Manager Agility, Speed and Adaptability: The New Differentiators

We’re living in an environment in which there always seems to be too much work and not enough time. That’s one of the reasons why agility, speed and adaptability are being touted as the new competitive advantages for organizations.

At the level of execution in particular, agility has never been more critical to organizational success, and the responsibilities are lying squarely on the shoulders of today’s managers. Being able to move the organization from Point A to Point B quickly and effectively requires managers who can optimize communications, workflows, problem solving and performance.

Here are just a few of the areas that are requiring managers to be faster and more agile, and the potential implications for your management development plans:

Communication: Whether working across functions or with teams, direct reports, customers, colleagues or supervisors, to avoid misunderstandings that can slow down progress, managers need to be able to quickly adapt communication to the needs of others.

  • Do your new and emerging leaders know how to optimize and shorten communication time, regardless of whom they are interacting with?

Getting Things Done: Leaders need to learn how to quickly and efficiently execute on organizational initiatives, and that means knowing when and how to get work done through others and manage the thinking resources on a project.

  • Do you have the managerial talent to execute where you need to go? Do they know how to leverage their own brainpower and the brainpower around them in the most efficient, optimal ways?

Innovation and Problem Solving: Quickly coming up with breakthrough ideas and solutions requires leaders who can bring together and manage diverse thinking and put it to work to solve problems efficiently and permanently.

  • Do your emerging managers know how to encourage innovative thinking from everyone, and lead an effective problem-solving process so issues are addressed quickly and permanently?

Getting to Application Fast: Leading, whether it’s part of a person’s title or not, requires a new level of thinking agility and skill. High-potentials and emerging leaders need to expand their thinking capacity through more business-focused application of learning, and they need tools to readily apply what they learn to daily business issues.

  • Do your new and emerging managers understand the mental demands of the job and how to practically apply learning to quickly grow into leadership responsibilities? Do you have a consistent, actionable framework to enable you to align their development with overarching business strategies and initiatives?

Many companies are concerned the “bench” isn’t ready to step up to the challenge. A Right Management study found that the lack of potential leaders is the most pressing human resource challenge organizations expect to face.

Are you seeing a need for greater agility in your organization? What are you doing to make sure your new and emerging leaders are ready to take the organization where it needs to go? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Tags: Middle Managers, High potentials, leadership development, Training and Development, Management Training, Training, Emerging Leaders, Whole Brain Manager, Whole Brain Thinking

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