There’s an old adage about two guys out in the woods when they are attacked by a bear. One of them quickly thought, “Somehow I have to be faster than this bear.” The other one more wisely thought, “I don’t have to be faster than this bear – I just have to be faster than this guy I’m with….”
In some ways that’s become the way we’re thinking about agility. With the IT community having rolled out the concept to the rest of us, now everybody wants to be more agile than the other guy they’re out in the woods with.
For example, according to a 2017 Deloitte survey, 79% of global executives rated agile performance management as a high organizational priority (cited by Peter Cappelli and Anna Tavis in their article “HR Goes Agile” in the Harvard Business Review, March-April 2018).
But, this thinking about agility as a quality we want because others are going to get it if we don’t threatens to put us in the position of making agility the next shiny object we chase. As leaders, we need to consider what we’re really looking for, and why it’s important to us. In terms of changing our culture, the search for agility is a big commitment.
So what’s in it for us if we do become more agile? Here are some tangible, measurable benefits for us as leaders in companies and organizations:
- We become more innovative.
- Ownership is established at much deeper levels of the organization.
- We grow leaders, not followers.
- The conditions are set for transforming our culture to become world-class.
OK, great. Sounds good, right? Having said all this, the investment across the leadership is going to be significant to bring agility to life.
This could present a remarkable opportunity for you to re-examine your strategic plan, and perhaps re-set your azimuth (your mission, intent, values, culture). By becoming a faster, more adaptive organization, you can outrun both the other guy and the bear….just be prepared for a 2-3 year commitment to see this transformation take shape. This is where your nurturing leadership skills will be put to the test, to make sure your campaign to become a truly agile company is not just rhetoric — the next “shiny object.”
Start now to socialize your team on what becoming agile truly means, and how you can get there with a clear path and measurable outcomes. Let us know if we can help.
Enjoy the journey!