How To Think About...Agility

The Agile Leader believes that stability and agility can co-exist. That, rather than opposing forces, they represent two axes where an ideal state is found. The adaptive organization. Highly stable yet exceptionally agile. Coupling the dynamic capability to be fast, nimble and responsive with the stability which comes from a backbone of beliefs. 

Without these beliefs, without purpose, the organization is aimless. Without agility they are anchored. Without stability they are anxious. In a world of increasing complexity a surplus of data creates endless loops of analysis. The job of the leader is to ensure teams are galvanized rather than paralyzed. By creating an environment where people playfully co-create meaningful work, embracing the principle of emergence.

The Agile Leader role models the principles of psychological safety to drive a culture of confidence and engagement, an environment of safety and trust where adaptations emerge organically. They connect their teams with a known purpose, aligning momentum with a shared set of beliefs. The intent that guides the decision to pivot or persevere.
 

 
 

 
 

The Agile Leader Simulation Experience

 

Context

The NYSE trading floor. A place where the surfeit of information is directly proportional to the limits of time for analysis. In this environment, failure to move can be fatal. Assuming the role of  a trader the leader becomes the 'eyes and ears' of their clients' stocks. Giving them market colour, relaying rumours and finding liquidity from brokerage shops. All to earn the commission they depend upon. 

Before the bell rings they must consume every piece of data they can find: newspapers, email, Bloomberg terminals, news-wires and the likely spurious, informal tips. As the orders and look requests pour in the bell sounds and mayhem erupts. 

If the leader can survive that their next challenge is even greater. Join the management team of a startup and navigate a series of events including the awakening of an incumbent giant ready to flex. 
 

Task

Leaders assume the role of a NYSE trader and live the experience of managing a portfolio of clients’ stocks for a day. If successful, they are brought on to a fast-growing tech startup impressed by the connection to capital and streetwise resilience. Each environment, distinct yet alike in their pace and with a pre-requisite need for agility ensure leaders will:

  • Become comfortable in uncertainty and seek out patterns in data flows
  • Practise speed and responsiveness in a high-octane environment
  • Embrace the principles of emergence and collective intelligence
  • Create the psychological safety of high performing teams
  • Decide when to pivot or persevere
  • Capture subsequent, real world qualitative and quantitative impacts