Agility. Does it ring a bell? If you look at the Internet, the Oxford English Dictionary will tell you that agility is “the ability to move quickly from place to place” and “the ability to think and understand quickly”.
In the sports science community, Sheppard and Young gave agility a fresh description: "a rapid whole-body movement with change of velocity or direction in response to a stimulus". Influenced by body balance, strength, speed and coordination, agility is a major key to achieving a fit body and a winning performance.
As for people in the business and tech industry, agility is stepping away from the traditional approach; agility is being innovative; agility is replacing old working habits. Because of the rapid and constant change in today’s industries, leaders and members of the organisations are becoming more agile to help them adapt quickly to external and internal changes, be flexible to customer demands, and continuously stay ahead of the competition.
For these group of people, achieving agility is important, and there’s a very good reason why. That reason is the “result”.
No matter your status in the society, you can use agility to change your life and see the result right before your eyes! And we’re not just talking about the ordinary change here, but an overall transformation of your mindset. With an agile mind, you will always be on top of this fast-paced life and the possibilities are endless.
But first, let’s understand the meaning and importance of Agility.
What is an Agile Mindset?
As defined by Agile Alliance, Agile is “The ability to create and respond to change in order to succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment.”
Agile has been embraced by various organisations to drive change across their people and their leadership structure. In one global study, 94% of companies say that collaboration and agility are critical to their success. Another report shows that companies with highly-agile executives have 25% higher profit margins than their peers.
The agile approach is life-changing and revolutionary, simply because:
- Agile is a mindset
- Described by 4 Values
- Defined by 12 Principles
- Demonstrated through Unlimited number of Practices
– From Dr. Ahmed Sidky’s diagram of “The Agile Mindset”
In her presentation titled “The Agile Mindset and Beyond”, Linda Rising, an internationally known author, and speaker on topics related to patterns, retrospectives, agile development approaches, noted that researchers have identified that human beings hold two mindsets toward ability:
1: That we have a fixed amount of talent or intelligence, what we are born with and there’s nothing we can do about it;
2: That we are born with a certain amount of talent or intelligence, but we can all improve by working hard.
These two mindsets are recognised as (1) fixed and (2) agile. “If we can do a better job of holding an agile mindset, just imagine how much more creative, innovative, and cooperative our workplaces and homes can be”, said Rising.
Dr. Carol Dweck, a Psychology professor known for her work on the mindset psychological trait, also gave a great comparison between the fixed and the growth/agile mindset.
Transforming a person’s mind from fixed to agile is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to adopt agility. Though the process can be challenging at first, once you get used to it, it becomes an indispensable habit.
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The first thing you need to do is to learn how to integrate agility in your personal and professional life one step at a time.
How to Achieve and Adopt Agility in Your Daily Life?
Now that you know the importance of agility, what’s next? It’s time to put that knowledge into practice. Here are some of the ways you can integrate agile to your daily life:
Set goals – Give your life a direction by creating and setting goals. Ask yourself what you want to achieve at the end of every week, month, and year. Ask yourself what life you want to have 5 to 10 years from now.
Be flexible and innovative – Do you have a hard time achieving your goals? Identify the barriers that prevent you from hitting your target. Change your strategy if there is a need to.
Plan ahead – Instead of checking your social media notifications upon waking up, why not start your day by planning ahead? Spending a few minutes managing your schedules and checking your progress won’t hurt your time. Planning ahead can be a life-changing habit, so make this a routine!
Manage goals – Make your goals manageable. You’re not a robot! You are not designed to accomplish everything at once. By breaking your goals into chunks, you’re making them more realistic and achievable.
Stay focused – Always find your centre. Focus. Take a step back. Although this one’s a bit tough, especially if you are working in a fast-paced environment, it’s a powerful way to take control of your emotional and mental self whenever challenges push you off the balance.
Be one with your tasks – Be committed to your tasks. Block out a specific time in a day or week to work on your tasks. Know what needs to be done, what needs to be fixed, and what is your goal for every task. Make this a habit and stick to it.
As a team, agility can be achieved through some of the following practices:
Acceptance – teams can encounter a lot of challenges along the way, especially if everyone is working on a new project or solution. If things don’t work out the way they should, it’s important to identify the reason behind it, accept the failure and then think of a new way to avoid the same failure from happening again. Most projects have unknowns but once you start working on them, the unknowns become known so don’t hesitate to change approach if required.
Trust – in order to build healthy relationships with other people, you need to be someone whom they can trust. Leaders can help establish trust by creating a workplace where everyone feels comfortable about sharing their new ideas and giving their opinions with openness and respect. In addition, people working closer to be customer should be trusted to make decisions since they have first-hand experience on the problem that is trying to be solved.
Communicate and Collaborate – teams don’t think alike. Every person in the team has a different idea. And when these ideas are shared and discussed in one room, it can spark curiosity and creativity to the team.
Patience – agile teams do not need to rush into things at the expense of seeing the greater outcome. They should trust the time and the process as they are working on a common goal and success.
Test and Learn – Agility is innovation and openness to new information. Agile teams should be encouraged to think outside the box and work closely with their customers so that they can innovate and find better solutions to the customers’ needs.
Continuous Improvement – in order to think and make decisions faster, agile teams need to have the right environment to continuously improve on things that slow the team down. With a continuous improvement culture, teams can become more engaged, focused and proactive.
Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.
– Bill Gates
Agility – Key to Long-term Success
The world is changing faster than ever, and you may think it’s quite impossible to stay focus and be successful. But agility can make anything possible if you adopt and build the right attitude and mindset.
At Life Intelligence Group, we offer advanced tools and services to be and stay agile. Whether it’s for your personal achievement or for the success of your organisation, we have everything you need to unlock your potential and stay at the top of your game.
Visit https://lifeintelligencegroup.com/ to learn more about our world-class Agile tools and coaching services.