Blog Post

Agility: The leader and their key role!

Elise Covilette

cofounder of the French EdTech Kokoroe

Nothing is worse than an organisation caught up in silos, processes and red lines. These days, the focus must be on agility. In other words, each organisation must develop its ability to adapt quickly to its environment – it is a question of survival!

The most common mistake when we talk about agility is to summarise agility in one characteristic. In reality, there is no such thing as one agile method, but multiple methods, and multiple aspects to consider. It's not enough to just create a new team with a name that sounds like "Silicon Valley".

One of the key factors that is often overlooked is the commitment and personality of the leader at the head of the organisation. Leaders play a strategic role: they can encourage agility or on the contrary, sometimes despite intentions, slow it down.

We all know about DNA. It is the molecule that has all the characteristics of a being. Scientists, Christensen, Dyer and Gregersen attempted to define the DNA of an innovative organisation and found that the starting point is the personality of the founder or manager of the team.

If it is oriented towards innovation, the latter will naturally tend to surround themself with creative profiles. The company will then encourage questioning, observation, collaboration and experimentation. And beyond these practices, it will stimulate a real culture based on the following strong principles:

· Innovation is everyone's business, not just R&D

· Breakthrough innovation is encouraged

· Project teams are small, agile and structured

· Intelligent risk-taking is encouraged 

In short, as we can see, the starting point of an agile and innovative organisation is first and foremost the personality and commitment of the leader at its head. Let us remember the words of Peter Drucker: “Leadership consists of raising a person's vision to higher heights, improving a person's performance to higher standards, building a personality that abolishes ordinary limitations.”

If you want to develop your high potential leaders by equipping them with the skills to motivate, engage and manage teams, you can find out more here.

This blog was originally published in the French Cornerstone blog.

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