Pursuing Agility

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

At the nexus of urgency, efficiency and reliability lies agility, the competence of a business to promptly respond to change or challenge. 

The rapid evolution of technology continues to heighten complexity and unpredictability in the marketplace, increasing uncertainty about changing customer needs and goals. Pursuing agility enbles a business to respond quickly and effectively to opportunities, as well as to changes or threats. While characteristics like apodaptability or flexibility convey a passive, reactive strategy, agility implies an intentional, proactive approach

An agile business is customer centric; its purpose drives its profit. The leadership of an agile business understands that its people and culture are its most sustainable competitive advantage, and relies on these to guide the evolution of the company’s progress, systems and structure. These leaders appreciate that the values, behaviors and expertise which comprise their culture enable their people to be more creative and resilient when responding to complexity, uncertainty and change: better, customer-focused outcomes are the result.

Embedding agility into a company’s culture requires leaders who embrace the agile philosophy, who themselves practice agility. Agile leadership competencies include:

  • Facilitating healthy, productive dialogue, particularly when vital outcomes are at risk;
  • Engaging directly to improve performance or a process, creating value for customers and the organization;
  • Managing organizational change initiatives with cross-functional awareness to sustain growth and value creation in a turbulent environment.

Amidst a time of perpetual change, agile leaders are needed to build agile organizations. Increasingly, leadership agility is a key competency for business success.

How developed is your agile leadership competency?

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