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I’ve two pieces of really good news for you. The first is that the call for papers for the Enterprise Agility World Conference 2022 (EAWC) opens in a couple of weeks. Last year, Neuroscientists, Agile coaches, and Organizational psychologists presented their innovative theories, practices, and models for building more flexible and resilient organizations. If you’ve something relevant to share, We’d love to have you give a talk at EAWC this year on November 5!
EAWC remains the world’s leading event on Enterprise Agility and Science. Last year we expected about 200 attendees, and we’d about 800. Enterprise Agility University covered most of the ticket price, which went from $390 to $60 for all attendees. This year we plan to support the community in the same way. I’ll keep you updated!
The second piece of good news is included in this newsletter. I’ve noticed that we’ve been talking about organizational change and science for several editions. However, we’ve focused on relatively advanced areas. So in this edition, we wanted to talk about issues that affect people who’re just getting started with the science behind Enterprise Agility. But also with those who want to know how the field of innovation, leadership, and HHRR (People) relates to this new approach.
This morning we’ve invited Monica Acosta, innovator and future designer, and Sylvia de Hohberg, who specializes in executive leadership and HHRR, to explain all this to you in an enjoyable way.
We tried to focus on Enterprise Agility and its connection to the different ways of innovation, exponential markets, the type of leadership required when your company is exposed to high uncertainty. These new models also bring groundbreaking ideas, practices, and paradigms that are not considered by agility or Business Agility.
We also talk about Mental Agility, its relationship to structures and processes, and the secret recipe of highly resilient organizations. It was a long morning of preparation, but I hope it was worth it.
By Mónica Acosta
Mental Agility is a key element to promote flexibility in organizations. Whenever we hear the word organization, we think of business, industry, process, technology, and people all being part of a single ecosystem.
This seems obvious to many people, but the acceleration of our lives and businesses suggests that we want to move and evolve some parts of the ecosystem without thinking about the rest of the environment.
Companies founded in the 1950s knew they’d a 30-year lifespan before they thought about evolving and adapting to new needs. In this second decade of the 21st century, the time span is only 15 years, the change is unmistakable, and the factor of digital transformation and situations like the pandemic have pushed the gas pedal down even more.
New technologies and new external situations that couldn’t be controlled showed that companies had to have qualities that weren’t previously considered key to a company’s development: Flexibility, Adaptation, and Resilience. Interestingly, these qualities are found in the people ecosystem.
Figure 1: Mental Agility is crucial for companies exposed to exponential change
When people talk about agility, they’re often talking about technology that enables them to solve activities in an automated way and provide information to increase business intelligence. Mindsets like agility enable us to implement technology and adapt processes, but without true adoption by people, these immense efforts to be agile won’t succeed.
Individuals’ Mental Agility is closely related to the aforementioned skills of flexibility and resilience. When people are aware that they’re working on their mental agility, a new mindset develops that allows us to think more creatively, develop empathy and confidence as a leader and/or member of a work team, and achieve psychological safety both on an individual level and in a work team and consequently in the entire organization.
People with higher levels of Mental Agility have the ability to analyze possible scenarios from different perspectives and decide on actions that are consistent with the purpose and vision of the business, allowing them to quickly review and adjust results as needed.
The ability to look at the business from a different angle allows us to shift the mindset from product-centric design to user-centric design, where we can design, experiment, and validate quickly
The ability to look at the business from a different angle allows us to shift the mindset from product-centric design to user-centric design, where we can design, experiment, and validate quickly and constantly, enabling the business to adapt to the volatile environments we live in today (a VUCA world).
Morgan Philips Consulting found that 86% of organizations believe agility is critical to business success, but only 28% measure it in their current and potential employee reviews. Our ability to collaborate, lead and problem solve helps us determine how agile we’re as individuals and how we can begin to improve each block. An environment that’s open to failure and allows for feedback and retrospective conversations helps people develop agility.
In addition to the psychometric and performance assessments that a company can conduct, you can ask yourself the following questions:
If you manage to score these questions from 1 to 5, with 1 being the least adaptable and 5 being the most adaptable, you’ll have a list of priority actions to work on to improve that mental agility. Plus, change consultants and team coaches will help you develop the right work strategy for the individuals and teams in your organization.
I’m pleased to announce that we’ll continue our Enterprise Agility Foundations Training around the world in April. Join the leading institution providing Consultants, Leaders, Managers, and HR/People with new opportunities to grow their careers. Talk to one of our trainers now and start moving in a new direction.
From Enterprise Agility University, we hope you found our scientific newsletter useful, and we’ll see you next week.