What is an Agile Anticipatory Organization?

In This Issue

  • What is an Agile Organization?
  • Beyond the Buzzword: Agility is Not Enough
  • The Anticipatory Organization
  • The Missing Competency
  • The Number One Certainty
  • The Skills of the Anticipatory, Agile Worker
  • Introducing Everything DiSC® on Catalyst with Agile EQ™

What is an Agile Organization?

An agile organization is a term applied to organizations that are quick in responding to changes in the marketplace or environment. The agile organization is focused on its customers' needs which call for customized rather than standardized offerings. A highly agile organization uses advanced processes, tools, and training that enable successful reactions to the emergence of new competitors, rapid advancements in technology, and sudden shifts in overall market conditions.

“Agility” is becoming more than a buzzword; it’s a requirement. Organizations have to be ready for challenges they couldn’t have imagined five years ago. Why are organizations eager to become more agile, flexible, and resilient? Because the marketplace is being constantly reshaped by powerful macro forces:

  • groundbreaking technology,
  • unprecedented workforce diversity, and
  • relentless competition.

Also, there are measurable human and economic game changers that extend beyond our capacity to control.

Agility is not enough

In his bookThe Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantange, Best-selling author, Daniel Burrus cites a well-known expression that tells us that the future holds only two certainties -- death and taxes. He states, "The future is far more certain than you realize--and knowing where to find certainty in an uncertain world provides a big advantage for those who have learned how and where to look."

Burrus continues, "Being agile is very important, but is simply no longer good enough because we are living in an era of accelerating disruption--not simple change, but outright transformational change." Consider the following Anticipatory Organization Model:

The Missing Competency: The Ability to Anticipate

Burrus poses these "What If" questions:

What if you . . .

  • Could see disruptions before they impacted your career, organization, and industry?
  • Could accelerate innovation with far greater certainty and much lower risk?
  • Could predict problems and solve them before they happened?
  • Were able to establish a culture of incremental and exponential innovation in your organization?

The Number One Certainty

Burrus emphasizes that the number one certainty in this world is that the future is all about relationships. Certainly, technology is advancing at an exponentially faster rate. But, all the technology in the world is secondary to interaction between people--constructive, trust-based interaction. Without that, what good is the most amazing technology.

Do your people have the tools they need to cope with whatever comes next, logistically, and emotionally? As you build your agile workplace, do you know what you’re asking of employees?

The Skills of the Anticipatory/Agile Worker

So, what can we expect from workers who’ve developed their agility and then develop their anticipatory skills? At all levels, they employ their personal authority to make decisions and manage everyday changes. Agile workers demonstrate core social and emotional strengths that make teamwork and problem solving possible.

The Value of EQ in the Workplace

The elements of emotional intelligence—another hot topic today—are the building blocks of agility. But how does emotional intelligence support agility? Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to read the emotional and interpersonal needs of a situation and respond appropriately; agility is the ability to do that even if it’s difficult.

EQ skills also foster trust-based relationship that Burrus mentions as the number one certainty. I suggest that building an EQ savvy workforce with exceptional trust-based interaction skills will foster a culture with anticipatory skills and agility.

How can organizations develop the emotional intelligence necessary to support what they most need today—a thriving agile culture that also fosters the ability to anticipate?

Introducing Everything DiSC® on Catalyst™

What’s the best way to nurture EQ and improve workplace relationships that can grow agility in an effective scalable way? The new Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™ program is one answer. It’s an assessment grounded in the proven DiSC Dimensions of Behavior model. Boosting EQ and becoming more agile is like building a muscle, and the Agile EQ assessment outlines the exercises that will lead to growth for everyone. Combining the Everything DiSC Workplace and Agile EQ profiles from within the DiSC on Catalyst Learning platform is the ideal cost-effective, scalable solution.

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