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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Agile thinking helps entrepreneurs achieve success

Choose your path wisely!

It is easy to stay locked in to a rigid way of thinking and in performance of activities. When traveling, you see a road and proceed down the path until you find an impediment or blockage.  Then what do you do?  This is where many entrepreneurs get stuck and have problems overcoming problems.  They create a plan and fail to consider alternatives or potential hazards.  Once faced with an impediment, they lose time while deciding how to react.  Alternatively, they may continue with the same old daily activities when a change may create a more dramatic shift in results.  Thinking Agile is critical to enhanced performance and eliminating impediments.

The word Agile suggests an ability to move quickly, easily, smarter and in a clever manner.  An entrepreneur recently asked me how Agile was different from The Pivot.  A Pivot is a subset of Agile in that one makes a quick change.  Agile thinking is involved in determining whether to pivot or not.  Agile thinking leads to use of all available information and advanced planning.  Agile thinking is important to recognizing a situation where a Pivot makes sense and may work.

Take a look at the photo.  The far off region appears to be in the same plane as the high nearby rocks.  If you were to completely survey the site, it would immediately become clear that the near rocks are on the edge of a cliff.  Moving in a straight line would be a severe hazard.  You can make a quick turn right or left and you will find the same problem of facing the edge of a cliff.  It is only after a complete examination of the total surroundings that backtracking to the rear provides the safest path home. Agile includes survey of surroundings and consideration of alternatives.

The art of Agile Thinking is a skill that can be learned.  The ability to consider and evaluate and make plans rapidly is part of the process.  It also includes some of the following characteristics:

·        Trusting the people working with you

·        Relying on other peoples skills and knowledge in the areas where you may be lacking

·        Short working cycles to deliver a minimally viable product

·        Inspect and Adapt your plans constantly

·        Fail Fast and Fail Often so you can learn what doesn't work and then move towards what will.

The article “4 Actions toward becoming an agile entrepreneur” provides other actions that are helpful to becoming more agile.  Learning to become more agile in your thinking will help in identifying novel alternatives and strategies that may increase your chances of success.  Agile thinking is important to new and experienced entrepreneurs especially in a startup!
 

Taffy Williams can be found on Twitter @twilli2861, ColonialTDC ,  photo  website, Google+ Facebook, and Startup  Group on Linkedin.  He writes the Startup Blog and articles for the Examiner: Charlotte, NC- small business. More on the agile concepts may be found in soon to be released book:  Think Agile

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