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Today, the corporate landscape is more complex than ever before. Leaders struggle to keep up with emerging technology and a changing workforce. Larger organizations especially are unable to evolve quickly enough to remain competitive. Both consumers and employees are always connected, though engaging either group has become increasingly difficult. Truly, the traditional way of running a company no longer works.
To succeed in this new economy, entrepreneurs like Sanjay Govil believe that leaders must rely on a less rigid approach, and adopt a more “agile” way of running their businesses. Agile leadership is a concept that is gaining steam in recent times as a way to stay ahead of trends, innovate through technology, and delight consumers and employees alike.
As the Founder & Chairperson of Infinite Computer Solutions, a global Information Technology and Operations solution provider, Sanjay Govil has a tremendous amount of experience working with young, agile companies and propelling them to greatness. He is a pioneer and strong advocate for agile leadership.
According to Govil, agile leadership works because it gives leaders the ability to adapt to changing or unexpected circumstances. Traditional leadership models focus on a structured plan for running an organization, including Marketing, HR, Finance, and all other organizational disciplines. Long-term processes with multiple approval levels help maintain quality and cost control, but make it very difficult to adequately keep pace with competitors. For example, if your organization procures a new piece of technology, but it takes 9-12 months for it to be integrated into the business; it may no longer be the best option by the time that process is complete. This is an issue many leaders are facing today. With an agile approach, leaders can adjust throughout the process to ensure that all efforts are positioning the company for future success.
“Agility is a very critical aspect of a good CEO because a lot of time can be spent on mundane matters that are not good for the company. So obviously, process is very important and understanding your environment is equally important,” Govil says. “However being able to prioritize, re-prioritize, and to be flexible is the only way to succeed. Having the ability to pivot and adapt to the contemporary environment is paramount.”
Of course, agile leadership does not mean that there is no planning or process taken into account. Smart leaders will not integrate every piece of technology that enters the market. Rather, as Sanjay Govil explains, agile leadership gives them the ability to choose the ones that will positively impact their business and more quickly realize those benefits. Furthermore, just as with traditional leadership, agile leadership requires a well-developed protocol for handling crises as they arise. In a world with constantly changing technology, consumer preferences, and endless amounts of data, leaders must be able to adapt and grow as quickly as possible.
Agile leaders require an abundance of intelligence and self-awareness, as well as a complete openness to productive change. Would you consider yourself to be an “agile” leader? How has your leadership style evolved to meet the changing needs of the corporate landscape?