Unlocking the Secrets of Organizational Agility

Organizational transformation, organizational climate, organizational politics and now the newest of them: organizational agility!

Before it’s mentioned at a meeting and you don’t know what it is, learn about it right now!

What is organizational agility?

We live in a time when everything changes very quickly.

But how do organizations continuously operate and also thrive in an environment that requires constant change?

Organizational agility is an organization’s ability to renew, adapt, change rapidly and succeed in a changing, uncertain, and turbulent environment.

In order to succeed, business agility needs: dynamism and stability.

  • Dynamism: A dynamic environment is made up of attitude, agility, responsiveness, proactivity and intensity.
  • Stability: Agility is directly linked to stability, even because organizational agility requires stability for most companies.

It’s important to have a solid point while the rest of the company changes.

In this post you’ll learn more details on how to make your business agile and use this new concept in a practical way.

Also see in our blog: Who and which areas are involved in digital transformation?

What do we mean by organizational agility?

Every day is a struggle, right?

We’re taught to be strong and driven to advance in life and embrace the hope of better days, even with all the setbacks it holds.

Now imagine this situation under a business vision?

The concept of organizational agility happens when we thrive in the face of adversity.

And even under pressure, we grow stronger and keep going even more competitively, full of energy.

Business agility is becoming increasingly important for organizations, especially at the current levels of uncertainty, ambiguity, volatility and globalization in which we live.

Being agile, responding quickly to change, and still benefiting from it, has become a key factor for corporate survival in the corporate world.

The challenge of becoming agile

In the real world, companies already consolidated in the market struggle to become more dynamic.

Generally, these companies have more difficulties because they’ve had a centralized management hierarchy established for years.

Therefore, they don’t see a need for change in routine, because of the good results, but that’s exactly where they deceive themselves.

Employees already want to put business agility into practice, have an active voice and autonomy to give opinions and make decisions.

Employees want to engage in this process.

For this, a balance must be struck between dynamism x stability.

The process won’t work if a company, without caution, moves quickly and moves away from stability.

And, in the same way, if it remains ingrained, slow and bureaucratic, completely losing its connection with the changes taking place around it.

The challenge of becoming agile takes into account some principles:

  1. Set up the company in a way that recognizes its stability and dynamic capability, including suggestions and observations.
  2. To configure the company, in a dynamic and stable way, in three dimensions: structure, process and people.
    1. Structure isn’t just about organizational hierarchy, it also includes governance.
    2. The process is the development of metrics and objectives with identification of the main activities and added values, which opens space for a series of relevant questions about internal and external procedures.
    3. You should also analyze the human aspect as a part of dynamism vs. stability. What is stable and what is dynamic when it comes to people? Assigning new roles to people – using flexible work or temporary work – can work as something dynamic.

Something stable is usually organizational culture. Building a healthy culture takes a lot of time and reflection.

Thus, it takes longer to discover or recognize competencies and capabilities that would make a difference in the issue of competitive advantage.

When culture and people communicate perfectly in a company, it’s highly advisable to study the case and draw inspiration from it in some way, because there’s something absolutely valuable there.

Also see: Discontinuous Innovation: Radically change the way you think (and profit)  

The Secrets of Organizational Agility Success

There are three domains in the operating model that will help us get there.

These include:

1- Process

If business is changeable and dynamic, your processes need to keep pace.

In an agile world processes must be simple enough to allow for flexibility and ease of improvement.

We can no longer submit to long processes, created with the goal of perfection. In addition to being agile the world has become more and more minimalistic. Remember the iPhone with only 1 button!

We need to deliver clear, easy-to-understand routines to people. We can’t expect them to be process experts in order to do their jobs well.

But beware of the word “Flexibility”!

“Flexibility” doesn’t mean that a process should be totally permissive. There will always be restrictions, rules and compliance that you must meet. For example:

  • You can’t send a purchase approval without there being at least 3 quotes beforehand.
  • A purchase above 50 thousand dollars must have the approval of a director.

An agile process should ensure a minimum of control.

One more thing:

Should processes be agile or should process development be agile?

For a person who works with processes the most natural response is that their work should be agile, but the fact is that their client has the bigger demand for agility. So your focus should always be on the agility the process offers and the methods you use to develop or manage processes.

2- Structure

Agile companies typically don’t change much in the main way in which they structure themselves.

They tend to keep the main points of their organization structure well defined, extracting from employees what they do best in their functions.

In addition, they provide mechanisms that enable rapid and adequate team building, which has the talent needed to meet new challenges and projects.

3- Governance

Good and responsible governance is capable of improving decision making, as well as being decisive for the longevity of the company.

Stability contributes to dynamism in decision-making, but in a coherent and careful way.

Making it clear to people that they can give their opinions and make decisions should be a stable element of an agile business’s operating model.

Did you know the concept of organizational agility? Do you consider your company agile?

Do you believe that without agility a company can thrive?

Leave your feedback in the comments, it’s very valuable to us!

1 Comment. Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.