The Secrets of Organizational Agility #1: it’s an “AND” Proposition
For the majority of managers, executives and CEOs , organizational agility is an ordeal. They are increasingly getting overwhelmed, falling behind and wondering why. On the other hand, the minority are increasingly getting organized for agility, are pulling ahead and knowing why (What Separates the Minority from the Majority?). The minority understand the first secret of agility:
For organizational agility to not be an ordeal, it has to be an “and-deal”
not an “or-deal”.
It’s an “AND” Proposition not an “OR” Proposition
|Not too Loose||and||Not too Tight|
|Not too Structured||and||Not too Un-Structured|
|Not too Hands-off||and||Not too Hands-on|
|Not under-Thinking||and||Not over-Thinking|
|Not under-Planning||and||Not over-Planning|
The majority tends to hold these attributes in mind as “or” propositions, which are mutually exclusive opposites of one “or” the other. The minority understands that these are “and” propositions, for which creative approaches can provide us the power of a paradoxical blend right down the middle, of one “and” the other.
Roger Martin calls this Integrative Thinking:
“The leaders I have studied share at least one trait, aside from their talent for innovation and long-term business success. They have the predisposition and the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads. And then, without panicking or simply settling for one alternative or the other, they’re able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea”. (Roger Martin, 2007, “The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking”).
For organizational agility, we must be integrative thinkers, mastering the challenge of the “and”. Those “and” propositions listed above and many more, including the strengths of our left-brain (which is analytical, linear, and logical) and our right-brain (which is creative, non-linear and holistic). Agility is a whole-brain, whole team, whole organization challenge of integrative thinking for a complex mix of “and” propositions.
Sustained success in business is increasingly challenging these days. Being in the minority not the majority starts with knowing the secrets or organizational agility. Find out more about why, what, when, where, how and who at In the Driving Seat.