Organizational Agility: Getting “It” Done

4 min read | Erin Defoyd

Leading Women: Organizational Agility: Getting “It” Done

We are continuing our series on the core leadership competencies needed to navigate an environment of constant change. Change that is defined as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). Last week we focused on the “Interpersonal Savvy” competency and this week we are highlighting “Organizational Agility.” We define this competency as:

“Getting “it” done through formal and informal processes.”

Can you think of someone on your team, or in your life, who is a master at this? That person who always seems to be 5 steps ahead of everyone else? It’s not that they have superhuman - powers that you don’t -- it’s called organizational agility, which is a common trait found in most of the best leaders in the world. 

These types of leaders are essential -- especially in an environment of constant change --  because often there isn’t a playbook. Or even when there is, success depends on the strength of the relationships that have been established through consistent development and nurturing of formal and informal strategic networks (colleagues & teammates, or external networks & vendors). These leaders know the business, inside and out. Everything from how the organization is structured, to the potential P&L impact related to the change underway. They are innovative and ready to adapt in order to think and act differently, to get “it” done. In summary:

Organizational Agility is knowing how the organization works and how to get things done - through formal channels & informal networks

There are two areas we always emphasize in our women’s leadership development work to strengthen your organizational agility competency.  These areas are:

  1. Identify and take action to close your Missing 33%™:  When determining whether a woman can lead the business, executives look for business, strategic and financial acumen - we call this The Missing 33%. You can’t demonstrate organizational agility if you do not already have a firm foundation of the inner workings, goals and operations of the business you are in. Make sure you know how things get done at your organization, and what it means to deliver results and achieve outcomes. 

  2. Think and Link™: Organizational agility depends on individuals, teams, units and departments to be able to shift and adapt what they are doing and how they are doing it. Therefore it requires tremendous teamwork and coordination to make this happen.  Success in this area requires strong personal and strategic networks. Maximizing and/or developing your personal and strategic relationships will provide you with new avenues for getting information or answers to questions when opportunities arise. Think how you can help. What do you know? Whom do you know? And then take strategic action to link, adapt and lead in the face of change. 

In the end, organizations are made up of two things -- the business on which the organization was created, and the people who were hired to deliver on the goals of the business. Therefore organizational agility is dependent on the strength in the two areas we’ve highlighted here -- a strong foundation in the business itself and the relationships within. 

If you or your teams are looking to improve their organizational agility and are interested in engaging in some very timely, virtual and instructor-led leadership development in either of the two areas we highlighted, #WeCanHelp. 

Lead ON!

Contact Us!


Read ON! 

Part 1: LEADERSHIP at the pace of Global Change...

Part 2: Interpersonal Savvy... What You Need to Lead!

Part 3: Organizational Agility: Getting “It” Done

Part 4: Leading Through Uncertainty: Dealing with Ambiguity

Part 5: Managing Complexity: The Up Close & Wider View

Part 6: Navigating Change with Resiliency