Organizational agility as strategic asset: will you be the rabbit or the leopard?

Slowely organizations are moving toward an agile setting. In these organizations agile is not a hype anymore, but it is becoming a way of ‘living’. Every organization on its own way, at its own pace, placing them in different phases of their agile journey.  Agility has become a strategic asset. It’s here to stay. For those organizations that choose to stay robust and think agile is a stressed hype, the future – although rather predictable –  may come as a surprise.

Agility is a strategic asset for many organizations that want to continue serving their purpose in their market and in society. Three drivers are important here: continuous change, far-reaching digitization and the war on talent.

Continuous change

This seems obvious, we have been preaching for decades that change is the only constant. It remains strange that many organizations are nevertheless insufficiently able to respond quickly to changes. No agility there.

Extensive digitization

Digitization has become a differentiator in more and more branches. But it is especially the digital world that develops enormously fast. Innovation after innovation is making its appearance. Start-ups and disruptors in the market can develop greenfield and do so enormously fast. Far-reaching digitization is an important motive to be able to quickly adapt your processes, products and services in order to stay at the forefront.

War on talent

The millennials are already showing us. They want to take a lot of responsibility, be the frontrunners of innovations and want to develop quickly. So they want to work in organizations that lead the way, with a culture in which a lot of ownership can be taken. Not working for a micro manager who controls and controls all the time, but for a manager who inspires with vision and energy. If organizations want to attract and retain top talent, they must build a ‘great place to work’ culture. The agile mindset and the agile principles contain those values. Nice spin off right? Or perhaps even a strategic must-have?

Imagine the rabbit

A rabbit sitting on the road. In the dark. Suddenly lights appears. While trying to figure out what it is, the lights are getting bigger. That is no predator, right? Often the rabbit stays put, but at his best effort, the rabbit runs in the opposite direction, without the ability to decide that stepping two yards aside would do it. And eventually, either the lights die and danger is gone, or the inevitable happens. Dear rabbit…

Imagine the leopard

Looking for prey. Adapting stealth mode to the environment. Starting the hunt. Chasing the prey. Fast. Cornering full speed. Proacting and reacting on the movement of the pray. Finally catching and winning the hunt.

So, here’s my question to organizations. The drivers for organizational agility are clear. Will you stay put and wait for ‘the hype’ to pass by? Or will you act and chase the opportunity to become an agile organization?

Are you the rabbit or the leopard?