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ATD Blog

Top 3 Ways Leaders Can Empower People and Create Better Organizations

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Recent global disruptions have made it more evident that organizational agility (the ability to continuously delight customers and inspire employees in the midst of emerging challenges) is imperative to an organization’s survival. While many leaders only implement processes in hopes of building organizational agility, leaders who have helped organizations thrive during change are those who built organizational agility through the collective agility of people. This requires supporting employees through their transformational journeys and helping the organization shift to an empowered, human-centric culture.

As a leading global agile accreditation and certification body, ICAgile provides transformational learning programs that help organizations make this shift and guide people on journeys that build agility across various disciplines and organizational areas. One of ICAgile’s many learning programs focuses on people development, which highlights what leaders need to learn to unlock the potential in people and teams and enable high levels of organizational success. In collaboration with thought leaders worldwide, ICAgile has identified three key themes to focus on when you’re supporting people development.

Shift From People Management to People Development

  • When leaders only focus on managing people and not on developing people, they impede the organization’s ability to increase its agility. For an organization to thrive, leaders must recognize that people are the catalyst for agility because the organization’s agility depends on the personal agility of individuals in every role and at every level.
  • This shift doesn’t happen overnight; it requires us to unlearn people management approaches and embrace an agile mindset while empowering and developing those in our organization.


Develop Leadership in Others

  • Successful organizations build leadership behaviors and attitudes in employees at every level regardless of title or role. To do this, leaders need to co-create growth and development plans with individuals in such a way that connects with their passions and interests and aligns with organizational needs and pathways.
  • It’s also important to focus on development from day one. Whether it’s through an effective employee training program or through continued learning and development opportunities, leaders should consider how to instill a culture of learning and development from the start.


Create an Environment That Promotes Team Development

  • Developing people can’t happen in a vacuum. It must be considered in relation to the development of teams and how it interacts with the overall system of the organization. The role of leadership is to consider factors that have been shown to promote team development, such as self-organization, collective ownership, and team accountability. As teams are created and continue to evolve, leaders also need to be mindful of these factors and consider how to shift their leadership style to meet the changing needs of the team.

Regardless of your role, it’s important to support the development of people in your organization. Doing so helps unlock potential and unleashes an organization’s ability to survive and thrive in challenging environments.
To learn more about how to support the development of people, view ICAgile’s Learning Outcomes for People Development (ICP-PDV).

About the Author

Elisia is the senior director of marketing at ICAgile, where she is responsible for leading the marketing team and supporting all aspects of ICAgile’s marketing efforts, including strategy, customer communications, branding, and media relations. She has more than 15 years of experience in strategic communication across various industries including finance, tech, energy efficiency, and fashion. She has won numerous awards and has landed media coverage for high-profile brands such as Microsoft Bing and the Port of San Diego. Elisia received an M.A. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, Davis.

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