How Do Effective Leaders Drive Business Agility

In a recent study by Accenture titled, Leadership Imperatives for an Agile Business, the authors conclude that building the right leadership team is essential to fostering agility. Leaders in the agile organizations they studied typically excelled in the following three dimensions:

  1. Vision and strategy
  2. Relationship between leaders and followers
  3. Driving results

I would argue that the relationship between leaders and followers is the most critical of the three. As Accenture describes it, this dimension relates to:

“How leaders leverage the energy and talents of others by finding the right people, enlisting their support, building and motivating teams, and resolving conflicts.”

It is clear to see that the absence of this dimension would have a dramatic impact on an organizations Vision and Strategy as well as their ability to Drive Results.

Check out Accenture’s checklist of How Effective Leaders Drive Business Agility and see how each key action either depends on or contributes to a quality relationship between leaders and followers.

Leadership Aspect Key Questions Key Actions
Develop a long-term strategy built for change How can you learn to see opportunity in uncertainty? Ensure there are ongoing opportunities—workshops, conferences, group discussions—to consider trends and emerging possibilities.
Build effective leadership at all levels How can you cascade effective leadership traits throughout the organization? Involve potential successors in some key executive meetings and workshops.
Create leadership ensembles How do you make leadership more flexible and adaptable? Deploy executives and managers in a network that can shift and re-form to address new challenges. Leverage temporary teams and task forces to tackle particular issues and opportunities.
Encourage diversity of thought How can you think not only for today but also for tomorrow? Introduce executives from other industries into the leadership team to broaden its perspective. Bring in outside thinkers—academics, researchers, authors, etc.— as a means of shaking up conventional thinking.
Make rapid decisions and execute What structures do you need to have in place to speed up decision making and then the implementation of decisions? Reinforce senior leadership alignment around critical topics so that, when you need to make rapid decisions, you are already aligned. Create a more flexible operating model that enables you to move resources efficiently from one set of initiatives to another.
Establish accountability How can you reward results, not just activity? Clarify expectations, roles, and responsibilities. Take action immediately when issues arise.

Contact us to discuss how we can help your leadership team contribute to the agility of your organization.