What does it take to be an agile business leader?

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What is business agility?

Times are rapidly changing, and disruptive events like the one that we are facing with the COVID-19 crisis are having an impact in business and society.

The concept of being agile is getting more important than ever, affecting from small scale (such as family) to larger ones (such as nations).

But what means being agile? As a quick reminder of the Agile principles from the original manifesto, it values:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

 Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

And specifically, Agility principles applied to business mainly focus in how we:

  1. Adapt to market changes in a quick way, both internally and externally.
  2. Respond rapidly to customer demands.
  3. Lead change in a productive and cost-effective manner.
  4. Focus on competitive advantage.

This aspects allow business to deal better with complexity and, as an outcome, generate strategies that are more adaptive, creative and resilient.

But what can I do to be more agile as a business leader?

At the very first time, you may read this principles and think this is just “good leadership”, but there’s a slightly difference. The agile business leader wants always to extend his or her capacities, and see this process as a continuum, where it’s not to “be” or “not to be” Agile, but to improve everyday.

If you want to start now with your agile business leadership journey, you can just follow this quick advice:

  1. Devote time to think effectively: start working in an evidence-based decision making approach, recognising your biases and your mental models. This will definitely help in the agility of your leadership.
  2. Improve through feedback: don’t be afraid to give clear and concise feedback. It will improve your delivery time. Also, ask for it. You will be amazed on how much you can learn from it.
  3. Action speaks louder than words: we can imagine that showing off about how agile you are can sound tempting. But in the real world, the best metric to use is how you react to change. No certificate or change in the name of your business position needed. Period.
  4. Agile leaders know that leadership and great ideas lives everywhere: in order to be ready to respond rapidly, they hear everyone and convey a sense of enhancing individual leadership capabilities, even if they don’t appear in the organization chart.
  5. They transmit agile values: they are aware of the fact that Agile, if it is not conceived as a system, is always going to be uncomplete. That’s why they evangelize their organization and work hard to make sure that everybody understands how to put agile into practice.

But if you want to take it serious, and to the next level, you can count on us. We are experts in escorting bold and determined leaders through uncertain paths in order to reach higher levels of agility.

Want to take the next step? Just write us.

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