How we see executive potential and development are evolving, and meta-learning now plays a critical role in enhancing executives self awareness and assists them in becoming better learners, writes Anthony Mitchell
Meta-learning is now critical as executives are not able to succeed by just using the capabilities they’ve developed in their past. To be successful they must be willing and able to grow new skills, especially in the VUCA world in which today’s businesses operate in.
Because of this, we have seen a large shift in success profiles for senior executive roles. Only a few years ago, such profiles focused on what an executive could provide or what they demonstrated through their achievements to date. The ‘potential’ dimension of nine-box performance-potential grids normally included aspects such as ‘strategic thinking’, ‘executive presence’, and ‘inspiring others’. These are definitely desirable attributes but are constrained by taking a somewhat fixed view of ability.
Today, we see that the key ingredients of potential are more likely to be attributes such as ‘growth mindset’, ‘curiosity’, ‘agility’ and ‘learning orientation’. These characteristics reflect a large body of evidence that the best predictors of success at senior levels in the modern world are less about who you are today and more about your capacity to adapt, grow and change to be a different, better version of you tomorrow. Those who move most successfully from, say, a general manager level to a C-suite role, are those most open to admitting that they aren’t pre-equipped with everything they need to succeed. They are open and interested in forging new capabilities, mindsets and behaviours.
Its the same story for learning. But how do you develop the ultimate superpower of meta-learning?
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