The three most important characteristics of agile teams
Time to be agile. The pandemic is full of uncertainty and we’ve seen that the more robust teams–the teams that are truly value-add–embrace this as an opportunity to better leverage their business and themselves.
Agile teams are comprised of people who are able to deal well with uncertainty. They run toward it, they don’t avoid it.
And, they do at least these three things very well:
1) Always learning. They are willing to try things and fail. They “fail fast and they fail forward.” They practice the dictum: if we can learn faster than our competitors, we’ll beat them in the marketplace. They use the idea of learning, especially learning to do something wrong, as an opportunity to leapfrog several steps in the development of an idea, a product or a service, and they get there faster. “If we can learn faster than you, we’ll beat you in the marketplace.”
2) Versatility in the styles of leadership and the styles of decision making they employ. One size does not fit all. Some things can be decided quickly and we can move on. Some decisions need more people to be involved. And there are some decisions where I don’t know, you don’t know, we don’t know and, therefore, we have to EXPLORE. That’s the point about running towards uncertainty and being comfortable and confident when one makes a mistake. It’s all learning opportunities.
3) Optimism. They believe the sun will come out. That’s not just a Pollyanna statement. Our colleague Martin Seligman points out that people seem to do better in terms of recovering from cancer and we’ve noticed in work that was done years ago by our late colleague David Campbell, the higher you go in an organization, the more optimistic you are, and the more optimistic you are the higher you go.
Those three main things–among other characteristics–are what an agile leader does. And then that leader builds a team of similarly agile people around her who balance her strengths and weaknesses. Where she is weaker, she has people who are stronger. Where she is stronger, others can learn from her. Leaders and team members balance one another’s strengths and weaknesses.
We can help build your agility. Go for it.
Photos: Adobe Stock.