Anticipate to chart an easier course for the futur

Anticipate to chart an easier course for the futur

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There’s a crisis!!!! Hold on to your hats, brace yourself and summon up courage, patience and creativity because 2022 is shaping up to be just as turbulent as the beginning of the pandemic crisis. In a context of extreme uncertainty, companies must face new challenges on a daily basis and review their management practices to anticipate and manage an endless series of risks. Managing the unthinkable is a hazardous journey of pitfalls for many businesses and few are equipped to deal with this. Others still believe they are unskinsable, just like the Titanic, and are therefore unable to contemplate the real impact and potential danger of a constantly changing environment of roadblocks and unpredictability. Conversely, some companies have taken out their binoculars to estimate how far off the next upheaval is in order to make agile decisions! They chose to anticipate!

Contrary to what many people assume, anticipation and prediction are not the same. Nobody can predict the future, even more so in this post-modern era where everything is possible, all events are interrelated and every human is interconnected. In such a chaotic world, believing that we can manage such frequent change would be pretentious. However, we can adapt to it as best we can. Anticipation essentially gives us room for manoeuvre.



blogue2-photo3.jpgAnticipating is being one step ahead of the future, being able to consider the consequences of your decisions or actions and recalculating where necessary. In a way, it’s creating the future as we go, by continually reinventing processes, structures, and methods while maintaining an agile approach with our eyes fixed on the goal. Just like cooperation and innovation, anticipation is one of the main levers of agility.

 

 

Weather the storm!

Modern companies who have to navigate stormy waters are able to survive because of their ability to anticipate risks as well as opportunities, and to innovate and make progress while protecting their values and social and economic assets and, most importantly, their employees.

If we review the current pandemic crisis and the recent changes in working methods, we could well believe that new technologies, artificial intelligence and data analysis have facilitated the rapid adaptation of companies to the new health constraints and enabled them to face up to unpredictability. However, we must bear in mind that, without the collaboration of the people at the heart of these companies, a turnaround would not have been possible. Technology, computers and machines can certainly facilitate processes, but only creativity, collective intelligence, adaptability and the incredible resilience of human beings can ensure that change is accepted and innovation leads to success.

The success of telecommuting and vaccine passports and the use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis are all examples of the importance of getting people to embrace proposed innovations. In businesses, this acceptance is also necessary and even essential to ensuring the entire workforce participates and contributes to the sustainability and survival of the company. 

As Florence Naguera states in an article on anticipation, adaptation and innovation, “strengthening individual and organizational resilience skills must foster better adaptation to transformation and create conditions that favour a safe and efficient recovery of activities and develop the innovation necessary for the survival and sustainability of businesses.”

Certain companies that lack agility and the inclination to transform will be faced with quite a challenge!

Anticipating change is also made easier through human interaction. The flow of information and collaboration and synergy between teams in an agile company are important factors, especially when it comes to spotting the warning signs of disruption, making sense of them and identifying opportunities that may arise from certain situations. When agility is understood and promoted as a value and an approach by company stakeholders, anticipation becomes a source of innovation and creativity.

However, the organizational structure and governance style must allow for such a dynamic.

“To face the post-COVID period, we must overcome crucial challenges which involve finding new reference points and certainties and reviewing our management styles. In order to tackle these challenges, we must move away from a management style based on orders and control. An effective recovery of company activities requires creativity and team commitment.

It requires setting aside a hierarchical approach in favour of support,” say Soufyane Frimousse and Jean-Marie Peretti in a very interesting article on management style in post-COVID organizations.

In our final article on the future of agility, we highlighted the importance of creating a work environment that encourages and stimulates group participation in remote, in-person or hybrid modes. At a time of extreme uncertainty, strengthening the ties between teams, valuing the contribution of each entity, and involving each member in developing strategies for maintaining and advancing the business will serve to make the company a living, structured organism that is capable of evolving and renewing itself time and time again, and of transforming risks into opportunities.

Anticipation, cooperation and innovation, three paths to the same objective!

We learn different things from each crisis. The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the many flaws in our economic system and also the complex and diverse challenges facing companies, particularly those that are still slow to adopt an agile approach and reintegrate a people-centric dimension into their management practices.

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According to Jérôme Barrand, if the manager of the future wants to practice agility and take advantage of the collective intelligence of their employees, they must always “be an informed decision maker, meaning that they rely on the information and views of their collaborators.  They’ll be open to the suggestions of others and nothing will be off the table. They’ll encourage others to speak up and facilitate dialogue and foster debate.  They’ll inspire creativity and strive for strong consensus around key decisions for the future of their company without undermining the constraints of local entities.”

Don’t worry if you are still hesitant to transform your management style and if learning agility during a crisis appears difficult. You’re not alone. Agility is an approach that can be demystified and learned through the right guides and tools. Trust yourself and, most importantly, learn to tap into the creative intelligence of your employees. Over time, you will be able to navigate confidently on the ocean of uncertainties to achieve your goals and anticipate success.

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