Go Forth and Be Agile!

On Wednesday, we hosted the free webinar Leadership Agility: Four Steps to Getting more Done with Less with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, the CEO of Herrmann International. Over 200 people tuned it to listen live.

You can view the archived webinar if you missed it.

Due to greater demands for performance, complex issues, and limited resources, doing more with less is an everyday reality for leaders in today’s organizations. The good news is that you can stay ahead of the competition—if you know how to expand your brain bandwidth. With the proper tools, it is possible to build your thinking agility so you can tackle tough mental demands and develop a more strategic mindset.

There is a challenge to get more done with less.

We live in VUCA World. Established by the US Army War College over a decade ago, it was created to define the critical factors of the future. Turns out it was very accurate.

  • V – Volatile
  • U – Uncertain
  • C – Complex (dense layers or organizations)
  • A – Ambiguous
All 4 of these elements have a direct impact on leaders and the organizations they serve. The idea of Organizational Agility is the “capability of a company to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market”. Organizational Agility is the anecdote to the YUCA world. It requires Leadership Agility.

A recent study by Forbes estimated that only 10% of employees have the appropriate levels of leadership agility. That is simply not enough.

Warren Bennis, author of Rethinking the Future wrote, “to grow and transform … executives have to have extraordinary adaptability.” Leaders need to be able to flex on leadership. This is not just executives. It applies to all leaders.

How do we define Thinking Agility? It is the ability to consciously shift your thinking when the situation requires it. Our brains reactively shift our thinking all the time.

To understand Leadership Agility, we need to to discuss why Leadership Development programs fail.

  • Overlooking context
  • Decoupling reflection from real work
  • Failure to measure results
  • Underestimating mindsets

Our mindset drives what we see.

Our perspective changes what we see and how we see it. As a leader, that is key.

The webinar also delved into what constraints leaders see. Participants were urged to share their thoughts. They ranged from politics to time to listening to limited to resources to conflicting priorities. No wonder there are so many issues with leadership today! Then the question was posed, “How can we use the constraints to get more creative?” In other words, how can we turn the chaos into a little bit of order?

We can solve many problems by seeing a variety of solutions. Using the 4 Q approach will help, too. You can watch the archived webinar to learn more about that approach.

Relationship mapping is also vital.  Leaders need to understand who they work with, serve, and report to, and how they think, need information and learn. Mapping key relationships helps everyone involved.

The brain changes through learning so the more learning one does, the more the brain can change.

Multitasking was always thought to be good, but in reality, it can cause 50% more errors. The brain cannot function at full capacity when it’s distracted. Try a “Not To Do List” to help erase what you should not be doing and then you can focus on your true “To Do List.”

Help leaders grow by rethinking their competencies. Help leaders adapt by thinking outside their comfort zone. Make more changes. Perception is critical. Stop multitasking. Remember that discomfort is a sign of learning.

Sign up to make sure you don’t miss the next free webinar.

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