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A Cougar or a Labrador? – Business Agility with Laura Goodrich

What is an agile company, and how can your business embrace agility and take advantage of the waves of disruptions that sink others? Contributing author Laura Goodrich discusses her chapter in The Future of Business, what she’s currently up to, and a bit about the positive changes she’d like to see for a better future.

What is the focus of your chapter in The Future of Business?

 

Are we able to adapt to the changing business times and trends quickly and efficiently? This is a big question that haunts most businesses in the times of unstable business environment. We live in a time of unprecedented change where a new product or service can change our work literally overnight.

So, what do we do? How do we keep pace? The obvious answer is – by responding quickly to changes; by having an Agility Mindset.

True that we have to respond quickly to changes. But let me tell you that just being responsive is not having and executing on an Agility Mindset. In fact, agility is about adopting a mindset that comprises of an absolute willingness and dedication to refine your position constantly, either by responding to change or facilitating the change in a timely fashion. Being responsive is just complementary to agility.

Here is where the challenge comes in. I facilitate countless CEO and senior leader sessions each year. In these sessions we grapple with challenges that relate to change. Unsurprisingly, what I find is that 9 times out of 10, a leader will lean on Industrial Age thinking when confronted with a challenge. An instinctive reaction. The need is to steer away from legacy models of operating a business.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

In 1995, I read an article called “On the Cutting Edge of the Digital Age”. That article and its content grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I have spent the last 20 years researching change and the future of work, paying very close attention to these drivers of change: global connectedness, technological advances, demographic shifts and changing consumer and employee expectations. I have worked with leaders and executives leading critical change. More than anything I have been a keen observer of human behavior as it relates to change dynamic environments. I never tire of the research; in fact, it intrigues me everyday, and I am more passionate then ever to help leaders and organizations to have the agility to effectively maneuver the road ahead and more importantly create opportunity while on that road.

What future-oriented topics or issues are you focusing on currently?

Our focus continues to be on helping organizations develop an individual and collective Mindset for Change, building an Agility Mindset and Leveraging the Power of Generations. Each of these areas is of peak interest and need with organizations today, so we are focusing heavily on providing tools for leaders to develop those capacities on their teams and in their organizations. We specialize in the production and creation of online mindset and awareness programs that organizations provide to their leaders and teams. Our online programs serve as critical pieces to a larger puzzle strategically developed to build these capacities.

If you could bring about one change in the world to ensure a positive future – what would it be?

I believe that we live and lead in a time of unprecedented change and few industries will be exempt. Unfortunately, fewer yet have developed the right individual and collective mindset in their leadership and organization to effectively steer toward opportunities and away from the threats that the next decade will bring. So the one change I would bring to the world would be a Mindset for Change and an Agility Mindset, before it’s too late.

 

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