Today’s fast-changing environment are causing organizations to transform. After all, the key to staying afloat during these times is adaptability. If organizations resist, they could suffer from numerous negative effects. However, it’s not enough just to adapt, you also have to be able to swiftly cope with whatever changes the marketplace or the environment demands. This is where agility and transforming into an agile organization come in.


What is an agile organization?

To know what exactly is an agile organization, let us first define the word “agile”.  Agile /ˈajəl/; adjective: having a quick resourceful and adaptable character. This means that, for an organization to be agile, they must be able not only to adapt to changes but also to be able to do it quickly.

Structure and stability are the main foundations of traditional organizations. Organizations of this type, while willing to adapt, usually go with the “don’t fix it if it’s not broken” motto. Agile organizations, on the other hand, are different. This type is characterized as a network of teams operating in rapid learning and decision-making cycles. A highly agile organization uses advanced processes, tools, and training which enable them to successfully react to the changes that emerge.


Starting the transformation to an agile operating model

If you want to start the transformation to be agile, here are some things you need to consider:


Having a Strategist Leadership Mindset

One of the most important things to consider when becoming agile is the mindset, especially of your leaders. Since becoming agile means that you have to be able to cope successfully at whatever challenge comes in your way, traditional leadership thinking and behavior may not be enough. Having a strategist leadership mindset, which highly values flexibility, is crucial. Your leaders need to be willing to change what they do and how they do it. They also need to be versatile and nimble. These traits will be even more useful when times of uncertainty come because they can inspire others to follow them despite challenging times.


Careful and Flexible Plans

Agile transformations need careful plans. The more prepared you are, the better the transformation will go. However, you also have to acknowledge that despite your preparations, there will always be unexpected situations happening. The best way to ensure the success of your transition is to accept this uncertainty factor and to adjust and implement as you go. After all, isn’t it a part of being agile the ability to adapt quickly to unforeseen changes?


Integrating Agility Into Your Culture

Organizational culture consists of shared beliefs and values that resonate among the members of your company. Therefore, if you want to become agile, you must integrate agility into your culture. Whether your employees agree or not with this direction will definitely affect your overall transformation. Ultimately, they will be the ones embodying and showcasing your culture within and outside the workplace.


Author Pearl Zhu in her book Digital Agility: The Rocky Road from Doing Agile to Being Agile said,  “Agile is more a “direction,” than an “end.” Transforming to Agile culture means the business knows the direction they want to go on.” There are numerous roadblocks to success. Transforming into an agile organization may not remove those obstacles, but it can help you face them, therefore ensuring your continuous progress to your goals.