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Welcome
We thank you for taking the time to explore this newsletter.  

In this issue we explore the topic of Agility: what makes individuals, teams and organisations more agile.  It is a fascinating topic which we can only touch on here.  Our hope however, is you become curious enough to explore the topic further as to how it best applies to you and your organisation.

Research strongly supports the fact that organisations who have been successful over many decades have an ability to adapt, be flexible and evolve; i.e., be agile.  This ability to "be agile" is often a greater characteristic than the ability to access resources.

Below, we discuss agile leadership, organisational agility, team agility and have provided a review of the book "Emotional Agility" by Susan David.

New training program dates have been announced for 2017. See below to save the date!  

We hope you enjoy the read.

 
Our best regards
The Right Mind Team 

Quote of the month.....
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom"
Viktor E. Frankl
     
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CREATING THE AGILE ORGANISATION
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Organisational agility is having the flexibility to respond to an ever-changing environment and increasingly competitive market place. It is also about creating an adaptable organisation that establishes reliable processes and practices and a responsive, positive, energetic and creative workforce focused on delivering business and customer value.

Benefits of Agility
Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that agile firms grow revenue 37% faster and generate 30% higher profits than non-agile companies.

Key features of success

An Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 350 CEOs asked  "what are the critical traits of an agile business?" and the top three were:
  1. Importance of a high-performance culture;
  2. The ability to access the right information at the right time;
  3. Accountability.(!)
Yet most companies admit they are not flexible enough to compete successfully. While the overwhelming majority of executives view organisational agility as a competitive necessity, some 27% of respondents say that their organisation is at a competitive disadvantage because it is not agile enough to anticipate fundamental marketplace shifts.

Training for Agility is failing
Of concern is the large number of leadership training programs that fail in skilling people mentally and emotionally to deliver agility effectively.

Michael Beer et. al.  (*) in the October issue of the Harvard Business Review suggests two prime reasons for this. 

First, leaders view the organisation as an aggregation of individuals. So HR defines individual competencies according to the company’s strategy and then implements training programs designed to develop those competencies, believing that organisational change will follow.  Wrong.

Roles, responsibilities, and relationships are defined by the structure, processes, leadership styles, people’s professional and cultural backgrounds.  These elements together drive organisational behaviour and performance.

Second, HR managers and others find it difficult or impossible to confront senior leaders and their teams with an uncomfortable truth: A failure to execute on strategy and change organisational behaviour is rooted not in individuals’ deficiencies but, rather, in the policies and practices created by top management. These are the things to fix before training can succeed longer-term.  

Successful training for an agile organisation addresses all these issues concurrently.

(!) Organisational agility: How business can survive and thrive in turbulent times. EIU.

(*) Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It.   
WHAT MAKES AN AGILE LEADER?
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Success as an agile leader is best described as the capacity to shift from managing for results to designing environments that create results. In making the shift from managing for results (‘directive’) to designing environments that generate results (‘catalysing’), we’re not saying that the effective Agile Leader ignores the former. There are times when an Agile Leader uses directing, telling, controlling and incentives  to get things done; but they are not limited to – nor predisposed towards – these approaches. (*)

Specifically, research shows there are five key competency areas that are essential to be successful and achieve the shift outlined above.  These are:

Mental Agility: is the discipline to
manage what McKinsey (#) term the paradox of  stability (resilient, reliable, and efficient) and dynamic (fast, nimble, and adaptive).

People Agility: Being prepared to put the right people in the right position and creating the environment that allows them to deliver results.

Change Agility: Is being curious and effectively dealing with the discomfort of change.

Results Agility: Delivering results in first-time situations by inspiring teams, and exhibiting a presence that builds confidence in themselves and others.

Self-Awareness: the capacity for good emotional agility (see book review) to set the culture whilst maintaining strong accountability. It also means confronting when necessary, those uncomfortable truths described above.

(#) Wouter Aghina, Aaron De Smet, and Kirsten Weerda  (2015) Agility: It rhymes with stability. McKinsey Quarterly.
(*) Michael Hamman and Michael K. Spayd (2015), The Agile Leader.  Agile Coaching Institute.

AGILE TEAMS - THE THEORY OF 1%.
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Agile teams are continuously looking for improvement. For them, its not just at the annual review or strategy workshop - it's daily.  And one of the best ways to achieve this agility is to apply the theory of marginal gains. 

The theory has its roots in Kaizen or continuous improvement theory and has been popularised recently by Sir Dave Brailsford, former manager of the British Sky bicycle racing team.

Simply stated, it is reviewing every single thing you do on the job and looking for a 1% improvement. Improving by just 1% isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run.  The keys to success are:
  • Identify the critical success factors and ensure they are in place, and then focus your improvements around them.
  • Note, marginal gains don’t work if only half the team buy in. 
The aggregation of marginal gains is the same as compounding interest in your bank account. 
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Perhaps the most powerful benefit of the principle of marginal gains is that it creates a contagious enthusiasm. Everyone starts looking for ways to improve. There’s something inherently rewarding about identifying marginal gains – it is not as stressful as looking for a 20% improvement in the bottom line (and no-one is certain about where to look!!).
BOOK REVIEW -  EMOTIONAL AGILITY: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life
by Susan David
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We are fortunate to have been trained by Susan David many years ago in the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT): an instrument we continue to use with Susan’s input in our leadership programs.  

As Susan points out, there is a large body of research that shows that when we are able to differentiate and be fairly nuanced around our so-called negative emotions, that this is a critical psychological skill. For example, there is very big difference between being stressed versus angry.  We are only able to start resolving the situation effectively when we can put an accurate label to that emotion.

Her book, Emotional Agility, is a framework for enabling behavioural change.  At the core are four steps which are explained simply by making an otherwise complex topic very readable. The steps are:

1.     Acknowledging and naming the emotional state you are in.

2.     Detaching from the emotion by moving to the observer position which creates space to manage.

3.     Relate to your purpose and values to gain the state you want.

4.     Establishing practices for creating the shift you want.

There are plenty of good tips in this book and we encourage you to read the in-depth review.

 
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TRAINING  - WHAT'S COMING UP....
OTHER KEY PROGRAMS FOR  2016 / 2017
(new dates are added continously - check our website for new announcements)
 
STEPPING UP:
 - TOWNSVILLE, 6-7 DECEMBER 2016
 - TOOWOOMBA, 23-24 FEBRUARY 2017
 - TOOWOOMBA, 15-16 JUNE 2017
 
POWER OF ENGAGEMENT
 - GOONDIWINDI, 2-3 FEBRUARY 2017
 
LATTICE SELLING:
 - BRISBANE, 14-15 MARCH 2017
- MELBOURNE, 8-9 JUNE 2017


 RURAL LEADER'S BOOTCAMP:
 - BRISBANE, 21-23 MARCH 2017
- BRISBANE, 5-7 SEPTEMBER 2017

NEGOTIATORS TOOLKIT:
 - BRISBANE, 4-5 APRIL 2017
 - MELBOURNE, 4-5 APRIL 2017

ALLAN PARKER - NEGOTIATION FOR CHANGE AND LEADERSHIP
- CAIRNS, 21-22 FEBRUARY 2017
- BRISBANE, 16-17 MARCH 2017

MANAGING DYNAMIC GROUPS:

- BRISBANE, 28 FEBRUARY - 1 MARCH 2017
 
*All program can be tailored for private and internal groups
 
SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE PROGRAMS, DATES and LOCATIONS
The Right Mind International Pty Ltd
138 Flinders Parade (Po Box 377)
Sandgate  Qld 4017
Freecall: 1800 1900 11   ||    Email: info@therightmind.com.au
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