Many common practices slow down an organization's response rate. Annual strategic planning, siloed resource management and static personal objectives (and incentives) encourage leaders and their teams to complete their commitments as originally agreed, regardless of its current importance.
Agile organizations align three drivers of speed: leadership, resourcing and culture. Here are traits of a nimble organization:
- View change initiatives as a portfolio of opportunities versus a list of projects managed separately
- Know their roles in change including acting as an unbiased assessor of value delivery
- Are prepared to alter assumptions about an initiative even if it means changing direction and abandoning unproductive work
- Own the success of the change after it is launched
- Are assigned to the highest priority changes according to need versus negotiated minimum requirements
- Have right people selected for key change roles including experience, capability and motivation
- Are easily transferable across initiatives and roles
- Are dedicated to measurement of benefits and continuous improvement
- See change as an enabler of ongoing success versus something to get through now
- Understand the organization's vision and how the change initiatives will help achieve it
- Give honest feedback that is listened to and rewarded
- Discuss, share and follow lessons learned
An organization's ability to quickly change how it operates to achieve its goals is a key ability to ongoing success. As the speed of change continues to increase, it may not be an option. Adopting these traits could be a good start.