Organizational Agility

white water rafting

Organizational Agility — Does Your Organization Have It?

One of the Baldrige Excellence Framework’s Core Values and Concepts is Organizational Learning and Agility.  Let’s focus for now on agility.  What does it mean for an organization to be agile, and why is that important?
Organizational agility requires that its leaders have the ability to rapidly detect shifts in market trends, customer preferences, emerging technologies, societal expectations, regulations, political climates, economic indicators, and even employee engagement factors.  But it’s more than the ability to detect, it’s the ability of senior leaders to rapidly respond to those shifts and to align their entire workforce and key suppliers, partners, and collaborators in the execution of that response.
However, responding to shifts in a timely manner requires that an organization has a well-thought-out and established decision-making process. In our experience, very few do.  A recent article by McKinsey&Company provides some excellent insights into reasons for slow and/or poor decision making along with approaches for addressing them to foster organizational agility.
Several leaders we interviewed for our book, Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way: How World-Class Leaders Align Their Organizations to Deliver Exceptional Results, described their approaches for navigating the white waters of rapid, unexpected changes in their industries.  However, they also talked about having the Baldrige Excellence Framework as an integral part of their success during these challenging times.  It allowed them to retain their commitment to their vision, mission, and values while responding with agility to external forces.
 What do you do to promote organizational agility, intelligent risk-taking, and employee empowerment?
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