Anyone in the project management or business analysis space knows that the word ‘Agile’ is a unique methodology or process that is becoming popular these days with a certain type of project. Note the word begins with a capitol ‘A’.
This blog post is not on Agile. It is, however, on what I call small “a” agile.
Leaders need to be agile. Our lives are full of change and surprises and we need to be prepared.
Being stuck in our ways and rooted in our approaches will only cause us, and all those around us, pain-and-suffering. Instead, we need to be able to change our viewpoint or approach to the work we do to accommodate any kind of change around us. I think managing change is one of the most difficult things that the leader has to do. Personal changes, market changes, changes in competition and more will all contribute to a roller coaster ride within our work environment. To combat this and stay grounded on that roller coaster we need to be able to move and change and alter quickly and efficiently.
How do you do this?
I think the first step is to be prepared. As a leader you need to be able to look forward and address all potential changes before they hit. Not an easy task but very necessary. If you are working in an environment ultimately tied to the price of the commodity you should be prepared for the pending swings in those prices. If you are working in an environment contingent upon a workforce that is stable and reliable then you need to be prepared for dramatic changes like labor strikes or key employee departures.
Beyond preparation you need to have a process or methodology that you use whenever anything changes dramatically. This might involve the people you consult with, the phone calls you make and the ways that you communicate throughout the incident.
Finally, I think you need to be in a state of mind that accepts the fact that changes will happen and the agility in your approach is critical for all those concerned.
Every leader needs to be ready for change. We need to be small ‘a’ agile in the way we react and in the way we approach this change. This is one of the key attributes of great leader.