Results Agility: What is it and why should it matter to you?

The word “agile” has become a buzzword in the workplace. It’s commonly used to describe an iterative approach to software development and project management.

But in the context of business challenges that leaders face in today’s uncertain times, one of the most important terms associated with agile is Results Agility.

It’s a concept that’s been around for a while. It’s one of the critical components of Learning Agility, the construct that describes how people learn from experience and use that learning to their advantage to perform well.

Results Agility is not simply about whether a person gets results or not. It refers to how they go about achieving them. It’s the “how” that makes the difference.

If you’ve ever worked for or with a leader who was slow to react, rigid in their thinking and seemed to find it difficult to change course quickly, you know exactly what I am talking about.

You can probably contrast that experience with working for a flexible and adaptable person who was ready and willing to consider all options to achieve the right outcome. In other words, they were results agile.

Understanding Results Agility

People who demonstrate Results Agility have a strong desire to achieve goals, tackling them with drive and energy. Their signature strengths are resilience, resourcefulness and a willingness to take risks.

They are not afraid to change their mind when new information emerges, or circumstances force them to take a new direction. Instead, they find the most effective way to move forward, regardless of conventional approaches.

Results Agility is about pivoting. It helps people move quickly and intelligently when the situation calls for it or they discover better ways to solve old problems.

Importantly, Results Agility comprises skills and techniques, typically described as behaviours.

So, the good news is that you can learn it!

Great Leaders are Results Agile

Results Agile leaders tend to bring out the best in people. Open to learning, they are prepared to admit when they are wrong. They like trying new things and learning from their mistakes. They apply this thinking as they support their people, making it safe for them to do the same.

People who flex their adaptability muscles are more likely to experience positive results as they push themselves and explore alternative courses of action for themselves and others.

When people work for a results agile leader, they are happier, more motivated, and more engaged. They are likely to go the extra mile, think creatively and bring new solutions to the table.

In summary, strong Results Agility makes leaders great. They are a pleasure to work with because they bring excitement to the workplace and convey a “can do” attitude.

By raising the confidence of others to tackle challenges, they reinforce teamwork and empower others to achieve results.

Where Do You Stand on Results Agility?

Take a moment to think about yourself right now.

Are you (a) energised by new, challenging assignments and overcoming obstacles to achieve stretch work objectives, or (b) do you prefer well-defined goals that require steady and consistent effort to deliver on time and within budget?

Be honest about it; what is your preference? Are you more strongly oriented to (a) or (b)?

If you identify with (a), you are probably already seen as a results agile person. However, if (b) seems more like you, consider what more you could accomplish if you strengthen your ability to flex and adapt in challenging situations.

Whatever your response, here are some questions to help you think through how you can elevate your Results Agility.

Reflection Questions

  • Think of a challenge you faced recently. How did you approach it? Based on what you have read above, what could you have done to achieve a better and faster outcome?
  • When have you faced significant obstacles before achieving an important goal? How did you respond to that situation? What would you like to do the same or differently next time?
  • Can you recall a situation when you were unable to deliver on  your objectives? What did you learn from the experience? What steps could you take to avoid that in the future?
  • Do you know what motivates and engages  the people who work for you? Would it be an advantage to understand them better? What steps will you take to learn more about them?

More to explore