Strategic agility can be understood simply as the ability to learn quickly and leverage a flexible mindset in response to shifting dynamics, adversity, and/or change. In terms of defining the Agility methodology, we must focus on the assumption that our world is rapidly changing. To borrow a term from the Department of Defense, we live in a “VUCA” environment- “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous”. To be successful now and in the future, leaders, teams and organizations must have agility to effectively manage in a fast moving and turbulent world. Agility is of critical importance and is essential for a business to thrive.
Agility is driven by five critical abilities: Anticipating Change, Generating Confidence, Initiating Action, Liberating Thinking, and Evaluating Results. Each of these drivers must exist within all three enterprise domains, i.e. people, processes and technology, in order to create and sustain an Agile enterprise.
The Agile Model® and associated products and services are tied directly to the fact that there’s a real need to Anticipate Change in order to create longevity within a business. That means not only having the capability to deal with change once it’s on your doorstep, but also Generating Confidence in yourself and others to take on new challenges in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Another key component is providing the fuel and the systems to Initiate Action and make things happen proactively and responsively. Companies must also Liberate Thinking by focusing on creativity and providing a business environment that inspires new ideas and new thoughts from every available source. It’s inspiring, but it also results in systems and processes working better and faster for clients. Finally, the need to Evaluate Results in based on a continuous process of examining the traction that clients are getting and determining whether or not the process is effective at making changes and ultimately achieving desire outcomes.
Answering the Why, How and What
Another way to look at the Agility methodology is to answer three basic questions: why, how and what.
- Why is building an Agile organization important? To help businesses, their leaders and employees adapt and thrive in a VUCA world.
- How does Agility create long-term business success? Through a series of best practices, practical tools and processes companies learn to build a dynamic capability to sense impending change and respond to it better and faster.
- What does Agility accomplish? Building Agility within your workforce helps leaders and businesses become more focused, fast and flexible. Organizations and individuals at all levels become more focused on strategic imperatives; and capabilities become faster and more flexible in responding to ever changing times.
There are numerous resources, products, and services built around this framework as well as a variety of consulting and training programs focused on developing Agility. Whether it’s leadership agility seminars, organizational agility seminars or individual level executive coaching, everyone can benefit from becoming more Agile.