Current State

Brandon Hall Group defines organizational agility as the ability of an organization to adapt, change quickly and succeed in a rapidly changing, disruptive environment. Organizational agility is an organization’s readiness to respond to sudden and often profound change.

In this era of digital transformation, the biggest competitive advantage an organization has is to anticipate its customers’ needs and respond quickly. Success depends on delivering value with as little lead time as possible, introducing new strategies quickly and being prepared to quickly address emerging opportunities.

Complications

Unfortunately, most organizational structures, processes and cultures were built decades ago and are not constructed for a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) environment. Most organizations also are not good at change management or marshaling resources, including new technology, to adapt to change.

Biggest Concerns of HCM, Business Leaders in 2020

Organizational agility, according to Brandon Hall Group research, is reliant upon great leadership and high employee engagement. However, the research shows that more than 40% of organizations don’t believe their leaders have the competencies and emotional intelligence to drive organizational success. And merely 15% say their overall workforce is highly engaged.

Consequences

Many organizations are not aligned on a common vision of how to adapt to change and control their evolution and success. These organizations lack ready leaders, workforces or technology that enables them to pivot and adapt as needed in a VUCA environment.

Critical Questions

  • What type of leaders do we need to make our organization more agile?
  • How do we accelerate the evolution of leadership development to address the ambiguity and complexity of business in the digital age?
  • What are the key drivers of employee engagement that can help our organization be more agile so we can have a competitive advantage in our market?

Brandon Hall Group POV

Organizations must have a culture that views change as an opportunity to drive innovation to improve the organization and better serve customers. We believe that organizational agility is an outcome of an engaged workforce. Therefore, employers must focus on these drivers of engagement:

DRIVERS OF ENGAGEMENT TO BUILD ORGANIZATIONAL AGILITY

Wellness/Well-being. Employees must be physically and emotionally healthy to do their best work, adapt to change, and innovate to improve individual and organizational performance. If employees have the tools to track and improve their well-being and there’s enough flexibility on the job to balance work with personal aspirations and responsibilities, they are in a better position to innovate and evolve.

Belonging. Having a strong connection to the organization helps employees feel confident adapting to new challenges. A sense of belonging is built from the hiring process, onboarding, having supportive managers, the right tools to do the job, an understanding of organizational values, an affinity to organizational leaders and the freedom to be one’s true self at work without fear of scorn or reprisal.

Feeling Valued. It is much easier for employees to put forth the required effort to evolve and change if they feel valued. That comes from having performance goals tied to career aspirations, receiving feedback and coaching from managers and peers, being compensated fairly and equitably and recognition for meaningful contributions. To be agile, employees must feel their contributions matter. Otherwise, why should they have to continually evolve and adapt?

Employee development. For employees to grow and change with the organization, there must be opportunities for continuous learning that go beyond courses to coaching, mentoring and learning from peers through a variety of networks, participation in team practices and having time to practice new skills.

Career advancement. There must be something to employment besides a paycheck and helping the organization grow. There must be opportunities for career advancement. Why should employees keep evolving if it doesn’t fulfill their professional goals? There must be mutual benefits for employee and employer if the organization is going to be truly agile. Career advancement does not necessarily mean moving up the management ladder. It means being able to grow within one’s current position or perhaps changing course in their career.

Alignment with the organization’s mission and goals. This is imperative for employees to grow, change and adapt. Employees, especially younger generations, want to know what the organization stands for. Many want to actively participate in demonstrating those values within the organization and in the community.


Brandon Hall Group Strategy Briefs answer the critical questions learning, talent, HR and business leaders must address to manage their human capital. To tackle these critical questions in more detail, we built tools, frameworks, research summaries and business builders based on up-to-date research and case studies for you to implement best and next Human Capital Management (HCM) practices. To gain access to these valuable resources, contact success@brandonhall.com.

Leading minds in HCM choose Brandon Hall Group to help them build future-proof employee-development plans for the new era. For more than 27 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world, influencing the development of over 10,000,000 associates and executives.