This is perhaps the greatest challenge leaders face today --- building the agile organization. In the complex, fast paced and globally competitive world in which we live today. Teams and organizations who wish to survive and thrive must be agile, and organizational agility demands an actively engaged workforce.
During the perfect market conditions, it is possible for an organization to produce good results without a culture of engaged people. Such results disappear, however, when the environment changes. The possibility of the organization becoming uncompetitive, irrelevant or extinct increases exponentially.
According to Gallup, 70% of all U.S. workers are not actively engaged. There is simply no way for an organization to be nimble when only 30% of their employees are actively engaged. Creating a culture of actively engaged people producing extraordinary results is a strategic imperative to survive and thrive.
Actively engaged people by definition are committed to the mission and take initiative to support the success of the mission. They act with a sense of ownership and personal responsibility. Actively engaged people have a positive attitude, demonstrate a passion and commitment to organizational goals, proactively work on solutions to problems, and find meaning and purpose in their work.
Tools, processes and systems are not sufficient to build an agile organization. You must first have agile people.
Building Organizational Agility takes intentionality and is an important component of the principles we teach at Team Trek: you prepare to win or lose the war before the first battle ever takes place. To win the war three main parts of an overall strategy must be in place.
First, there must be a clear and simple mission, communicating the outcomes expected. This answers the questions of where, when and why.
Second, there must be clarity regarding the competency and character of the people participating in the battle. This addresses the question of the right people on the bus and in the right seats.
Finally there must be clarity about the culture of the organization. This addresses the question of values, principles, and norms: how people will interact with one another.
The days of strict hierarchy and decisions being handed down from on high are over. The environment in which we must function is simply changing and moving at such a speed that there is not time for excessive contemplation and waiting. What is needed is organizational agility. Agility can be created through a strategy of having a clear and simple mission, creating a workforce of people of character and competence, and building a culture of shared values and norms.
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