Exploring 3 key steps leaders can adapt to improve agility in less than 90 days
While most leaders intends their organization to become fast in adapting the changing market conditions; it is a hard realization that every time we intend to bring too many changes together we actually become “fragile”. If we intend to move, evolve of change faster we must bring the great combination of flexibility and stability in our organization – or in simple words improving agility of the organization. This article highlights 3 quick areas leaders can focus to help their organizations transform towards improved agility.
Most leaders have complained lacking energy or wrong execution of strategy by front liners while working towards the ultimate purpose or goal of the organization. We create organizations to achieve a purpose and onboard multiple skills to strengthen our existence. With the multiplying size of organization, we are required to create layers of human structures; while each team and layer is working towards the overall goal of the organization; with time we start creating gap between the layers resulting into conflicting values, strategies and execution.
Here are the 2 easy steps leaders can take to reduce such gaps:
From reporting bureaucracy to purpose collaboration
While reporting is essential for each leader to understand the ground situation; the fact is you can’t always (or probably never) be at the battle ground. The team performance totally depends on the executional decisions they are forced to take and this depends strongly on the connect they have with the purpose; and this connect is created by the interactions they have with the leaders, what kind of questions you ask your team? What is more important to you?
Timely execution? or also fulfilling customer expectations? Increased revenue? or also achievement of purpose? Cost optimization? Or also increased value to customer? Cost optimization? Or also increased satisfaction of team? Are we achieving our ultimate purpose? How many members in your organization can explain your purpose in 1 sentence? How many members in your organization feels excited and belies that their leaders truly work for the achievement of the purpose?
Team is your reflection; they simply show how much do you really care about the purpose; don’t get distracted by short term goals in every opportunity you get to interact spend quality time in simply validating that you are selling the purpose to everyone.
The strange reality in many organization is that they feel it’s only important for leaders to know everything in the organization and not the team working at ground level. The bigger surprise is they expect their team to stay excited, focused and take right decisions instead of having no clarity on organizational situation. Good leader will always ensure that they try to educate all members of the organization on the broader aspects of the organizations, they feel personally responsible to report the overall performance of the organization (team) and specifically the projects which are handled by leaders directly. This reporting is usually achieved via frequent mailers and / or town hall meets. While I am not talking anything new here; but the “sad” part is very few leaders understand the spirit of transparency and just takes such meetings as a “courtroom” where they are the “king”.
True leader will use this opportunity to bring maximum possible vertical collaboration and creating winning teams
Are you divided or united by goals?
Large organizations would typically establish multiple functions where each function is expected to focus on their goals and as a result organization will achieve its ultimate goal / purpose. However to our surprise we have observed some of the strange situations like:
Purchase is constantly helping organization save money; production never has material on time. Efficient logistics at the cost of customer satisfaction. Production and sales are simply enemies. Sales & Design are competitors to decide what customer really wants. Production team starts declaring success; while project team is about to start. While QC has vigilant eyes; QA is only doing the role of criticizing. Why? Leaders (unknowingly) starts creating competition amongst functions rather than uniting them towards a common goal. Here are the two ways leaders can define their team structures:
Divided by Goals – Review performance of each function separate
United by goals – Help each other to achieve the desired results
Is empowering frontline employees top of mind for your organization? A Harvard Business Review survey showed that, 78% respondents felt that connecting and empowering frontline employees is critical to their organization’s future success. One of the single most significant failures of any organization’s strategy is the failure to understand the broader company vision. The vision is not the fancy tagline we share with the world. It’s the clear objective of who, where what and how for our corporate strategy. Your frontline employees are the ones who are in direct contact with your current and potential customers every single day. They need to be able to understand your organization’s vision and objectives if your company is going to implement its strategy effectively
Below mentioned are few of the many benefits of why should frontlines be empowered.
– Satisfied Frontline Employees Create Satisfied Customers
– Your Frontline Staff Members Are the Face of Your Company
– Frontline Staff Knows and Understands Your Customers’ Pain Points
– Empowering Frontline Staff Creates a Bottom-up Culture
– Creating an Empowering Work Environment Results in Greater Job Satisfaction
Establishing agile organization may seem to be a difficult task but in reality it’s as simple as a cake walk. Following simple steps and developing the three major pillars discussed in above blog can help the organization to be an agile organization in less than 90 days and enjoy all the success.
Parth Hirani, is leading a strategic advisory practice at J.Hirani & has helped various organizations align strategies across continents. A social & collaborative sapien by nature. He enjoys being a full time “dreamer” & loves challenging “possibilities”.
Success mantra- “We believe it’s possible; while maintaining flexibility on “How” we are “Rigid” on our “Goals”
About J.hirani: J.hirani is a Strategic Transformation team which works as a growth partner for different organisations in various industries by providing services like Agile transformation, Scenario mapping, Strategic alignment, Balance scorecard, Digital transformation, Incubating new ventures, Operation excellence and Aligning human capital.
©J.Hirani, Flat, Simple yet Better – Enhancing agility in 90 Days!, January 2021. All rights reserved.