What is Agility in Business and How Can You Bring Agility to Your Organization?

Publié le 15 mars 2019
In late 2016, Luxembourg’s government was looking for ways to attract Financial Technology (FinTech) companies to the area - and to encourage investment in that space. With their finger on the pulse, and sensing this would spur a need for specialized talent, a local recruitment specialist acted quickly, hiring a dedicated FinTech consultant. The task: to develop a pool of candidates in the emerging FinTech sector even before the companies arrived. 
 
This agile thinking and quick response soon paid off when one of their clients came with an urgent FinTech hiring need: a systems and security expert who could integrate their systems in accordance with EU regulations and wear other hats for the small and growing organisation. Even with the tight timeline, they were able to quickly respond. Due to earlier preparation, they placed an expert candidate within two weeks. One year later, the client is still happy with their hire, the candidate is thriving, and the local recruitment specialist – Badenoch + Clark Luxembourg – has become the go-to recruitment partner in Luxembourg’s FinTech space for technical roles all the way through C-suite searches. 
 
So, what’s the lesson here?
 
Being the first to identify and prepare for an emerging market helped Badenoch + Clark to grow a new line of business immediately into six figures with seven-figure projections within the first five years. Our developing expertise in the FinTech space has become so specialized that we’ve hired a second dedicated FinTech consultant to meet our clients’ needs. Without the agility and foresight to identify a future need, this wouldn’t have been possible. 
 
We talk a lot about agility, but what, exactly, is agility? 
The word is defined as the “ability to move quickly and easily” or to “think and understand quickly,” which brings us to our next question…

What does agility in business look like?
 
Agile people move with speed and ease. 
 
Those with mental agility process and understand information quickly. 
 
When it comes to business, organisational agility goes one step further: Agile organisations not only perceive market changes ahead of their competition, but their teams also rapidly respond and adapt both to survive and to thrive. In this way, agile organisations position themselves to make the most of change by evolving in a way that turns new trends into key opportunities.
 
 “VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is now a firmly established reality of the dynamic business environment in which we operate,” says Darren Robinson, Regional Head of Belgium + Luxembourg at Badenoch + Clark. “And this fact requires leaders with the agility to maneuver their organisations to best fit the circumstances.”
 
How can you bring this agile mindset into your business?
 
Companies can foster agility in their workplace with this three-pronged approach:
 
  1. Hire strategically, with soft skills in mind. “Strong candidates continuously seek to identify opportunities and anticipate needs,” says Robinson. Aim to hire adaptable employees who show a mastery of flexible thinking and collaboration.
  2. Manage with intention and trust. Task leaders with focusing their teams on positive outcomes without micromanaging their path toward these goals. Teams should direct themselves in a way that allows them to act on new developments, so don’t limit decision-making power to a bottleneck of high-level leaders. Encourage workers to adapt along the way and update their daily priorities as needed.
  3. Don’t wait for perfection. “Proactivity and speed of implementation are essential,” Robinson explains. So test constantly and always move forward with the understanding that anything can be updated if necessary. Learn from each iteration and move to improve. If teams wait to make decisions or launch a new service before someone at the top deems it perfect, then your organization may lose out to a more agile competitor. 
 
At Badenoch + Clark, our deep expertise and vast experience in high-level recruitment help us to identify and place agile candidates who make an impact in their organizations. 
 
If you’re familiar with our brand, you’ll see that we have a fresh new look, reflective of our commitment to be agile, to better anticipate your needs and to always be ready with help when you need us. Learn more about how we can work with your organization,including hiring agile team members. We look forward to collaborating.
 
Sources:
By 1999, one of the biggest automotive manufacturers was deep in the red and rapidly losing market share. The organization needed a lifeline—and fast—or it would be forced to shutter. By 2000, however, it was once again profitable and, by 2001, the company’s debt was cut in half. A new executive’s transformative leadership behind this turnaround included a focus on improving communication both at micro and macro levels within the organization. 
 
From being the first company president to directly communicate his vision to employees worldwide via video broadcast, to encouraging open discussion in high-level meetings, to holding question-and-answer sessions with employees, he proved his understanding of communication’s importance, especially in an international company operating in a global economy. 
 
"Because we have people from so many different countries and cultures, we pay a lot of attention to how we communicate,” he explains. 
 
But it wasn’t just micro-level changes, like hosting more interactive meetings or speaking to his employees directly that brought about more open and transparent communication. It also came down to his belief that communication benefits from sharing and openly debating various viewpoints.
 
“If you don’t see different aspects of a decision and different options, you can’t make a good decision,” he explains. Debate, therefore, has played a prime role in the automotive manufacturer’s turnaround, as have cross-functional teams which more readily breed debate.
 
“The problem at many large companies is that individual teams only hold a piece of the solution, but they don’t talk to each other to assemble those pieces together,” he explained. When he needed his employees to share ideas and build better plans, he put together the organization’s first cross-functional teams, a tenet of his management style, to facilitate debate and improve organization-wide communication.
 
Thanks in part to these communication improvements, the brand was not only saved but has grown to become an auto industry giant. 
 
Better communication amongst employees is to thank for much of the company’s success. And the employees who more readily adapted to the new communication styles, including both understanding how to efficiently get their point across and learning English, the company’s new official, global-friendly language, were best poised to receive promotions and recognition. 
 
In an increasingly global economy, communication grows in importance and poses bigger challenges. So, how can today’s professionals best adapt?

What does good communication look like?
 
Communication is “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.” It’s also called “the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.” 
 
When it comes to business, the best managers don’t just share information that will help their employees understand the company’s mission and what their part is in achieving it. They also work to determine the best communication methods – verbal, nonverbal, and/or written—for their team, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. 
 
“The most effective managers understand who they are communicating to, not just what the message is,” says Leif Einar Feiring, Badenoch + Clark’s Regional Head of the Nordics. “This is why, when helping to place professionals, we find that candidates who can communicate well are usually the ones our clients prefer to hire.”
 
How can you sharpen your communication skills?
 
Communication is essential for understanding goals and collaborating to achieve them. So, how can you improve your communication skills? Feiring suggests the following ways to polish your communication abilities:
  • Ask for feedback from colleagues
  • Listen to how others are communicating
  • Speak in front of crowds, big and small
  • Write internal communications to your teams, or if you get the chance, pen blog articles, to practice organizing your thoughts around a specific message or a larger theme
Laurent da Silva, Badenoch + Clark’s General Manager of Professional Recruitment France, notes that when it comes to communication, the most important factor is emotional intelligence.
 
“If you have true emotional intelligence, then your communication will be perfect,” he says. “In fact, emotional intelligence is the main asset we expect from anyone who’s a manager or above.” He points out that it’s important to clearly understand expectations on both sides—to ascertain what the person or group you’re communicating to expects—and to adapt your message and delivery in a way that your audience will understand.
 
Every great career is a constant work in progress. No matter how much you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come, we believe that you can always keep learning and improving. That’s what we’re doing. You may notice that Badenoch + Clark has a new look and feel—one that represents our commitment to keep evolving. In this way, we hope to be the best possible career partner for you. Speak with someone at Badenoch + Clark to learn more about how you can grow your career. 
 
Sources:

What is Agility in Business and How Can You Bring Agility to Your Organization?

In late 2016, Luxembourg’s government was looking for ways to attract Financial Technology (FinTech) companies to the area - and to encourage investment in that space. With their finger on the pulse, and sensing this would spur a need for specialized talent, a local recruitment specialist acted quickly, hiring a dedicated FinTech consultant. The task: to develop a pool of candidates in the emerging FinTech sector even before the companies arrived.

Publié le 15 mars 2019