Agility 2014

Last Friday I wrote in this blog how I thought Agility would be the 2014 word of the year.

No more than two days later, I received my first, kind of, affirmation of my statement when the Sunday Times ran an article entited Management Be Nimble. In it, the authors cite Larry Page, co-founder of Google who talks about the need for his company to become more…you guessed it…agile.

The authors cite several ways to create more nimbleness (agility) that then go on to foster innovation ( a great outcome for agility)

  1. State your mission and values clearly and make sure everyone knows. I recently did some consulting for a company that had developed a new set of core values and when I asked if I could get some information on them, I was told that the flies were all locked up in the closet!
  2. People want to belong to something. help them connect with your organization. Make sure that leaders walk the values walk
  3. Dignity and respect. The US Army is evaluating the impact of “toxic officers” on organizational effectiveness. If the Army is not willing to tolerate bad bosses, why should your company tolerate inappropriate behaviors.
  4. Be a Team. One of my colleagues at work once complained…”Didn’t anyone ever play sports or march in the band in HS. Noone around here knows how to be on a team! Learn the rules of teamwork.
  5. Communicate effectively. The authors talk about having “adult conversations” where people give honest feedback and listen even more.
  6. Reach out. While email is ubiquitous and helpful, its also reached a point where we sometimes use it as an excuse to not talk directly to folks. Hey, just try walking down the hall!

Agility is going to be big this year. Not too early to start working on it.

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