“Agile” and “agility” are probably the most frequently used words in business today. I’m not sure you can get through a business meeting, article, or advertisement that doesn’t mention how your business should be “agile”. Fifty-five percent of current organizations are using agile methods to build software, products and solve business problems, according to the 12th Annual State of Agile Report. And that trend is gaining momentum every day. So, if your business is going to be quick, adaptable, and resourceful, do you have agile people and teams to support those practices?
Our organizations have to change rapidly to meet customer needs. And although so many organizations are adopting different tools and processes, we are often falling behind in helping our workforce change. Here are a few key things you can focus on today to lay the groundwork for an agile workforce to support your future:
Address the need for teams to form, change, and disband at lightning speed
To solve problems quickly, your organization will need to be fluid. Long gone are the days of organization charts and siloed departments. My colleague and workforce of the future expert Alexandra Levit challenges us in her new book Humanity Works to think differently about how people will work together. Does your organization have cultural, physical or operational barriers that will prevent teams from coming together? Do they have the proper autonomy, authority, and capacity? Breaking down the barriers for teams to self- organize is critical to an agile business.
Have ways to get the right skills in the right place at the right time
You have a business issue that you’d like to solve quickly, but it takes months to recruit or weeks to bring on a contract resource. And on top of that, finding the actual skills you need might require going to another region or even a different country. Can you identify and onboard the skills you need in time to meet your business requirements? Are you rewarding the right behaviors? Now and in the future, you’ll need quick, effective processes for identifying internal and external talent.
Enable your people to learn and grow quickly
Traditional learning is getting a full makeover. Short, tailored training and help is available in so many different formats now. Wearable learning technology, QR codes on equipment, bite sized learning videos, gamification and more are enabling people to learn what they want and when they need it. Are your learning teams prepared to help your people learn and reskill in rapid cycles? Learning for the current job or role is important, but your people will also need to be learning for the next one as well.
Quick, adaptable, resourceful people and people processes can be the key to your agile success!
Cheryl Farley is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter at @CherylMFarley or connect by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.