Written by Kay Fudala
on April 11, 2023

Organizational Change Management (OCM) practices are increasingly shifting focus from Change Readiness to Change Agility in order to optimally respond to swiftly changing business conditions. More than managing change, Change Agility helps you lean into change to successfully leverage new opportunities and navigate risk. Below are five key principles of underlying Change Agility and why they matter.

1. Embrace Uncertainty

Change is often accompanied by uncertainty. Change-Agile individuals and organizations are comfortable with this ambiguity. They recognize that change brings opportunities and are willing to take calculated risks to capitalize on them. They feel empowered to push back on the status quo, challenge assumptions and experiment with new initiatives. They also understand that trial and error is a natural part of the change process and are not afraid of learning from their mistakes.

2. Be Proactive

Successful organizations anticipate change and are preemptively prepared for it. Being proactive involves being aware of current trends and scanning the environment for potential changes, analyzing the impact of those changes and spotting opportunities for improvement. By being proactive, individuals and organizations can stay ahead of the curve and avoid being surprised by unexpected events.

3. Focus on Customer Needs

Change-Agile organizations prioritize the needs of their customers. They recognize that customer expectations and preferences change over time and are committed to delivering value and quality to their customers. They constantly seek customer feedback and use it to inform their decision-making and drive innovation.

4. Foster Collaboration

Change Agility requires collaboration and teamwork. No single individual or department can successfully navigate change alone. Change-Agile organizations have the ability to work effectively across functional areas and organizational boundaries. They create networks and mechanisms that tap into the collective knowledge of their teams to formulate and implement solutions. They assess and develop their change leadership capacity, empowering employees, especially influencers and subject matter experts, to see themselves as agents of change.

5. Learn Continuously

Finally, Change-Agile organizations are learning organizations. They seek out new information, stay up to date on industry trends and are open to new ideas and perspectives. They recognize that change is a continuous process and are willing to pivot quickly when necessary. They promote a growth mindset by encouraging staff to embrace challenges. They also provide a supportive environment for teams to collaborate on tough problems. Above all, they prioritize transparency and open communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals.

Change Agility is critical for success in today's fast-paced and dynamic business environment. By embracing the five key principles outlined above, teams and organizations can get ahead and stay ahead of the curve. Change Agility positions them to adapt swiftly and navigate uncertainty with confidence and resilience.