Agile people make agile organisations

We have in the last few weeks considered the traits of agile organisations, but what of the individuals who make up those organisations?

What attributes do individuals in an agile organisation require to thrive and to lead? And who are the people in the organisation who will lead the move to increasing agility?

Firstly, they are self aware. A person cannot grow and develop if they are not aware of themselves – their strengths, weaknesses and the space that they occupy in an organisation.

Just having that awareness is important, but in order to display learning agility, the employee also has to have a willingness to invest time and energy into self development.

Individuals should then have the ability to grow into leadership, whether formally in company structures, or informally in the network of empowered teams that take place in an agile organisation.

Just like at the organisational level, the ability to take (and act on) feedback is essential for individual learning agility. This means actively listening to feedback and intentionally using positive and negative criticism to improve themselves on a continuous basis.

Individuals with high learning agility value the contributions of others. This is a vital part of both the personal and organizational feedback loop, and is required for the agile working environment.

Also, these individuals take initiative, even in the absence of a rigid top-down structure. This is a key enabler of the active ecosystem that characterises agile organisations.

And finally, when all of these traits combine, and in order to realise the agile organisation, these key individuals need to be change agents. These are the people in the organisation who will be and drive the move to an agile networked structure, able to respond to feedback and make new connections. After all, this process is driven by those who proactively embrace change, not by retroactively managing the consequences of change.

So, on a personal level these individuals embody the transparency and rapid decision and learning cycles of the organisation, and have the necessary EQ to manage the complexity of working in informal and non-hierarchical teams.

At Factor10 we are obsessed with managing change and creating more agile people and companies. We have a panel of experienced and internationally accredited psychologists, leadership experts and coaches who deliver bespoke, experiential leadership immersions and deep coaching dialogues that will assist in making your organisation better able to respond to a changing environment.

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