If the “gig economy” was the hottest trend in 2018, it’s fair to say “agile” is taking its place in 2019. The fact is, the term “agile” can mean a lot of things these days – from operating within an Agile Framework, flattening the organizational chart to integrating gig workers and other non-traditional talent pools into the workforce. But, at its core, agility is the ability of organizations to be more flexible and adaptive to rapidly changing business dynamics. And, it is arguably a key characteristic required for future business success.
In fact, according to a Forbes survey, 81 percent of executives consider agility to be the most important characteristic of a successful organization. For those that succeed at achieving greater agility – the benefits are substantial – including, faster time to market (60%), faster innovation (59%) and improved non-financial results (58%). While there are opportunities to embed agility across the organization, there are three primary strategies forward-thinking companies are implementing in order to achieve greater flexibility.
Strategy One: Eliminating Hierarchy
Changing the traditional, hierarchical organizational structure and introducing a flatter structure is fundamental to building an agile company. This trend is already in full swing, as 44 percent of companies have already introduced a flatter structure to become more adaptive and 70 percent want an Agile executive to promote a non-hierarchical culture. Flattening of the organizational structure is dependent on creating networks of teams empowered to take action.
Strategy Two: Creating Empowered, Self-Directed Teams
Beyond simply moving boxes around an organizational chart, companies must also create the right dynamics for teams to effectively and quickly collaborate and make quick decisions. Eliminating hierarchy isn’t enough, leaders must rethink roles and teams to support empowerment and collaboration. The teams of the future must be self-directed, work towards a common goal, have the autonomy to make and act on decisions, and rapidly adapt to evolving demands.
Strategy Three: Diversify the Makeup of Teams
One of the most tangible ways organizations can achieve agility in their operations is to build a workforce model that includes employees both on and off their balance sheet – including freelancers, contingent workers, contractors and consultants. An integrated workforce allows companies to build more diverse teams of specialized talent, with new perspectives and approaches to solving problems.
Team Performance Common Thread Among Agile Strategies
Each of the agile strategies above have one thing in common – they require work teams that perform effectively. Every team member brings with him or her their unique behavioral style, values, problem-solving and decision-making approaches. Companies must identify these different work styles and determine how the team will communicate, make decisions, resolve conflicts and interact with one another.
XBInsight has worked with the world’s leading organizations to build high-performing teams that drive business success and agility. Our 3C Team Assessment helps leaders uncover their teams’ strengths and identify areas for development to become more agile – ultimately improving performance. The 3C model measures three broad outcomes that are fundamental to team effectiveness – a team’s conditions, competence and connectedness.
If you’re organization is looking to support its agile strategies with high performing teams, check out our team talent assessments and our 3C Team Effectiveness Workshop. Or, contact us to learn more.