Learning Agility Podcast David Hoff

What is learning agility and how can it be measured? What role does learning agility play in helping us adapt more effectively in an increasingly VUCA world? Is learning agility something that can be systematically developed within individuals, teams and organizations?

Tune in to explore these and other compelling topics on this week’s episode of the Team Coaching Zone Podcast with show host Dr. Krister Lowe and special guest David Hoff–the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leadership Development at EASI•Consult.

In this episode, David introduces listeners to the concept of Learning Agility and why this critical capability is essential for leaders, teams and organizations. Themes covered in the show include:

  • Defining and measuring learning agility
  • David’s journey to working with Professor Warner Burke on bringing the Burke Learning Agility Inventory to the market
  • 4 years of research underlying the instrument
  • An overview of David and Warner’s new book: Learning Agility: The Key to Leadership Potential
  • The 9 dimensions of learning agility
  • A case example using the Burke Learning Agility Inventory with a leader in healthcare
  • Areas where the Burke Learning Agility Inventory is being applied in organizations
  • Ongoing areas of research on Learning Agility
  • Resources to Learn More about Learning Agility and Burke Learning Agility Inventory

As we start to get into 2018, learning agility couldn’t be a more important topic for us as team coaches. It’s implications strike at the heart of enabling individual, team and organizational success. Tune in to the Team Coaching Zone today and let David Hoff start taking your learning agility to the next level!

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Resources Mentioned

  2. Check out the book: Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential
  3. Reach out to David with feedback on the book:
Listen to the Podcast





Part 1: Getting to Know the Show Guest

  • David Hoff is Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leadership Development and one of two Principals at EASI•Consult®. He has been at EASI•Consult since 2003. David leads organization transformation projects for private sector companies and large public-sector agencies of the Federal government. These large-scale interventions often combine both the assessment and development disciplines of EASI•Consult. David works with different applications of competencies for a variety of public and private sector organizations.
  • Co-author of the recent book with Professor Warner Burke Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential
  • Working in Human Resources and Talent Management for 40 years, both internal and external
  • David’s journey to Learning Agility:
    1. Invited to an ASTD dinner and sat next to Dr. Warner Burke and stayed in touch afterwards
    2. Had a common interested in the topic of learning agility and learning on the fly
    3. Warner decided to measure learning agility and David said he would promote it if Warner could make that happen
    4. After 4 years of research Warner had a reliable and validated instrument and David brought the platform and practitioner capabilities to bring it to the market

Part 2: Learning Agility

    • Learning agility is when you find yourself in an unfamiliar situation and you figure it out. Some people excel more or less in such situations.
    • Large private sector organizations are interested in identifying and developing high potential talent.  The highest potential people are those who are agile learners
    • Learning agility is about Speed and Flexibility
    • 9 Dimensions of learning agility:
      • Flexibility
      • Speed
      • Experimenting
      • Performance Risk Taking
      • Interpersonal Risk Taking
      • Collaborating
      • Information Gathering
      • Feedback Seeking
      • Reflecting
    • Performance vs. Learning goals in performance management
    • Antecedents of Learning Agility + Learning Agility Opportunity + Environmental Context
    • Burke™ Learning Agility Inventory: 39 items, 360 version available
    • Has implications across the whole talent management process
  • Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential
    • Part 1 – Case for Learning Agility, Research on Learning Agility and How it is Measured, Example of Questionnaire Output
    • Part 2 – Unpacking each of the 9 dimensions of Learning Agility
    • Part 3 – Various Applications in Organizations: Training, Orientation & Induction Programs, Individual Assessments, Performance Management and Development, Succession Planning, Coaching, Organizational Development Intervention
  • Case Example: Healthcare Organization Leader
    • Focused on innovation in healthcare
    • Rated himself high on all dimensions on BLAI: all in the 90th percentile
    • His supervisor only rated him in the 50th percentile: collaborating and interpersonal risk taking rated him in the 20th percentile
    • He thought his supervisor’s ratings were influenced by his peers; she however said that no it was her experience of him
    • David found both his and his supervisor’s ratings were accurate: smart and capable guy, and he doesn’t hold all his colleagues at the same level and as a result doesn’t engage them accordingly – this resonated with him; he had the capability but no the motivation
  • BLAI has been seeing early uptake in individual assessment, leadership development, selection, succession planning and coaching.

Part 3: Resources, Parting Advice & Words of Wisdom

  • Certification in the Burke Learning Agility Inventory is required to use the BLAI
  • Monthly certification sessions around the US, Europe, Australia
  • Great resources on learning agility can be found at:
  • Future development areas:
    • Commitment to ongoing research
    • Partnership with Hogan to undertake research on personality and learning agility
    • Future research on linkages to emotional intelligence
    • Learning agility in health care
    • University partnerships
  • Check out the book: Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential
  • Reach out to David with feedback on the book:

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