Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Agile Strategists

Agile strategists have digital fluency, updated knowledge, strong “sense & sensibility” to create a strategy that is good enough to achieve goals dynamically and flexible enough to evolve emerging business properties and drive change proactively.

Strategy is about encompassing the business direction by focusing on the long term, diagnosing problems, making choices, and taking step-wise actions. To embrace change and become masters of change, forward-thinking companies need to compete through adaptability by being able to change faster and more cost-effectively than your competition can.

 So agile strategists are in demand to create agile strategies which are formulated and adjusted through the interaction of several decision nodes that are richly connected with each other through ongoing streams of information. Keep in mind, agility does not just mean higher productivity, it’s the ability to move with quick easy grace, to be nimble and adaptable; proactively adapt to changes to accelerate performance.

Agile strategists are strategic problem-solvers, collecting all necessary feedback to keep the strategy dynamic: In times of uncertainty and unpredictability, strategic problem-solving is an ongoing scenario and an iterative continuum. Thus, good strategists must be opportunistic and agile within a general strategy, and adapt their plans to fit the emerging environment while staying the overall course. Agile strategists must acknowledge that in a hyperconnected networked situation, they formulate a strategy and then encounter the real world of implementation, which provides feedback that allow them to continuously adjust the strategy on the move.

After setting a clarified vision, the first step to make a good strategy is to diagnose critical business problems. What exactly the problem is depends on perspectives of varying shareholders. Thus, agile strategists ask for their feedback on what they believe the problem to be but also be prepared to hear something you might not like or agree with. In this way, they have better chances to see around corners without ignoring some pieces of important information, optimize its usage, how to refine information and how to continue fine tuning a good strategy to transform their business smoothly.

Agile strategists are open-minded, informative and inquisitive to ask good questions and sharpen their strategic insight: The ubiquity of information has provided both growth opportunities and increasing risks to organizations. In the human context, information can trigger a sense of confidence, confirmation, validation, verification; in the business context, information feeds into business decision support systems and triggers business actions. Agile strategists are able to ask open-ended questions that evoke responses to enlighten or illustrate specific issues, say openly what is known and what is not, to not feed the illusion of knowing and controlling everything, and do their best to leverage quality information for crafting a good strategy.

Good agile strategists make good agile strategies to shape agile organizations. The goal of an Agile organization is simply to make a profit while respecting and promoting the integrity and well-being of its members and the community in which it resides and does business. The effective Information Management activities and scenarios should optimize information usage, understand and manage complexity, know how to prioritize based on the business needs, communicate extensively, and refine information business foresight for shaping a good strategy as well as enforce an iterative cycle of strategy management.

Agile strategists are flexible, dynamic, articulate and agile is a state of mind: In an unpredictable world, the business needs to be resilient to change because you cannot predict it. Agile is a mindset with emotional maturity and disciplined flexibility to solve problems and manage complexity. Agile is neither a golden hammer or a silver bullet, it is more like a silver mirror, you need to make continuous reflection and improvement. So agile strategy is not all about "making a strategy" as an end-product, but about implementing it afterwards. Therefore, it takes systematic thinking and planning upon strategic fit.

Agile is a state of mind, it is about embracing change, taking risks, thinking out of the box to encourage innovation and crafts a dynamic strategy. It is also about communicating about the quality of the strategy, being able to spread a clear message, engage people in continuous conversations and make proper adjustments on the say. It’s important to have the better opportunities to connect the dots across the geographical, functional, organizational, industrial, or generational boundaries and integrate multidisciplinary methodology for enabling digital leaders and professionals to look at the wider aspects around problem space and then understand the effect of imposing boundaries within that space, in order to frame a dynamic strategy and improve its success rate.

Strategic planning = Crafting strategy + Implementation + Accountable execution. Being Agile implies continuous changes, dynamic planning, discovering new ways of working, collaborating, delivering value by overcoming frictions and challenges. Agile strategists have digital fluency, update knowledge, strong “sense & sensibility” to create a strategy that is good enough to achieve goals dynamically and flexible enough to evolve emerging business properties and drive change proactively.


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