How Does Agile Leadership Make A Difference To Businesses?

Agile leadership came into being when organizations understood how middle management wasn’t contributing to the proper growth and development of employees. In a way, they were holding them back instead of making the development process easier and faster. Although the agile approach was first used in the software development industry, it has spread its wings to almost all industries and professions. In such a short period, adopting a leadership approach at a global level can be attributed to how effective it is in helping different industries, departments, and teams become more efficient and productive.

How is agile leadership defined? How can organizations make the most of this approach? Agile leadership is one of the newest approaches to help leaders perform their responsibilities in a more efficient and effective manner. From the organization’s perspective, it allows them to adapt better to changes and drive innovation. In other words, agile leadership is a leadership approach that is ideal for leaders of the future.

The business world these days accepts and recognizes those organizations that are willing and capable of adapting to all the changes happening around. Organizations that want to be the best in their segment need to adopt management cultures and approaches that bring agility. Agile leadership has been a formula for success for several years now. And no wonder such a large number of organizations are making a move. It can also be concluded that the pandemic and the challenges that it brought with itself intensified the need for switching to agile leadership, which was put to a stern test as most leaders had to collaborate and communicate with their teams remotely.

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So, businesses that switched to the agile approach before the pandemic have little to worry about than those that didn’t. Agile leadership makes leaders fast, responsive, attentive and prepared. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that agile leaders are more likely to fare better in a VUCA world than those still following traditional leadership and management. The ideal agile leader facilitates the application of agility principles and values in almost everything they do. They build themselves teams that are always willing to go that extra mile for them by doing this. Another quality that differentiates agile leaders from traditional ones is their ability to balance total freedom and micromanagement. They don’t intrude into the personal space of their team members but, at the same time, ensure that they don’t let go of the control completely.

Delving deeper to find the foundations of agile leadership, it is clear that it has emanated from the OODA (Observe, orient, decide, act) loop, a four-step decision-making process. Breaking it all down, OODA guides leaders to follow a process whenever they are faced with a problem, no matter how big or small.

To begin with, they need to observe their surroundings and be completely aware of what’s happening. So, they need to know what is happening within their organizations, with their employees, clients, and other stakeholders. Once they are aware of the surroundings and people, they are better positioned to align themselves with them. So, leaders will have no problem whether it aligns with organizational goals or employees’ growth objectives. This provides leaders with everything they need to make the right decisions on what they need to do to put things in order. The next and final step is to take action based on the findings. The OODA approach has been around for quite a while and is very effective at both organizational and individual levels.

The objective of agile leadership is to build high-performing teams for different working environments. In the current situation, agile leadership will help create groups that will continue to perform no matter whether they work remotely or from the office. These teams can succeed in a VUCA world that is known to be both uncertain and complex. The OODA loop is a very effective tool that can help leaders handle and respond to the worst of VUCA situations. It allows leaders to trust their teams and give them the freedom to make decisions based on the situation. With the foresight these leaders have, they train their team members to better respond to market changes and make the most of technological opportunities in the future. That’s how teams led by agile managers understand what self-management is all about. And that’s what makes this leadership approach suitable for the modern world. It gives employees the freedom to do their work at their own pace – the current situation demands flexibility.

Agile leadership also promotes and works towards customer-centricity. Customers these days reach out to organizations through different kinds of digital modes. Organizations are also taking the necessary steps to meet and interact with customers digitally. Agile leadership allows leaders to interact with customers, answer their questions, and respond to their feedback through digital means. This helps in keeping the customer satisfaction rates high.

Now, what are the trailers of agile leaders? Leaders that follow the agile leadership approach focus on the needs of all those they are working with. They listen to others and take their perspectives seriously. They provide their employees with the guidance and care required to perform well and achieve goals. These leaders also ensure that they make their team members an integral part of the decision-making process. The team under agile leaders appears and functions more like a community. The trust and strong bond amongst team members with the leader is a result of the agile culture.


  • How Agile Leadership Is Going To Change Your Business | Vantage Circle | 29 September, 2021
  • What Is Agile Leadership, and Why Does It Matter? | Betterworks | October 11, 2021

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