What is an Agile Leadership Paradigm? Three Perspectives

Interview with Jorge Titinger, CEO, Verigy, Inc.

Situation: The environment has become more complex for leaders. Not only must leaders perform classic roles, they must also deal with increased uncertainty and change. How do you build a new leadership paradigm to address ongoing change?

Jorge Titinger’s Advice:

There are three challenges facing leaders today.

  • First, given that change is constant, what does the next likely settling point look like in your environment look like and how is this different from past settling points?
    • Everything starts with the people.
    • Once you determine the likely next settling point, do a capability inventory within your leadership team to determine whether you have the right people to handle the new reality.
    • Can current members be trained?
    • Do you need to bring in new talent?
  • Second, are your processes limiting or enhancing your flexibility?
    • Do current processes encourage adaptability and cross-functional connection and communication?
    • If not how will you change them?
    • Deconstruct/reconstruct all critical processes to make them more agile.
  • Third, how are you linking desired outcomes with rewards and incentives within the company?
    • Growth in the past focused on building up infrastructure – adding more people and capacity.
    • Knowledge management focused on tools and processes to make people more effective. Individualized assessment and reward structures became an obstacle and had to be shifted to emphasize the importance of collaborative versus individualized performance.
    • Agile leadership and management focuses on reaching outside the boundaries of your own company. To deliver differentiated value suppliers and customers must be included in the exercise. We must reinvent how we engage with suppliers and customers so that they are part of the collaboration.
    • The agile paradigm focuses on the unspoken needs of suppliers and customers. This takes the conversation beyond the transaction and includes quality, on-time delivery, and other differentiators that are mutually important. It can include competing for your competitors’ suppliers by being a better customer!

You can contact Jorge Titinger at jorge.titinger@verigy.com

Key Words: Agile, Uncertainty, Change, Paradigm, People, Training, Talent, Process, Communication, Reward, Incentive, Supplier, Customer

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