In this short video, Six Disciplines CEO Gary Harpst describes what it takes to build an agile organization.

The transcript for this video is displayed for your convenience:

“I’d like to just take this session to give you just a little bit of a feel about how our program works. As I mentioned, our program can be thought of as a three-legged stool. With these best practices woven into the methodology. So you don’t have to figure out how they all tie together. They’re supported by coaching and leadership development and software. You put these together in a way so that you don’t have to.

If you wanted to you can go find many excellence programs but they don’t have supporting software. They don’t have supporting leadership development. Or you can find coaching programs that don’t have the methodology.

What we’ve tried to do is put all these pieces together because it takes a lot of time and energy to figure out how they hook together. So that saves you time.

I’d like to talk about one key principle that shows up in the research over and over. For organizations to be agile and to perform well, they need to adapt to change, like we talked about. The way to do that is to frequently review and revise your plans. Here’s the research that shows this and I won’t go through all the details of the graph. But basically, what this graph is showing is the more frequently organizations review and revise plans, the better they perform.

Now, why is that? What is underneath that? The principle is that as things are changing the ability to communicate and collaborate and process change is much better handled proactively. Instead of viewing plans as a rigid thing, you create a plan and it’s done, you view planning and working a plan as an ongoing agile process. That’s what this research is telling you and you need some sort of systematic way to do that. And that’s what our program helps you do.

I’m going to show you a model here that kind of propeller head. It looks very complex, but I’m trying to show you what the rhythms are in the patterns we’re putting in place to make it so that your organization can communicate effectively. And this bottom line across this graph is communicating the idea. Once a year updating strategic vision is remaining a major that needs to change and then once a quarter revisiting what we need to do in the next 90 days and what we’ve learned.

There is this learning loop each quarter. Then on top of the quarterly learning loop, we create a weekly learning loop, which we call ‘Plan My Week’, where the individual…It’s back to Steven Covey’s idea. We asked the individual once a week to say what are those vital few things that are on my list and what do I need to do next to chase those, to pursue those.

That’s what allows Susan to keep her focus on what’s important and not get drug off target, that once a week process. Then the team gets together assuming all the Susan’s in your group have done this once a week process, they get together and say what are we doing in the next week and what we learned. The collaboration allows them to make micro adjustments in the plan in real time. Instead of waiting until they’re way, way out of line.

Last of all, there’s a cycle each of us needs to have of what happened today? What didn’t I get done today that I should have, according to what I thought I would, and updating my to-do list, if you will, today. This model looks like a lot of circles here but what we’re describing is really a fairly simple pattern for letting a large complex organization communicate, collaborate, and be agile in its response to changes.”