former VP of HR, Dave Hoff felt that people in talent management might not see the connection between the dimensions of learning agility and what it might look like when it showed up on the job. This led to Chapters 4-13, which are about different dimensions of learning agility.

The format for each chapter is the same. The dimension is defined and included is a passage from a popular book in which the character is demonstrating that dimension. The idea is to see the dimension “in action”.

This is followed by a real-world example of how a person could have demonstrated that learning agility dimension but had not done so.  There is then a second example of a person getting the opportunity to demonstrate that particular learning agility dimension and using it well. This approach is followed for individual contributors, managers and senior managers. The idea is that these learning agility opportunities look differently depending on your level in the organization.

As Hoff, Smith and Burke continued to talk, it also became clear that, since the test (Burke Learning Agility Inventory™) is based on research and theory, the theory, itself, needed to be included in the book. You couldn’t just start the book with the theory, so there needed to be a rationale for Why Learning Agility, and why now?” This led to Chapter 1.

What follows in Chapter 2 is the initial theory on learning agility that Burke found through the work of Scott DeRue at the University of Michigan. Burke then added to that work through his test and the report, which was the output to the test. Burke’s test and the output are both described in Chapter 3.

Hoff, Burke and Smith continued their discussions, and Hoff was convinced it would not be intuitively obvious to people in HR, and more specifically, those in talent management how the Burke LAI™ could improve what they were already doing or, in some cases, not doing at all.

Chapters 12-19 cover various applications of the Burke LAI to different HR disciplines. Chapter 14 explores using the Burke LAI in orientation or training, and Chapter 15 highlights its uses in individual assessment work. Chapter 16 applies the Burke LAI in performance management and development. Chapter 17 is particularly exciting, because it shows how the Burke LAI can be used to enhance the “9 Box” approach to succession planning.  In Chapter 18, the application is for coaching. The final chapter, which was added later, explores how to use the Burke LAI in an organizational development context.

The book came together and was finished but did not yet have a publisher.  That changed when EASI•Consult hosted a reception in April during the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychologists Conference (SIOP).  At that reception, Hoff and Burke happened to be chatting with Bob Hogan, CEO of Hogan Assessments.

Hoff and Burke began discussing the book and Hogan said, without hesitation, “We’ll publish it”. This has led to a collaboration between EASI•Consult and Hogan.

Both companies realize there is a relationship between personality and learning agility, and this collaboration is giving us an opportunity to share data and definitively show those relationships. The book on learning agility is the first example of what the two firms can do together.

David Hoff is the chief operation officer and executive vice president for leadership development at EASI•Consult®. EASI•Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI•Consult specialties include individual assessment, online employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI•Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call 800.922.EASI.

Warner Burke is the E. L. Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he has been since 1979. Dr. Burke has authored or edited 20 books and written over 150 articles and book chapters. He has served as Editor of Organizational Dynamics, Academy of Management Executive and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the Association of Psychological Science, the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and a Diplomate in industrial and organizational psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology. He has received several lifetime achievement awards, NASA’s Public Service Medal and The Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Army.

 *Book cover art courtesy of Shutterstock

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