Project Management

4 Steps to Increasing the Agility of Your Organization or Team

Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D. is a mental success coach and cutting-edge leadership consultant, trainer, and researcher. He helps improve organizations, leaders, teams, and employees improve their decision making, effectiveness, agility, and culture through a focus on mindsets.

Consider two companies: Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster used to be a behemoth in the home entertainment industry, primarily focused on video and DVD rentals, and is now defunct. Netflix is now a major player in the home entertainment industry.

Here’s the interesting thing: At one point in time, both were focused on the same thing—video and DVD rentals. Now, by virtue of Blockbuster’s demise and Netflix’s ability to adjust to changing market demands, neither is focused on DVD rentals.

A simple lesson to take from this example is that long-term success of any organization or project team is based upon their ability to adapt, change and pivot relative to three external market conditions that all are increasingly facing:

  1. increased competition
  2. compressed product life cycles
  3. rapidly changing customer interests and needs

This ability is called agility. But while agility is increasingly important, it is difficult to create. To understand why, we need to consider the basic life-cycle of organizations. First, as organizations grow, they need to create efficiencies. As a result, the organization establishes policies and procedures to create these efficiencies.

But over time, the external marketplace changes. As this happens, the policies and procedures originally used to create efficiencies slowly become barriers to the changing needs …

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"The reason why worry kills more people than hard work is that more people worry than work."

- Robert Frost



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