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adaptability

I haven’t chosen to focus on learning agility now merely to say that being agile is a healthy and beneficial attitude to possess. While this is certainly true, I’ve decided to address this topic because there are plenty of studies that show how the global economy is here to stay, and that this new environment of constant innovation demands that leaders be willing and able to adapt.

I’ll give you some examples:

1. Global trade of goods and services will more than triple to $27 trillion by 2030, which tells us that the global economy is only increasing in scope

2. The Internet has radically impacted how we do business, beyond simply e-mailing people more frequently. According to an article from John Hopkins University Press, it “became a catalyst for new business models, strategies, and organizational structures,” which is to say, the Internet turned all business on its head and forced us to rework how we do things from the ground up.

3. The quantity of new information doubles every 2 years. This means that any worker, no matter the job, will need to be retrained as new developments (like the Internet) arrive. It also means that college freshmen will need to adapt once they graduate, as the skills they learned in school will most likely become outdated even in the few years’ time they were in school.

So, we know that when we talk about business, we are talking about something that works on a worldwide level and is constantly being reinvented to meet the requirements of new information and new technology.

It is for these reasons that being agile as a leader and learner is so vital to your success in today’s world. You cannot compete by sticking to one way of doing things anymore. Instead, you must internalize the practice of remaining agile as you encounter change.

What’s more, your performance in the past no longer carries as much weight as your potential for future growth and adaptability. Since the new normal is to be ever-changing, leaders evaluate you by how much you’re able to acutely perform under change. Learning agility, not past performance, is viewed as a key indicator of potential, because “fully 71% of high performers were not high potentials.”

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I am so proud of my sales students for their stellar performance at this year’s “Can’t Beat the Experience” national team sales competition at Indiana University:

From the Center for Sales Innovation: National Sales Competition Offered Real-Life Lessons

Four Healthcare Sales seniors competed as a team at a recent national team sales competition at Indiana University. Left to right are Ali Marson, Haley Kelliher, Amanda Braun, Kelsey Kromminga, who say that the competition’s case was similar to cases presented in St. Kate’s business classes.

A team of Healthcare Sales seniors placed in the top 10 out of 21 participating universities in the recent “Can’t Beat the Experience” National Team Sales Competition. Hosted by Indiana University, the event showcased presentations made in support of a private-label, organic popcorn sold into a fictional store. The students were judged based on their product packaging, sampling and social media solutions.”We had a morning appointment with one of the buyers/managers of this fictitious store to ask questions and dig for problems so that we could present solutions,” according to Kelsey Kromminga. “This allowed us to apply our classroom learning — role-playing around questioning, asking open-ended questions and building rapport — and ideas from the bookBeyond Selling Value.”

Alison Marson said that learning to take critical feedback is an important take-away from this competition. She said, “The judging processes helped us to understand the meaning of ‘no’ from a customer. Sometimes you need to dig deeper and ask more questions to gain information to solve the customer’s problem. That’s where our classroom skills in overcoming objections came into play as we centered around a solution fit for the customer.”

“Prepare, prepare, prepare,” said Haley Kelliher, who thinks that everyone should have the opportunity to compete like this during their college experience. “It provides the best learning and real-life experience.”

All students expressed that they had overthought some of their ideas and, looking back, wished they had stuck with their intuition because some of the original ideas offered better benefits. They also learned the importance of time management and working as a team.

Thanks for all of your hard work, SCU Sales students!

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