Tag Archives: adaptability

Making changes….a way to agility

Years ago I attended a workshop on change. The facilitator asked each participant to introduce themselves with some tidbit about their morning start-up routine.  Some reported they began with making a pot of coffee, others talked about showering. I recall saying that I reach for my glasses.

Through a day of exercises, we were challenged to think about the impact of  varying our routines.   What differences would show up in how we felt or what we observed if we changed the ways we moved through our day?

Taking a new direction hones agility

I was amused with some of the impact I experienced in the days following the workshop.  One day I took a new way to work and parked in a new section of the parking lot.  I found myself paying close attention to the road signs rather than my  typical automatic-pilot driving. I recall noticing some wooded park land for the first time and making a mental note to come back there for a picnic. When I arrived at my office, I felt more alert than usual. After all I had needed to keep on my toes to avoid getting lost! I felt accomplished and surprised at the same time.  I noticed how big a deal it was for me to change such a simple thing.  I wondered what else was I missing by approaching things in a routine way?

Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, believes that people who have lived in many different places are more agile than those who have stayed in one town their whole lives.  Having the experience of  adjusting to something new convinces Yamada that a person will be able to thrive in the changing environment of global health.

So, what  is your relationship to change?  Are you agile when confronted with new challenges or new points of view?  What changes can you make in your life to increase your experience with needing to adapt?  Try the experiment of altering one simple practice you have in your life.  See what it opens up for you and then please tell us all about it.



Being Agile

During this year’s winter Olympics, the highlight for me was watching the figure skater, Kim Yu-Na of South Korea. The agility she displayed as she skated to win a gold medal was both breathtaking and awe-inspiring.  Not only did she show her well-trained body’s flexibility but her life story demonstrates how adaptable her spirit is as well. Click below to see her in action.

Video Library Player:  A Nation Awaits Gold in Figure Skating

Like Kim Yu-Na, collaborators need to be agile.  Websters defines agile as 1) marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace and 2) having a quick resourceful and adaptable character.  In business, one doesn’t need to learn how to do a triple lutz jump but it is vital to know how to quickly adjust to and build on the numerous points of view on any project or team.  If you are able to influence and be influenced, you avoid the ineffective spinning that comes from people talking at one another.

Collaborative Agility is demonstrated when we change how we relate to someone in order to better communicate.  It occurs when we can reframe a problem into an opportunity.  We are agile when we don’t have an answer but improvise  with others until a path becomes clear.

In the next few blog entries, we are going to look in more depth about the value of agility in collaboration.  You can begin thinking about the value of agility in your collaborations.  We’d love to know some of your stories.