Change in Organisations Agility or Resilience?

Change - Agility or resilience? Do we have a choice?

Change is a part of day to day life in an organisation.

Businesses need to be agile. Businesses need to be resilient. If agility is a proactive acceptance, and resilience is a reactive response. Can there really be room for both in twenty-first-century business?

Agility suggests ownership of and engagement,  it brings positive energy to the environment. Resilience conveys a reaction to circumstances beyond one's control – adapting to, recovering from, perhaps even opposing. It has the potential to drain energy in a non-productive way.

Clearly, organisations need as much positive energy as possible in order to achieve results and to grow. There is a place for both agility and resilience if we are to protect our businesses today and in the future. Yet the balance tips in favour of agility Therefore we need strategies to support agility and maximise positive energy, and to minimise the need for resilience. We need to develop a culture of embracing change in a positive and productive way, for the organisation as a whole, for its leaders and for individuals.

For the organisation

The key for an organisation is to define its values for flexibility and stability, and to find the right balance between the two. A clear structure to support these values is crucial. The next, vital, step is to communicate these values throughout the organisation to enable staff to own them for themselves, and to find the balance that works for them.

For leaders

As a leader, to find the balance between agility and resilience, it is important to understand both your own and the organisation's values for stability and flexibility and the relationship between the two, and to ensure that you have a clear strategy for meeting the values of the business. As you face different situations day by day, it is vital that you are able to make conscious and informed decisions for agility or resilience.

You must communicate regularly the values of the business, acknowledging that there may be differences between these and the values of those you lead, and identify people who may need a little extra support. Build and maintain your relationships with individuals, and promote open discussion of past, current and future changes in order to create awareness. Building a supportive culture is key to minimising the impact of resistance.

For individuals

It is important to recognise that you have the potential to either assist or hinder the process. Ensure that you are aware of the processes and the values of the organisation, and of the consequences of resisting change. Find out everything you can about decisions to be made, so that the position you choose to take is a positive and informed one. Build a relationship network that is open, honest and trustworthy so that you can gain and give the necessary support to minimise the impact of resilience.

What about you?

Consider your working practices. Do they align with these recommendations? By following these pointers you will be sure to give both yourself and those you lead the ability to make informed and wise decisions together, and to ensure that your organisation will be a leader, not a follower!

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