Giving up the illusion that you can predict the future is a very liberating moment. All you can do is give yourself the capacity to respond…the creation of that capacity is the purpose of strategy. – Lord John Browne
Given a choice between perfect planning and agility, I choose the latter. It has served me well, especially in today’s economy. The old economy rewarded planning, process and the status quo. We had such a focus on production and meeting demand. Things were predictable and the analysts, accountants and engineers were the golden children.
Today, change creates such a high level of uncertainty that the old technicians are tools rather than the talent coveted. If you can innovate, solve problems and tact with the winds of change then the world is knocking at your door. The talent today is able to respond and has a large capacity to do so. It does require letting go of control and embracing change.
Here are some ways to choose and embrace agility:
- Build flexible systems. Don’t count on your systems lasting forever. They work for today. Ensure that they are modular in design. When the time comes to change out tools, the system should still remain whole despite a substitution.
- Always bring value. A lot of life is about timing. Be sure to treat your colleagues, customers, business partners and even family with respect and care. It may not be the perfect timing today, but your brand makes an imprint that lasts. It all comes back to you whether good or bad.
- Think “Always Better”. Change something now in how you do things. Then keep looking for things to change every day. It’s a key habit to being a refiner. As you refine, you innovate. You are looking for something better, which the world is relentlessly offering.
A lot of what I do for clients revolves around change. Their market has changed. They have changed. Their circumstances are different. A lot of the stress comes from unmet expectations when the facts change.
The antidote is choosing agility – the ability to change quickly – rather than seeking that elusive sure thing.
How is your world changing and how can agility, rather than control, help you?