Agility in business is the quality that allows an organization to accept and support market and operational changes on a daily basis.
As business leaders today we are challenged with managing instability, uncertainty and constant fluctuations in our markets.
We need to be able to strategize and lead in this kind of environment especially with technology connecting people and information sooner and quicker than ever before.
We need to be able to react and respond to internal and external changes quickly within our organization in order for the company to endure.
How can we acquire this talent that is so vital in a quick thinking atmosphere?
We need to work smarter and strategize in a creative and innovative way, but then moving very quickly to developing and planning a situation to test your assumptions.
Leaders at the highest levels of agility demonstrate the following characteristics:
- Agile leaders recognize that we live in a time of perpetual change and a global environment that is complex, uncertain, and very competitive.
- Agile leaders are clever thinkers with a deep sense of purpose.
- Agile leaders have a broad range of behaviors that allow them to quickly adjust their leadership style to the demands of any given situation.
- Agile leaders are flexible, yet tough in reacting to the struggles and uneasiness that change and uncertainty often bring.
An authentically agile leader does the following four things very well:
- Persistent in planning: Preparation and scheduling within your organization need to be ever constantly evolving as circumstances change. As the leader driving this, the closer to real time the planning and evolving of strategy can become, the stronger the business will be.
- Planning and strategy are combined: Ongoing collaboration, across departments, teams, and executives will develop your strategy and make it stronger.
- Switch quickly from strategy to implementation: The longer the pause between strategizing and implementation, the greater the risk of being overwhelmed by obstacles. You will need to turn rough, general strategy into deliverable objectives and goals, and get them out to the business fast.
- Data driven…not data dominated: Business data in all its forms, from HR and supply chain to sales and finance, is vital for development planning. However, its purpose should be to support not dictate the outgoing discussions around strategy.
Today, many leaders recognize the importance of ‘going through the motions’ of their daily routines and responsibilities but don’t have the energy left to shape the future and there are some that just simply aren’t interested or curious enough about driving change.
Even though an agile leader may be quick and astute, they will not always be able to control what happens. They do however, know what they want for themselves, their teams, their customers and their company.
They also understand that they need to back away from their daily routine and view their business from a wider perspective and plot out a future course.
Are you an agile leader?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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