Today the world changes much faster than it did in the past. Following a static strategic plan like a map will no longer create industry leaders. Instead, our ability to adapt quickly to environmental shifts and opportunities is critical to our success. This agility isn’t outside of the plan; it’s a part of it. It’s the ability not only to increase market share but also to create an entirely new market as we go.
For operational-minded people, change is a scary thought. Efficiency is part of their DNA. But a paradigm shift allows change without reducing efficiency. Our ability to adapt to change becomes part of the process instead of a new one. Meaning, if there is a shift in values we can capture that change easily and quickly without a new process.
Within an interrelated system (our company archetype shown above), agility is built into it. In order to make decisions, team members must understand how their roles affect other functions within the machine. For example, a field manager might see their role as only managing construction. Tactically, yes, but the result of their job is actually a sales, finance and warranty function. By delivering on-time, quality products, future sales happen organically with less effort, cost, and overhead. We have less liability financially and the post construction process is much smoother. This creates a better consumer experience, a stronger brand and more meaning to our team members. A lot more than just the managing of material and labor.
Who determines change:
In a traditional strategy, feedback comes from executives. In an agile environment it comes from the entire team. The closer the members are to the consumer, the more ability they have to influence change. Why? Because they see first-hand what is working and what isn’t. This takes a shift in thinking since most organizations are wired to wait for the game plan instead of communicating their observations.
Leadership in an agile organization isn’t a job title but instead an expectation for everyone. Every role must listen for trends, values, and opportunities and communicate back to the team.
How we communicate this information:
The daily huddles are the vehicle used. Every morning information cascades across the entire company as we align our actions. What was once a monthly news letter, became a weekly update and is now a daily game plan. These huddles force us to realign with priorities every day and stay pointed at success. Very important a huddle is not an update on what we have done, but a session to create next steps toward results. Observations are then added to our strategy daily to ensure that the value we deliver remains strong.
A few things to reflect on to determine if you are aligning yourself toward values:
1. Do I see my actions through the customer’s eyes or only my own?
2. Do I listen to objections or needs of the market? Or instead try to force my opinion?
3. Do I communicate my observations or keep them to myself?
As a group of individuals we will achieve OK results. But as a team, we will change the world. This change begins with communication. It ends with action pointed at values.