Nicky Carew has some inspiring and powerful thoughts about how an ‘agile’ mindset supports organisations to be resilient.

The Value of Resilience in an Agile Organisation

No organisations will be the same in 2021 after the past year.  Indeed, trying to make them so will be foolish.  The relentless need for change has made us fluctuate somewhere between resilient and anxious.   If that sounds like you, please do read this excellent article by Vanda North. It’s a Christmas article, but it is still relevant now.

And 2021 will be different again (no crystal ball needed).

Over the past few months, we have been supporting some of our clients to build an agile culture. Essentially, this means helping everyone develop an agile mindset.  The Agile Organisation, of course, is made up of people who work in an agile way. Importantly, this requires the adoption of an agile mindset, which in turn builds a resilient organisation.

An agile mindset necessitates being more resilient in change.  It enables the people who are delivering your success to be more innovative, collaborate better and focus on value creation.  However, the value is clear. Agile Organisations report they can make decisions 3x faster and develop products and services 5x faster.  Moreover, they respond to change better and have more impact because the agile mindset makes them more alert to opportunities.  By reallocating resources adroitly, organisations become more responsive and effective change implementers.

What is an Agile Mindset

An agile mindset sounds easy… it sounds like being flexible.  Nothing of the sort.  Agile means a rigorous and challenging process of adventurous collaboration with diverse perspectives. Challenging, speedy, action and open reflection in a team becomes the norm.  This is for the ambitious and future thinking organisation.  Recently, the European Business Review shone a light on the necessity for organisations to be agile if they are to thrive. It is unlikely to be natural way of working for most people. It is truly collaborative and there is no place for egos in Agile.  Each individual in an agile team is valued for their impact and their contribution.  Everyone in the organisation knows how their contribution benefits their customers and contributes to the bottom line.

How to develop resilient agile organisations

People in an agile organisation need to be resilient.  Initiatives will come and go, a basic part of agile is to react fast and try ideas. Fail fast, some people say, I prefer learn fast.  The premise of failing is to learn. One of the signature attributes of resilient agile organisations is the presence of an agile mindset. Fundamentally, the ability to reflect, share experiences and, be curious and embrace others experiences enables learning from failures too.

Just think for a moment how different that is. Each member of the team has to expose themselves to high levels of accountability, potential failure and feedback which it would all too easy to mistake as criticism. And the feedback may come from outside their team too. Breaking silos to seek feedback from all parts of the organisation (including the customer) could be overwhelming.  To get the benefits of an Agile Organisation you need to support and build the resilience in your people.

That means helping them develop their positive traits and leave behind their biases. It also means helping them bounce back after setbacks and support others to do so.  It is truly collaborative but not always easy because being Agile means not being in control.

Where to start?

Helping build your team’s resilience starts with boosting their ‘bounceability’.  In science, different materials have different properties of resilience. For example, glass has poor resilience because it cracks with pressure. Others, like rubber, bend easily with pressure but bounce back to form quickly.  That is the impact of resilience training. Helping individuals respond to situations and bounce back after setbacks.

Creating an Agile Mindset and Resilience training at The Change Maker Group starts with understanding your traits. What is your temperament and how you can boost your resilience?  We also help people appreciate their impact and the value they bring. Finally, we look at how to value the contribution of others.

Without resilient people the Agile Organisation will not reach its potential.

Contact Nicky at [email protected]

Please get in touch or book a call. We’d love to chat.

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