Agility…Is It in Your Company?

One of the hottest trends in management today is to be an agile leader. These folks move quickly, respond to challenges in novel ways, and are able to be present in the moment so that they can gain and act on insights from those around them.

In meeting with some C-Suite leaders recently, I brought up the question about agile leaders. They pointed out that agility is one of their core competencies for leadership, so they were confident that they were developing this skill in their management corps.

I then asked them another question about agility. Are they an agile company? They were not so quick to respond to that inquiry. They had recently heard from their employee survey that the organization was slow to make decisions, seemed unable to find good solutions around particularly challenging situations and failed to respond to employee needs for better work-life balance.

We talked about ways to move that individual competency to an organizational skill and identified some of the following:

  • Build strategy into everything. Team members want to know the businesses strategy so do what we call a “review, preview” at every meeting that restates the core actions that will drive business success.
  • Create mantras that promote the message you want to portray and emphasize agility. Today’s most memorable ones include Nike’s “Just do It” and the Navy Seal’s “Embrace the Suck.”
  • Remove barriers and support those who get the job done. We too often focus on those who are not doing great work instead of supporting those who are doing the great work.

Peter Drucker once said that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” If your business is working towards agility, then make sure that it is baked into the ethos of the operations.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2019

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