Surviving the Waves of Change with Personal Agility

Man surfing a big wave

Over the past four years, the world has been a tumultuous sea of challenges for individuals and businesses alike. The CoVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns, escalating inflation, and the rise of AI, have all unleashed powerful waves that has knocked many organisations off their feet. These disruptive forces have reshaped the once-familiar shores of stability and predictability, leaving us to navigate uncharted waters. These waves are relentless, and if we are not prepared, we risk being wiped out at any moment. 

The key to survival in this ever-changing landscape is Personal Agility.

Personal Agility is the ability to anticipate and swiftly respond to shifting conditions in our fast-paced global environment. It requires a proactive approach to change, embracing opportunities, reevaluating assumptions, and effectively adapting to new realities. 

Imagine a surfer. Before they can ride the waves skillfully, they train their bodies to be agile, enabling them to ride and conquer even the most colossal swells. In the same way, individuals, teams, and organisations must cultivate agility to navigate the volatile, uncertain, and complex business world successfully.  

Research highlights the many benefits of personal agility.  

When you have this competency, you will be able to: 

  • Manage changing situations and transitions with ease. 
  • Examine situations from multiple perspectives. 
  • Anticipate the need for change before it is imposed. 
  • Strategically and proactively embrace change. 
  • Rethink assumptions. 
  • Be adaptable and flexible in the face of change. 
  • Learn from experiences and adjust approaches accordingly.

Real-Life Examples of Personal Agility's Impact 

To grasp the true value of developing this invaluable competency, let us consider how Personal Agility has helped companies like Novartis and Unilever brave the hostile waves of the business world: 

Unilever's Journey: To balance the unique needs of local markets with global operations, Unilever established 300 remote, global agile teams. These teams harnessed digital capabilities to customise products for rapidly changing local markets while aligning their efforts across multiple countries. This agile approach empowered Unilever to flourish in a rapidly changing business environment, fostering sustainable growth. 

Novartis' Agile Leap:Novartis leveraged agile methods to seize new opportunities and growth. Investing in training front-line workers to use data for innovation, the company became more agile in the face of evolving market conditions. Digital tools enabled them to optimise sales and predict market trends, elevating the quality of healthcare services and improving prescription-fulfilment systems and processes.

Developing Personal Agility 

To truly cultivate the invaluable competency of personal agility, you need to take specific actions that foster your and your team's ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of life and work. Since it all starts with YOU - the leader - here are some practical steps YOU can do to develop your personal agility: 

Acknowledge and Embrace Change Phases.  

Change triggers a range of human responses, from denial and resistance to exploration and new beginnings. It's essential to recognise these natural reactions and commit to keeping an open mind throughout the various stages of change. Embracing change as a constant in life allows us to adapt and grow with confidence. 

Seek Information and Stay Curious.  

Being agile requires staying informed and curious about the world around us. You can do this by asking questions, seeking relevant information, and maintaining a "big picture" view of global realities. When you anticipate changes before they occur, you can better prepare yourself for what lies ahead. 

Differentiate Fact from Fiction.  

In a sea of information, it's crucial to distinguish between what is real and what is merely speculation or wishful thinking. Recognise what aspects of a situation are within your control and beyond your influence. By focusing on what you can manage, you can make informed decisions and take effective action. 

Surround Yourself with Support.  

During times of transition, seeking support from understanding and empathetic individuals can make a world of difference. Share your thoughts and concerns with trusted friends, mentors, or colleagues who can offer guidance and encouragement. 

Embrace Experimentation. 

Being agile means being willing to try new approaches and ideas. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with different strategies. Learning from these experiences will help you adapt more effectively to future challenges. 

Challenge Assumptions.  

Personal agility calls for a willingness to question long-held assumptions. It's essential to be open to alternative perspectives and be willing to adapt your beliefs based on new insights and evidence.

Personal Agility is a Competency to Survive the Waves of Change 

In a world where change is the only constant, personal agility emerges as a vital competency. By developing personal agility, you can navigate the turbulent waters of life and work with confidence and resilience. Embracing change as an opportunity for growth and innovation positions you and your organisation to thrive in the face of uncertainties. 

As Charles Darwin profoundly said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those most responsive to change."  

Through personal agility, you can become the surfer of change, skillfully riding the waves and embracing the journey of continuous transformation. 


We are here to help 

At   People Builders, we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who will help you and your team develop Social and Emotional Intelligence, Personal Agility, and many other competencies.     

Contact ustoday for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team. If you want to become a certified trainer and coach in Social and Emotional Intelligence or Extended DISC Behavioural Profiling, find out how by visiting the People Builders Institute website. 




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