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Embrace the Change: Mastering Strategic Agility in 2018

The one learning issue that organizations must master in 2018 and beyond is achieving strategic agility in this new world.  

I say this because things are changing so quickly every day. Your organization can have the best vision in the world, but you have to be willing to adjust your strategy at a moment’s notice, because things move so fast. You’ll have to anticipate trends, have a broader knowledge and perspective, be future-oriented, and be able to produce plans that tackle complex and precedent-setting problems. Because sometimes you can’t pull from the past to solve a problem that exists in the present.  

What we’re seeing in today’s business world is unprecedented, and you have to be able to connect all the dots, in terms of how things matter from a human capital perspective. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s imperative in this ever-changing world we’re living in. Consider demographics, education, technology, government policy, currency, or even how your business performs a robust environmental scan. All of these things have changed significantly from even 10 years ago. And it’s not going to stop. So, mastering strategic agility is going to be key for any HR shop.  

For HR leaders to address these issues, we have to think differently about how we work. Because work looks different now. We have to think about new, innovative strategic ways to solve problems. For example, maybe we have to tap into a broader set of resources, reaching into other organizations and form other partnerships that we haven’t had to in the past.  

You’ll have to keep your ear to the ground and be aware of whatever is new that’s going to impact your business. Do an environmental scan, and be data-driven. Take a look around, and use data to help drive your agenda. And don’t be afraid to use a next-practice approach, maybe trying a strategy that you haven’t tried before.  

Something will stick, or nothing will stick. And that’s OK. You have to throw it out there and try something you haven’t tried. It’s hard, because we don’t like gray space in business. We don’t want ambiguity. But I don’t see it changing. The world we operate in is only going to become more complex. We are going to have to embrace the fact that we’re in a different environment that’s going to be forever changing and evolving. You can’t ignore that reality and you can’t make it go away. You’ve got to lean into it.    

Tameika Pope is the Chief Human Capital Officer of the Federal Reserve Board. She will moderate a panel on organizational agility at the i4cp 2018 Conference: Next Practices Now (March 26 – 29, 2018).

Read more 2018 talent predictions.