Diversity is the Secret to Creating an Agile Organization

4 min read

The creators of the agile methodology wanted to build a more dynamic, flexible, and responsive approach to management. The hope was that by focusing on individuals and interactions over processes and tools, businesses could better meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers. 

In other words, agility is meant to help companies adapt to the commercial, financial, social, and political ecosystems in which they operate. That’s an essential concept because science has taught that ecosystems are most resilient and most functional when they show higher levels of diversity. 

Like organisms in natural environments, greater diversity in the workplace allows organizations to respond to change quicker, innovate more effectively, and meet objectives more efficiently. In this article, we dig deeper into agility and diversity to understand how the two are related, and why diversity is so important to create an agile business.

What is team agility?

Team agility refers to a team’s ability to react rapidly and effectively to new requirements and expectations. There are many different kinds of agile methodology, but they all share an iterative approach to work, whereby communication and collaboration are recognized as sufficient and necessary for success.

In this iterative environment, teams continuously and regularly assess and reassess their customers’ expectations and then adjust their objectives to meet them.

Why do you need an agile organization?

In today’s modern marketplaces disruption is the norm. Agility offers a structured and comprehensive way of approaching this challenge. Continuously adjusting practices to stay in line with customers’ expectations is what allows businesses to stay relevant and keep a competitive edge. 

But agility does more than buoy bottom lines. At the core of agility is an emphasis on the human element and the importance of employee motivation and satisfaction. By fostering engagement and rewarding passion, quality, and efficiency increase.

Diverse talent development creates agility

Diversity is a boon for agile businesses. With diversity comes a broader range of opinions, backgrounds, experiences, and areas of expertise. The diversity of your team should be seen as an opportunity for adding novel and unique elements to your company.

The Business Agility Institute (BAI) spoke with more than 400 professionals, coaches, and leaders, they found that a more diverse, empowered team working in an inclusive, equitable environment can “create products that appeal to a wider range of customers.” Furthermore, by failing to enact DE&I, the authors state that businesses are missing out on “unique opportunities” for innovation and growth.

Steps your company can take now

Start by reviewing frameworks, systems, and practices and either recreate or replace them with new ones that focus on improving inclusion and equity. Then, remember that this is an ongoing process—which means that an agile approach is best! Regularly reassess to ensure current DE&I practices are relevant and up to date. 

Next, promote accountability by regularly checking in with leaders and their teams to ensure inclusivity is being upheld and championed at all levels. Novel perspectives and experiences should be celebrated, not quashed. Finally, ensure both DE&I and agility equally inform hiring practices. 

Agility and diversity share several aspects, including the importance of employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. These are important elements of career coaching, too. 

CareerPoint can help businesses level the playing field for historically disadvantaged or underrepresented groups and support the company’s DE&I and agility efforts to the benefit of all.

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