Waiting is failure

An authentic response to creating an agile organisation requires real change.

OPINION

I have yet to meet a CEO who rejects the idea of strategic agility, or organisational resilience.

The approach to achieving resilience through agility is founded on establishing a fast tempo through early detection, rapid response and focused exploitation, within a continuously changing strategic landscape.

The detect-respond-exploit cycle confronts the linear planning and resource allocation models used by most organisations. An authentic response to creating an agile organisation requires real change.

I almost never confront a person’s failure to change directly as 'you are wrong!' or 'we have no need to be agile!' Rather failure comes dressed as good intentions tempered with 'we need to follow process' or 'now isn't the right time.'

Waiting is an easy way to look like you are embracing change. But waiting is seldom the best strategy. It comes in many forms:

Waiting for the new person to start

Waiting for permission

Waiting for feedback

Waiting for the right moment

Waiting until things settle down

Waiting until the project starts

Waiting until the project finishes

Waiting for the survey results

Waiting for the analysis

Waiting for the report

Waiting for the election

Waiting for the restructure

Waiting forever....

In complex situations action precedes understanding. If it is the right thing to do, do it now. Confront the barriers to change head on. Because if agility is success, then:

WAITING IS FAILURE.

Steve McCrone is executive director of Cornwall Strategic