This timeless, succinct definition of leadership is one of the many pearls of wisdom Warren Bennis has shared over the years. No doubt, there are many dimensions, skills and nuances about leadership inspiration, intelligence, skills and insights packed into the phrase and required to “translate vision into reality”. Most great leaders that I have observed have a noticeably superior skill at articulating, in very authentic manner, their vision for the enterprise and what it means for all of us in real, tangible and inclusive ways. The truly extraordinary leaders also have the situational intelligence to help each team recognize their role in the success equation, feel the gravitas of their contribution and create the unity of focused, fast and flexible teams throughout the organization. These are some of the central elements in our notion of Leadership Agility … which FORBES declared as the “defining ingredient in next generation leadership”.
THE BIG QUESTION … is how you can tell if your leaders are having meaningful IMPACT with their organizations and whether there is any correlation between the capabilities of your leaders and the competitive capabilities displayed by your business teams, divisions or the overall enterprise? Many of our clients appreciate being able to draw this correlation when they conduct both the ORGANIZATIONAL AGILITY PROFILE (OAP) and our LEADERSHIP AGILITY PROFILE 360 (LAP). Both of these assessments provide multi-rater summary perspectives to assess critical organizational and leadership behaviors using our research-based agility framework … THE AGILE MODEL®.
Below is a sample AGILITY HEATMAP that is one of the diagnostic tools we use in our Organizational Agility Profile. You can see how the HEATMAP highlights key differences between business units, job levels as well as between functions, company tenure, geographic regions and other organizational dimensions.
The perspective becomes even more insightful as leaders can compare their own Leadership Agility Profile as well as the individual profiles of their leadership teams in comparison to the overall profile of the business unit or function. We tend to find high correlations in areas like decision-making, engagement and with bias for action and innovation.
Importantly, it enables a very potent conversation about the relationship of individual capabilities in agile leadership and the corresponding team or organizational profile. Here is a sample LAP SPYDERGRAM that is one of the illustrations in our LAP 360 report. Whether using our tools or other quality instruments, it is important to bridge the conversation between leadership and organizational impact. It is often very hard because of the revolving door and movement of leaders in and out or across organizations.
Each of the 15 Agile Capabilities leads to real and meaningful business building outcomes. Having just recently gone in for my annual physical, I had many diverse diagnostic and insightful assessments about my overall health … blood pressure, EKG, blood work along with the occasional x-ray as needed. As my doc reviewed all of these findings with me, I got a clear picture of my overall health and indications of the areas where I needed to pay more attention.
In many respects, that is what our OAP and LAP does for our clients when part of a regular “check-up” … annually or bi-annually to check in on the organizational health and agility drivers. With all the health consciousness dominating our personal lives – makes good sense to apply some of the same good thinking to our organizations and leaders. I would love to get your thoughts and perspectives also – what is working for you?