Building agile organizations
Let me start with a quote I find immensely appropriate for the time we live in today. In the words of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – “In the race of excellence, there is no finish line”.
Innovation, since time immemorial, has been the classic path to doing things differently. However, as cultures evolved, traditional paths to success changed, industries and organizations have been both created, and wiped-out, in the blink of an eye.
Organizational agility has therefore emerged as the new survival tool in this fluid landscape, with an emphasis on continuous evolution. In today's "Age of Agility", it is all about continuous change and improvement, with no finish line.
This also means “resting on your laurels” is a thing of the past for enterprises. And the speed of change demands a new kind of leadership to manage this transformation. Legacy styles and traditional principles hold little water in such an evolving landscape.
So, what should transformational leadership in the age of digital transformation and agility look like?
Today’s transformational leaders need to realign their mindset and attitude to embrace the permanency of change and the need for continuous improvement.
Attuning themselves and their teams to work optimally in a state of flux, and ‘going back to the drawing board’ needs to become a way of life. Failure needs to be seen as an ally of innovation, and the sooner leaders accept and respect that, the faster teams can innovate their organizations to success.
The key role of a leader is enablement and it is essential that organizational leadership becomes an enabler of creativity rather than a director of innovation.
For organisations to leapfrog from status quo to being ahead of competitive trends, leaders need to pivot from rigid governance to a leadership style that is flexible and agile, and motivates individuals to continually embrace new ideas that could hold promise for the future, without a view of the finish line.