Being nimble is an attractive quality – you would think – sort of the ideal combination of speed and stability. If it really were that attractive, why wouldn’t more organizations model it as a way of being?

Let’s begin with a definition: “quick and light in movement or action – agile.” Sounds compelling, right? Experience tells us it is a commonly held aspiration – start-ups go fast to prove themselves as potential unicorns – more established organizations want to go fast – but there are complications.

When an organization can strike the balance – manage the tension as it were – we call it “Organizational Agility.” It is this elusive condition that will be required in a world where change is constant and the pressure on leaders in the face of those changes is escalating. Over the next few weeks we will explore this concept. For now here are some questions you might ask your leadership team to answer:

  • On a scale of 1-5 (1 being the slowest to respond, 5 being the fastest) how would you rate your organization’s ability to detect and respond to significant changes (e.g. competitive, regulatory, climatic, political) in your operating environment?
  • On a scale of 1-5 (1 being least stable, 5 being most stable) how would your associates, customers and/or board of directors describe their experience of your organization’s responses to those changes?

Your scoring on these questions will provide an initial assessment of your current Organizational Agility:

organizational agility


Join us next week for a look into what is at stake for your organization regardless of your initial assessment. If you feel you have achieved Organizationally Agility we would like to hear about it. In the meantime you may want to survey some more constituencies to see how others assess where you are organizationally.

Good luck.