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Improving Your Strategic Agility

Eng Delight Makotose

Improving Your Strategic Agility

By. Eng. Delight Makotose

To improve your strategic agility, embrace and work to incorporate behaviours related to top components of agility that matter most in the business world and develop a strategic agility framework based on these components.

Anticipating

Shift your focus and begin looking beyond the immediate state of the business. Consistently monitor or review the needs of your internal and external customers, what they might need in the future. In a nutshell, you need to scan the environment in a quest to deal with the following: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).

Sensing

Keep a pulse on market conditions and industry changes and forces that can affect your business or customer needs. Be observant of trends and anomalies that you see in your workplace, with your customers, and within the industry. Call out patterns that show up in data and objectively analyze the information that you are receiving. This calls for Leadership Dash-boarding. A leader as the pilot in the Cockpit of a plane needs to watch the dials on the Cock Pit and tweak when necessary. Same as a driver needs to constantly keep an eye on his dashboard and the environment around him.

Responding

Respond to customer needs (internal or external) faster than your competitors. Make decisions quickly and efficiently. Anticipate possible scenarios and determine if contingency plans are needed.

Adapting

Be flexible and open to reworking business processes and procedures as new market demands arise or as business changes. Improve your organizational agility. Be in a position to adjust your organizational structure or environment to handle the evolution of the market you serve.

Personal Strategic Agility Competencies

Competencies consist of the skills, attributes, and knowledge that enable you to respond or act effectively. Leaders with strategic agility competencies will have the ability to anticipate and respond to changes or issues that arise. Below are three competencies that, when developed and strengthened will support your personal strategic agility.

Competency 1: Navigating change

Change can cause disruption, difficulty and new or unexpected challenges. Those individuals and leaders who can successfully assimilate and navigate change are able to capitalize on the benefits and opportunities that arise when change is needed. To be more strategically agile,

Be willing to adopt and support change. Be a change agent. See the end goal or desired outcome that change facilitates.

Competency 2: Thinking Strategically

Thinking strategically is about having a broader perspective about your work, being conscientious of what is shaping it and figuring out how you can amplify your results. You can improve your strategic agility by:

Getting out of an operations mind-set and stepping back from day-to-day action. Using the power of observation to pick-up on emerging trends that will allow you to contribute unique meaningful value.

Determining what forces are at play that might enable or hinder your progress. Planning a course of action and executing on it. Aligning your own plans and strategies with the broader organizational strategy.

Competency 3: Getting Comfortable with Risk

Risk can evoke a lot of emotions, but risk also represents an unseized opportunity. If you want to develop your strategic agility, you need to incorporate the ability to see risk, calculate risk, and decide what appropriate action to take as it relates to risk. Risk should be managed, not feared.

Take the emotion out of the risk to see things more clearly. Understand the risk for what it is. Look at risk as another calculated, go or no-go decision point.

Understand your own view of risk and how that plays into your decisions. Are you risk averse, risk neutral, or are you a risk seeker? This will help you to manage knowing when to embrace or contain risk and will boost your strategic agility.

•       Engineer Delight Makotose is the Director of SMEs International Expo. For Feedback you can send an email to demakotose@gmail.com.

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