“The game of business used to be like football: size mattered. Then it changed to basketball: speed and agility. Today business is more like chess: customer priorities change continually, and the signals given by these changes are vital clues to the next cycle of growth.” 

Adrian Slywotzky

When we were little and fell down, it didn’t take long for us to get back up and begin playing again. We had the ability to rebound quickly no matter how hard life hit us. We didn’t even know we couldn’t. Not only were we that resilient, we were also increasing daily in agility; our ability to react and adapt to changes proficiently, and acting with confidence. We hadn’t yet learned stressful and limiting beliefs. Every new situation was an opportunity to increase self-awareness and enhance flexibility. We relentlessly focused on accomplishing goals. Fast forward to adulthood in today’s workplace. Now, too rarely do resiliency and agility exist or co-exist at all nor to the healthy extent they need to today.

This dramatically impacts your business, especially as the speed and volume of change continues to increase. Resilience and agility together are what provide your business a competitive advantage and enhance the performance of your employees alone and in their teams. Both are critical to productivity and both reinforce one another to provide exponential growth and value for everyone. What are the conditions needed for both resilience and agility to flourish simultaneously?

Psychological safety – the most important thing your people rely upon to have the confidence agility requires and the optimism and courage resilience requires, is to know they are secure in their sense of belonging and significance. This happens when purpose is priority, trustworthiness is foundational, and everyone receives consistent compassion and positive intention from one another. They are then able to take risks and mitigate fears that otherwise would cause constriction and rigidity.

Intrinsic motivation – too often people are motivated from the outside in; doing things to avoid punishment, get a reward, please an authority figure or otherwise jump through a hoop. When people are driven by their own internal ideas of meaning for their work, when they are allowed to make choices about their tasks, when they are taught competency for not only their work skills but their social skills, and when there is adequate recognition of their progress, they thrive. They end up doing what they love and loving who they are when doing it.

A responsibility-based culture framework – the principles within such a framework help people coordinate their work, and facilitate the frequent delivery of high business value.  At LifeWork Systems, we promote the principles of purpose and values, task ownership, practicing leader and follower flexibility and support through mentoring rather than use of control methods.  We recite statistics that demonstrate what can be achieved when people take responsibility for their relationships, productivity and engagement.  We, ourselves, truly believe in these principles.  We know of the latent value that waits only for companies who adopt this too.  We have experienced the resulting energy, increased morale and freedom.

Despite their great potential, the positive impact of these principles on resiliency and agility both, become stifled when individual behaviors get in the way.  These behaviors prevent a team from working together. They prevent team members from helping one another. They prevent teams from accomplishing common goals. These teams cannot deliver on their potential, and they cannot fully benefit from one another without such a framework. With such a framework, the outcomes are exceptional.

A marriage of resiliency and agility must occur to provide important consequences for your business. When the above conditions are put in place, you boost employee engagement and morale, and not only are your people agile and resilient, so is your business. This favorably impacts your profits, productivity and ability to serve your customers. You have a company in which all of your people love their lives. We’re here if you’d like to explore this.

Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

Business owners, community leaders, and educators hire Lifework Systems because they want the advantages of an extraordinary workplace and recognize a systems approach ensures consistency and sustainability in the transformation process. They know that conscientious employees grow your business and improve your reputation, giving you competitive advantages. We help organizations instill into every person a common language and toolset for how to participate in a responsibility-based Teal workplace. Visit our website at www.lifeworksystems.com, and click the link at the bottom to complete a culture assessment and schedule your first consult to review a report on your feedback, all at no cost.  You can also contact Judy Ryan at 314.239.4727 or at judy@lifeworksystems.com.

This article has been published in St. Louis Small Business Monthly September 2019