The Agile Mindset is a Superpower

Why an Agile Mindset Helps Overcome Uncertainty

We all have favorite super heroes. We all hope to travel to brave new worlds, including outer space some day. But, in our wildest dreams, we never thought we’d be asked to “boldly go where no man has gone before” by staying home. 

I read and watch and listen to various authorities explain how my world is forever changed and my business must adapt or it may go bankrupt. Luckily, I have an agile mindset, so I know that I can meet these challenges and come out the other end with a successful agile business and brand. 

If you’re like me and you have an agile mindset, you have a distinct business advantage. Your brain is already wired to look for and take advantage of new opportunities. So, get up off that sofa, turn off the TV and take action!

Our agile mindset gives us laser focus, a desire for continuous learning and the ability to identify when we need to pivot to stay relevant and competitive. These three attributes form a superpower that helps us navigate through uncertainty and succeed.

Laser Focus

Every sprint is timeboxed, to ensure we remain focused on completing a specific set of accomplishments. In scrum, our sprints are usually two weeks. In times of uncertainty, we may only be able to plan for one week at a time. 

Our work and our business lives have now merged. We need to apply our laser focus holistically.

The key is to determine what needs to be accomplished now. No one really knows with any certainty what our lives will be like at the end of this quarter, let alone at the end of the year. Those quarterly and annual plans have become irrelevant. However, we all have work that needs to be completed by the end of this week. Apply that laser focus to your short-term goals. Take back control and move forward.

You cannot operate in a vacuum. Your customer’s businesses have changed. Talk to them. Make sure you are focusing on the right things. 

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is the way we enhance the superpowers of our agile mindset. At the end of every sprint, even if your sprint is only 7 days, conduct a short retrospective. What worked? What didn’t? How can I improve the way I work in my business and with my family? 

By continuously monitoring what’s working and what’s not working, we learn from our interactions with others and we remain competitive. Keep in mind that what worked last week may not work in the upcoming week, so retrospective is more important now than ever before.

Ability to Pivot

Through retrospective and the art of continuous learning, we grow as human beings and business people. To fix what is not working, we may need to change our business model. For example, in-person training pivoted to online training. Restaurant dining pivoted to take out and delivery. What needs to change in your business?

Our customer’s problems are different now. In fact, they may be changing week by week, just like yours do. Listen closely to what your customers are telling you. What problems can you help them solve? Customer feedback may be telling you that you need to alter your product offering or your messaging or both. 

I’m even reaching out to potential customers who I don’t know, expanding my reach and understanding beyond my current customer base. More of us are working from home and feeling isolated. There’s never been a better time to reach out and connect.

If you haven’t already pivoted your product offering and messaging, you’re late to the game. Stop selling and start listening. Adapt and pivot and remain competitive.

Do you have any advice to share about how your business is coping? We’d love to hear from you.

Cynthia Kahn

Cynthia Kahn

 

Cynthia Kahn
CynthiaK@gsd.guru
503.799.5500

2 Comments

  1. Jeff Hogan says:

    Good stuff Cynthia. Great, easy read, book out there I recommend: The One Who is not Busy, by Darlene Cohen. I’ve tried to live by a quote in that book which supposes that the greatest skills humans can possess are the ability to focus, and the ability to change focus.
    Oh and Hi!

    • Cynthia Kahn says:

      Thank you so much Jeff! Great to hear from you and thanks for the book recommendation. Stay safe!