Agility: an integral look at the agility of individuals and organizations

The necessity to be able to quickly respond to the market is only increasing. Therefore, a tool that maps the agility of your personnel and organization is an absolute must.

Is your organization agile? Are your employees agile enough to cope with the quickly changing demands of the market? And do you know where and how you can increase the agility in your organization?

The necessity to be able to quickly respond to the market is only increasing. Therefore, a tool that maps the agility of your personnel and organization is an absolute must.
The reasons why you need to know if and how agile your organization and personnel are, have the most to do with a number of developments that we have observed:

1. The only certainty that you can count on nowadays, is continuous change

We are receiving more and more signals that the financial crisis is behind us, and this means that new opportunities will present themselves. Economic growth is slowly returning and companies are carefully starting to invest again. Despite this fact, there are still many uncertainties with regards to how resilient this new economic growth is, and what your clients expect of your organization post crisis. Simply going back to your familiar pre-crisis business model is usually not enough to continue to succeed in the future. Many industries are confronted with disruptors that are quickly turning the world upside down for the established order.

Think of how an online company such as Coolblue has quickly conquered a large segment of the consumer electronics retail market. Or how a company such as Airbnb is starting to dominate the renting out and booking of private accommodations, without even having a physical presence. Being able to take the right decisions, cleverly and quickly, is vital in this period in time. And this clearly indicates the urgency of agility; organizations simply need to be agile in order to be able to distinguish themselves.

2. Continuous development as a prerequisite for lasting labor

Just as an organization cannot simply keep on doing the same things, nor can an employee just assume that his or her way of working will still be relevant tomorrow. On the one hand ´classic labor´ is being taken over by smart technology. On the other hand, certain types of labor are simply not relevant anymore because of the quickly changing word.

Think of how the 3D-printer is providing astounding new possibilities for new ways of production. Or how, thanks to the introduction of the self scan, the role of cashiers is quickly changing to a point where they are only spot checking the groceries that clients pay for themselves with their bank card. These types of developments display that, besides the organization, the employee him or herself also needs to be agile in order to be able to participate in the labor market.

3. Agility of the individual and the organization as the key to durable deployability

Because of these fast-moving and continuous changes, getting and keeping a permanent job is no longer a given. After all, what might be necessary today, might be superfluous tomorrow. Organizations increasingly work with a flexible shell; that has by now become a fixed part of the personnel file. A shell of people who, on a project basis, come together and cooperate for as long as the assignment takes. In turn, the fixed pool is more and more moving from function-oriented towards role-oriented labor.

In this new way of working, an increasing number of higher educated people choose their own path in a more conscious way (how, where and when can I apply my talent? And how can I make sure that I will remain visible and deployable in the labor market?) This way, the war on talent is also getting a new dimension. Organizations are looking for precisely the right person to help them out at the right moment and for the right duration. And in turn, that one specialist is looking for the best fitting assignment at the best moment for them.

In order to cope with trends like this one, organizations have made agility a top priority. Still, this often happens without clearly defining what agility actually is. This can sometimes result in the term remaining quite vague to people and being used in the same way as terms like 'learnability' and 'flexibility'. Come to that, we have not even addressed what agile working contributes to your specific situation. Agility is more than just the willingness to adjust. It is a way of working that makes your organization agile and successful in its own way.

Five dimensions
How and where an employee, team or entire organization has the aptitude to be agile, will be made clear in the following five dimensions of Talent Match Agility:
  1. Innovate: thinking outside of the box, thinking up new solutions.
  2. Change: undertake new things, being curious about new situations.
  3. Connect: exchange ideas and opinions, learning from each other and understanding each other.
  4. Realize: being driven to make a success out of something, finding the best way of achieving results.
  5. Reflect: critically looking at one's own performances, making an effort to improve.

These five dimensions create an integral insight into agility. This way, agility becomes a continuous cycle of improvement. A cycle that makes agility tangible and measurable.  By mapping agility as a cycle, it becomes clear where your strengths and focal points are in specific situations. It becomes clear why new ideas regularly appear, but why we are not able to cash in on these ideas. Or why there are regularly moments of alignment, but not a lot of new things are launched in the end.

Talent Match Agility tool
PiCompany has incorporated this approach to agility in a new tool: the Talent Match Agility. This online tool maps agility by measuring the combination of personality characteristics and drives of employees. These form the foundation of five dimensions of agility. Agility also leads the way towards fitting talent and performance management. This in turn will help you to realize your organization's objectives.

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