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The importance of having an Agile mindset

by Elizabeth Harmon

We often hear about the importance of having an Agile business, which in simple terms is the ability to move quickly and adapt to continuous change easily. It often relates to software development but is now often applied to all parts of a business and is a way for businesses to succeed and remain competitive in a complex and constantly changing world.

However, there is also an increasing amount of chatter about agile mindsets too, but what is an agile mindset and why is it so important to have? This article aims to answer both questions for you.

What is an “Agile mindset”?

Agile generally refers to practices, processes and methodologies. But for agile to work effectively, you can’t ignore people and the key part they play in making agile a success.

An agile mindset doesn’t just refer to the skills that make someone a good agile team member though. A true agile mindset is where someone not only makes sure tools and processes are agile, but they take a completely agile approach to everything they do, and it becomes a way of life. They have a positive outlook, are ready and willing to accept change, find it easy to adapt to different situations and learn from experiences (even failure), to ensure they improve in the future. They will face challenges head-on, rather than ignoring or avoiding them.  They will also have a key focus on learning, to develop their skills and knowledge, continuously striving to do better.

Why is it important to have an agile mindset?

Moving away from having a fixed mindset and instead, having an agile mindset is extremely important. Here are six key reasons why:

Adapt to change

Don’t just stick your head down and carry on in your regular routine, without looking up and realising that the world around you is constantly changing. You need to be comfortable with change and not only that, with an agile mindset, you should be constantly looking out for opportunities to embrace change, which will help to provide additional benefit to the business.

Overcome obstacles

Do you currently think of obstacles as a barrier or roadblock? With an agile mindset, you will simply see obstacles as challenges to overcome. You should always remain positive and be ready to find an effective solution to them.

Learn and make continuous improvements

Learning isn’t something that you can do once and then forget about. As business environments, technologies and processes are constantly changing, it’s important that your skills and experience does too. With an agile mindset, you should be continuously looking for ways to improve and develop your skills, whilst learning from previous experiences and using everything you know to help provide additional benefit to the business.

Be a valuable team member

As an employee, if you’re standing still and unable to deal with regular change, then you’re putting yourself in a risky position. Colleagues who are keen to develop an agile mindset are likely to get noticed by managers and may overtake you in terms of promotions or may be looked upon more favourably when it comes to pay reviews. This is because they are helping the business move forward and adapt successfully to the constantly changing business environment.

Achieve first-mover advantage

For a business, creating an agile mindset and culture is extremely important for success. This mindset enables the business to move much faster, adapt to changes along the way and overcome obstacles easier. This can help a business be first to the market with products and services, which provides a huge competitive advantage.

Improve results and stay ahead of competitors

By having an agile mindset, instead of ignoring or hiding from failures, you can learn from them. This can help a business move forward successfully, whilst striving to stay ahead of the competition.

Ensure you have an agile mindset

To keep up with the constantly changing business environment, it’s important to adopt an agile mindset. As the points above suggest, it can not only help the business you work for but could make you stand out with managers, which could lead to a promotion or pay review. Not only that but staying positive and constantly learning can help you remain engaged and motivated in your role, which can only be a good thing.

If you want to develop more of an agile mindset, check out our Digital Transformation Learning Library. Here, we have a range of interesting assets, explaining how to embrace an agile culture for business growth, how to develop and support an agile mindset, how to create agile and effective leaders, plus much more.

If you have an agile mindset, business success, even during times of change or uncertainty, will be much easier for you to achieve.

Visit our Digital Transformation Learning Library. 

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