Becoming agile: Leading during disruptive times
“Agility” has become a buzzword in today’s highly disruptive world. We are told that this is one of the most important competencies an organization should strive to have in order to navigate through uncertain, constantly changing times. Agility does not only speak about flexibility to adapt one person or leader plus the organizational processes and systems, but also the sense of urgency to respond to these changes right away.
We asked April Salonga, one of our subject matter experts on leadership, to discuss how agile leadership can benefit your business. Here are her thoughts:
To better understand how agility works in any organization, here are the areas of opportunities you should consider, according to Gary Chin’s framework for assessing organizational agility:
2.processes, systems and tools
6. organization structure
Ultimately, getting all these areas to work together is the key to unlocking the path to agility. It is not enough to have agile processes, systems and tools, or change the organizational structure to be called an agile organization. The most important component in agility is the people behind it who will make these systems run, to benefit the entire organization. Many companies say they want agility in their organization but the challenge remains: are they really ready to be agile?
A good starting point is knowing if the people, especially the leaders in your organization, truly understand what it takes to be agile. It is the leader’s role to initiate the changes and define agility in the different areas mentioned above. Leaders need to continuously nurture the capabilities of the team to have agile mindsets and habits. By knowing the right questions to ask, understanding specific work goals and team needs, and redefining the way you work, is how to get started.
So ask yourself, do the leaders in your organization embrace the concept of agility? If yes, how is this manifested? How fast can they make decisions? Do they allow others to take risks? How much time does your company spend in improving your products and services? If the leaders have the right attitude and mindset that supports agility, it will be easy to implement new ideas and make the company more profitable than ever before.
Other benefits of starting an agile culture include forming more innovative and collaborative teams that value a sense of urgency to solve problems and champion fast decision-making. Imagine how many ideas are being wasted in your organization because of too many levels of authorization or sign-offs before it gets implemented, how many recurring problems and errors continuously happen because nobody wants to take a risk and change it, and how many opportunities we let slip by simply because we can’t decide if we want to take it. If we can make work faster and more efficient, that can already be translated into cost-saving.
Leaders have a big role to play in helping and inspiring teams to embrace this concept, so that they will be motivated to respond to change in a timely manner. Having teams encouraging other teams to collaborate in making the processes, systems and tools ready to support new directions for better growth is a result of leaders championing the concept of agility. It is not easy, but it can be done. INQSalonga will facilitate a virtual workshop titled “Building Agile Teams: Becoming a Leader of an Empowered Team” on Feb. 16-17, 2023.
The virtual workshop will discuss the framework of agility and how to create a work structure that promotes agility. For more information, write to email@example.com, or send an SMS to these numbers 0919-3428667 and 0998-9641731.
For your other online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a virtual workshop, a webinar or a self-paced online course for your organization.
The author is the executive director of Inquirer Academy.
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