Agility as the key to organizational success | Episode 3 Creating responsiveness

Agility as the key to organizational success | Episode 3 Creating responsiveness

Agility as the key to organizational success | Episode 3 Creating responsiveness

Agility is – now more than ever – the key to organizational success, but we need to start taking it seriously. Agility is not a fun playground, but a key factor in making your business and employees thrive in an ever-evolving world.

To spread our conviction that agility is the key to success, our managing partner Kris Philippaerts created a mini blog series on the topic of Business Agility. In 6 episodes, Kris will take you through his thoughts and beliefs, applying his experience and expertise on several topics.

Are you ready to be swept away? Let’s go!

By Kris Philippaerts

Episode 3 | Creating responsiveness

In the first article of this series, we introduced Business Agility as an organizational capability to thrive in a complex and fast-moving context. In the second article, we explained how investing in Shock Absorption in your organization, will make you ready to sustain in that context. However, to truly thrive, we must possess a sharp ability to anticipate and navigate the changes in our environment. This is where Responsiveness comes into play. 

AI generated image of Business people sitting round a table making decisions with a big screen full of data behind them

The Pillars of Responsiveness 

Responsiveness refers to the organization’s ability to react quickly and effectively to changes, challenges, or opportunities in its environment. Developing the skill to recognize the most significant challenges and promising opportunities is essential for cultivating Business Agility within the organization. 

Embracing responsiveness in your business, you will be able to adapt more swiftly to innovative changes, resulting in a competitive advantage. Further, by responding rapidly to changes or challenges, you avoid risks and ultimately nurture customer satisfaction, employee engagement and overall adaptability within your organization. 

We distinguish two pillars that feed responsiveness: validated learning and outcome-based decision-making. Implementing these will increase your company’s responsiveness immensely. 

A. Validated Learning 

Validated learning involves testing assumptions through real-world experiments and using the collected data to validate or invalidate those assumptions. It’s about learning from these experiments to make informed decisions and adapt strategies accordingly.  

The discipline of validated learning is indispensable due to the tendency of individuals to inadvertently take shortcuts when validating their beliefs. Humans often seek out information that reaffirms their existing beliefs or assumptions, while disregarding contradictory evidence — an inclination known as Confirmation Bias. Furthermore, our inherent fear of failure can make us reluctant to test our assumptions, as we dread the prospect of being proven wrong. 

In order to make well-informed decisions, Validated Learning cannot be optional but should be an essential part of the organizational standards and disciplines. 

B. Outcome-based Decision Making 

Consider a scenario where a cupcake vendor consistently sells out of their products. This validates the quality of their cupcakes. The vendor can now start experimenting with different flavors, toppings, or sizes to discover more opportunities in the market. However, experimentation without a structured approach could lead to chaos.  

Here, outcome-based decision making is needed. By aligning decisions and experiments with shared objectives, organizations can navigate complexity with purpose and unity. This approach fosters trust, collaboration, autonomy, and innovation, driving improved performance and accountability. While implementing this strategy may require a cultural shift, the focus on outcomes -while allowing flexibility in execution – ultimately yields superior results. 

As we conclude this third episode and look ahead to the next topics in our series, it’s clear that responsiveness is not merely a beneficial attribute but a fundamental aspect of a truly agile company. It enhances the company’s ability to navigate the complexities of modern markets, drive innovation, and meet stakeholder expectations effectively and efficiently. 

What’s Next…

In the forth episode of this mini series, you’ll learn all about the importance of Engagement, the necessary ingredient to permanently anchor agility in your organization.

Stay tuned!

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