100% of HR Leaders say the word ‘agile’ in a day of expertise in workplace culture. (2020 HR Leaders Forum).

At the HR Leaders Forum in Sydney this week, the message again and again is “we want our people to be agile”. Every single speaker used the word.

How agile are you?  In our experience, not very! I’m not being rude, just sharing what we hear, observe and see!  At work we like stability because it’s easier.  Using control as a primary strategy for confidence at work means that once we decide on something, we naturally don’t want to flex.  We don’t want to be challenged on our decisions.  Agility for many feels threatening, they don’t hear the word, they hear; work longer, harder and compromise your work life balance.

In the first cut of the #beyourselfatwork Global Survey. no-one has so far said that they live to work.  So, how much we are willing to give to be agile, is always going to be a challenge.

This word is getting branded as the ultimate answer to performance and culture.  So, what is agility?  Do we have to compromise to demonstrate it?  You might want to take heed as this is exactly what the majority of employers are currently looking for.  And if you are in HR or People and Culture, are you demonstrating it?  Are you non-conformist, motivated and excited?  We generally aren’t seeing that.  Oh-oh, see we don’t like challenge!  So, let’s look at agility with fresh eyes;

  • Being open-minded.
  • Asking for input and encouraging debate.
  • Using creativity to problem solve.
  • Not being stubborn or making it about you.
  • Letting go of needing control and instead, consciously introducing an element of going with the flow.

Being agile means letting go of needing to be right, whilst still being decisive.  It means opening conversations with an invitation to innovate.  Easy right? Err no Liz!

So, here are some ideas to help you;

  1. How focused are you when you start your day?  If your answer is ‘yes totally’ then you could be non agile.  Leave some slack in your day, in your agenda.
  2. Out of 10, how much of your work time is dedicated to reflecting, to dreaming, to envisioning?  I see this as 1-2/10 in most people.
  3. Over half of us get defensive when things go wrong (first cut of the #beyourselfatwork Global Survey).  How stubborn are you?  How often do you admit, even to yourself, that you might be wrong, and others might be right?  What perspective do you start with?  Be conscious of this.
  4. Challenge yourself to be more self-aware. People are inspired by people who are open to their ideas vs being dominated by the view of another. How open are you?

Food for thought.  The reality is that agility is here, are you demonstrating it?