Agility is a collection of skills, beliefs and thinking habits aimed at being responsive and nimble with people and processes, opportunities, and problems.
Becoming agile means learning to use these ways of working to generate more effective problem-solving, smarter decision-making, calculated risk, and more productive collaboration. It’s an increasingly necessary but lengthy endeavour that requires patience, continuous learning, and consistent effort – but is well worth it.
Here are five questions to consider and steps you can take towards becoming more agile.
1. Does your team work in an environment that is psychologically ‘safe’?
Agility is about risk-taking, and many organisations reward those who take risks that pay off, but not those that fail. Your communicators’ effectiveness at learning through failure can make or break any attempts at becoming agile. Make sure there’s plenty of encouragement to try new things and learn through both the good and the bad.
2. Does your team have line of sight to the people, projects, and processes that will inform an agile approach?
Transparency and line of sight across projects, processes, relationships, and outcomes is essential for your team to see results, identify and get ahead of barriers, and track drivers of performance. Where line of sight is lacking, is where you’ll need to support your team and help them work out how to get it.
3. Does your team know who your communicators are?
People are at the heart of agility – they’re the ones who will be doing this work! Often in large or de-centralized teams, even fellow communicators only have a partial understanding of who’s communicating in their organisations. Make sure your team is aware of who should be involved, their roles and responsibilities, and how to best engage with them.
4. Is your team in touch with your partners in this work?
Don’t go it alone. Your team (especially), business partners, leaders, managers, champions, and some of your core audience groups have important ideas and contributions to make. Involving others early and often in your team’s efforts to become agile brings them along on the journey and will help boost their own agility as well as your own success.
5. Does your team know your business priorities and have metrics for what defines a job done well (or not)?
Aiming for agility through iterative design can increase the already massive number of project ideas and processes in your communications portfolio by a thousand-fold. To help, make sure your team knows that agility prioritises prioritisation – not only by defining what comes first and what might follow, but by using metrics and milestones to make informed decisions along the way.
Agile planning is a core element of our new Keystone Communicator Series, a highly interactive, hybrid training programme that equips communicators with the core skills they need to be successful as a communicator today. To find out more about how you and your team could benefit from the series, get in touch.