Agility in business – that is, being able to pivot when required in order to be sure a business continues to deliver quality to its customers – is fairly common.
But what about for business leaders? Should those of us running the ship adopt agility in business ourselves? The answer is yes. Let’s take a look at how.
Agility in Business: Driving an Agile Culture
One of the best ways a business owner or entrepreneur can begin to adopt agility in business is to focus on company culture. How agile are your teams? Do you allow your staff to self-manage?
Is information easy to access, or kept secret from staff? How independent are your teams when it comes to having to shift gears suddenly? These are all important questions to ask yourself – and be honest when answering.
To be a truly agile leader, you need to set the example. Try and embrace these three management building blocks:
- Be present and listen to your employees – at all levels of your organization. Be forward thinking and work actively with them to create goals and a common vision for the company moving forward.
- Promote and nurture a true company culture where being able to experiment is ok, and where learning is not only welcomed, it’s expected.
- And finally, make sure your business runs in such a way as to recognize and reward teams or individuals for being active contributors to the two building blocks above!
Work closely with your teams (within reason – you DO have to steer the ship! LOL) and hire self-driven, trustworthy people and you’ll develop an agile company culture in no time.
Leaders Lead By Example
That said, and as mentioned above, you have to lead by example. Here are some ways that business leaders themselves can start adopting agility in business.
Communication is KEY. If your communication skills – both internal and external – are sub-par, consider hiring a coach to help you. I use different types of coaches all the time! Trust me, when a crisis hits, and agility in business is needed, being able to quickly and clearly articulate what you need is vitally important.
Adapt, adapt, adapt. Sometimes day to day! Because let’s face it, life can sure throw some curve balls at you, can’t it? If you’re facing new business challenges, and need to act fast, resist falling back on what worked yesterday. Don’t be afraid to trust your instinct and take a different route.
Switch up your management style. What works for one employee might not work for all of them. Be aware of the differences among staff and adjust accordingly. Some people learn differently. Some people hear differently! And most people work differently. Being agile and flexible with your employees is a masterful way to earn trust and ensure productivity stays high.
Inspire learning and personal growth. Let’s face it, no one like a crisis. Especially if it’s throwing you outside your comfort zone. But, if you’ve adopted a mindset and put into practice active learning and personal and professional growth? You will be able to pivot quickly and lead your teams effectively through any crisis or sudden business shifts you face together. The faster a problem gets solved, the sooner everyone can get back to business, am I right?
Agility in business often doesn’t come easy for leaders. Change is hard, and sudden change is even harder. But when a situation requires decisive thinking and immediate action, being prepared and comfortable turning on a dime is a skillset every business leader should have.
What do you think? Have you faced a crisis that required you to act fast? Are you a leader who is comfortable with agility in business? I would love to know what you think!