Three steps to encouraging an agile mindset

25 Jan 2019

Three steps to encouraging an agile mindset

To successfully surf unending waves of change, organizations will have to develop exceptional agility of thought and action. Robert Satterwhite, Leadership Practice Head, Odgers Berndtson US, explains how.

The future of work is a constant topic of debate. And rapid change is creating a future full of uncertainty. Indeed, the Institute for the Future recently forecast that 85% of 2030 jobs have not even been invented yet.

Furthermore, with the longevity of business models rapidly declining, organizations are understandably concerned about how digital and other disruptions will impact the products and services they rely on to drive revenue.

However, only 20% of companies believe that they are well prepared for sudden industry disruption. An even smaller number (8%) think that their current business model could maintain its economic viability given the pace of change in their industry.

The challenge is to develop leaders that are agile, adaptable and responsive enough to thrive as the new business environment morphs and evolves, often in unexpected ways.

What next?

Our experience working with hundreds of organizations and thousands of executives over the last decades has taught us an important lesson. Successfully exploiting the opportunities created by disruption requires a multi-tiered approach.

We feel strongly that there are three key steps to move leaders and their companies from a posture that is more cautious, defensive, and retrenched to one that is more agile, adaptable, and responsive.

Three key steps

  1. Identifying executive and team strengths and developmental opportunities, with a specific focus on agility, resilience, creativity, and complex problem-solving.

  2. Leveraging creative, action-oriented, silo-busting techniques to address the real-world challenges that the organization is facing.

  3. Designing execution plans, as well as collaborating with L&D trainers and staff to identify and implement novel techniques and activities that encourage and maintain an agile footing.

Together with Bryan W. Mattimore of the Growth Engine Company, we have developed a proven process to turn those three key steps into reality. Including revaluing through assessment, recalibrating through idea generation, and reinforcing through performance and action learning.

If you would like to know more about how to anticipate future disruptions by encouraging an agile mindset, please get in touch.