NAFCU Services Blog

Jul 17, 2018

How to Become an Agile Organization Designed to be Competitive

By: Deedee Myers, PhD, CEO of DDJ Myers 

Unprecedented times require fresh perspectives and frameworks that invite a deeper dive into the core of your organizational vision, competence, and competitive value. Traditional strategic planning focuses on creating stability in the conditions among an organization’s customers, suppliers, competitors, distributors, and delivery channels. Work to engage an agility framework in your next strategic planning cycle. An agility framework is designed and constructed, so each element and feature embeds flexibility as the foundational practice. The pieces are then aligned to support long-term adaptability with high-performance for the greater good. Think about the three elements of an agile organization as being robust, adaptable, and backed by shared leadership.

  1. Robust Strategies produce results regardless of the environment.
    • Takes advantage of momentary opportunities with the assumption that one single opportunity will not last forever, yet the profit generated exceeds the cost of change.
    • A robust strategy fully leverages the enduring traits and dynamics of the organization.
    • The board and CEO pick up the pace and move with speed and elegance as they approve and orchestrate the change.
    • A broad range of products and services supported by passion, urgency, enthusiasm, and engagement are needed.
    • A compelling competitive advantage in offerings, quality, service, and support is known by all stakeholders.
  2. Adaptable Organization Designs feature maximum surface area; transparency in information flow; relevant and deft recruitment, talent management, and rewards systems; and fluid decision-making.
    • Create a learning environment that encourages curiosity and questioning.
    • Promote a shared perspective on motivating and engaging employees.
    • Implement clear and open information-sharing practices and processes for real-time communication.
    • Use multiple rewards and bonus practices aligned with the strategy and expectations. Each person understands how his or her contribution is meaningful and rewarded.
    • Recruit employees who are quick learners and appreciate the change.
    • Employees are self-accountable and conduct frequent goal-setting reviews.
    • Adopt a talent-management strategy wherein the employment contract states change as an expectation and a condition of employment.
  3. Shared Leadership and Organization Identity understand that any effort toward change requires more than a single leader and an aligned organization identity.
    • Leadership is an organization capacity rather than an individual expectation, thereby maximizing the surface area.
    • Adopt sustainable practices to share knowledge and spread power, empowerment, and accountability throughout the organization.
    • Minimize with intent, top-down direction, and decision-making.
    • Integrate internal and external brands.
    • Proactively promote value-creating capacity and capabilities. Ongoing learning, including double-loop learning, generates current and future value.
    • Integrate critical thinking, competency building, and capacity

Learn more about this subject by listening to our recent podcast now:  3 Ways To Get Your Board Unstuck in 2018

ddj logoDDJ Myers is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Leadership Training, Executive Search and Recruitment Services. More educational material and contact information can be found at

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