This month's Power of Talent newsletter includes a fascinating feature article, Blog of the Month, the latest about what's new at Torchiana and upcoming events you won't want to miss.
The Power of Talent
Issue: 5
August 2016

Is your organization agile? What does this mean and why does it matter? This month's feature article explains how agile companies are best positioned to take advantage of opportunities, disruptive technologies and business models. Keep reading to find out how organizational agility can make a difference, and how to develop or strengthen it with five distinct competencies. 

Agility may make your organization stronger, but ineffective leadership can destroy it. Our blog of the month shares how to create a culture of leadership accountability to detect ineffective leadership before the damage is done. After all, good leadership is good business. 

Here at Torchiana, we know successful organizations are created through strong teams comprised of the right individuals. As always, our goal is to help you and your company grow through all facets of leadership development, executive coaching, career management and career transition/outplacement services. Please contact us if you'd like to discuss how Torchiana can assist with your career management needs.

All the Best, 
Kristi Rocha & Lynne Saiz
Organizational Agility

By Richard J. Mirabile, Ph.D., developer of Raising the Leadership Bar and the Accelerated Leadership Series 

According to the U.S. CEO Outlook 2016 by KPMG, CEOs are worried, asking "Is what we are doing today going to be relevant tomorrow?" Mike Nolan, Vice Chair of Innovation & Enterprise Solutions at KPMG LLP, believes that it is possible to spot opportunities if you have a systematic approach to understanding disruption-whether from demographics, innovation or start-up activity. "If you can mine the signals of disruption early, then you can prioritize your investments to respond, and adapt your talent and business models to capitalize on it all," he adds. "And I think business leaders who harness those trends accurately will stand to be the big winners in the marketplace while others will inevitably fall behind." 

These capabilities are the hallmarks of an agile organization. Said another way, agile organizations will be the ones best positioned to take advantage of opportunities, disruptive technologies and business models.  

This is why having a systematic approach to understanding disruption is vital to stay ahead in today's business. Organizations are facing unprecedented levels of change, and the rate and frequency of changes will surely continue to rise. The models, practices and tools used in the past to enable and manage change are valuable, but they aren't enough to help organizations keep pace. To become agile, organizations will need to make fundamental changes in how they work - their systems, practices and culture. 

What is Organizational Agility? The ability to connect accurate assessments of the external business landscape combined with an ability to see opportunities and challenges in order to make strategic turns and execute strategic re-direction/reinvention at high speed in ways that are timely, flexible and produce both value and measurable ROI. 

Why is it so important? Organizations are systems and must adapt to their environments. Research shows that one of the critical factors for business success is an organization's ability to scan the external environment to anticipate and make the necessary changes required for survival. This implies making informed predictions about markets, economic trends, product opportunities, demographics and social changes. By paying attention to the external environment and anticipating the future, a business can adapt its products and services to fit not just the current market, but the future market.  

What's the benefit to my organization in strengthening our agility? An agile organization brings together people, processes and systems to execute the organization's mission and strategies. It's a critical competency for any organization facing accelerating change and increased competition. Being agile allows organizations to build into everyday practices an ability to nimbly respond to changing circumstances and take advantage of emerging opportunities. The level of fluidity and flexibility needed will depend on the quantity and speed of changes to which your organization must respond. 

How does an organization develop or strengthen its agility? Ultimately, developing or strengthening organizational agility requires proficiency with respect to five distinct competencies. They are:  
  1. Strategic Anticipation 
  2. Value-Based Decision Making 
  3. Focus & Alignment 
  4. Organizational Learning 
  5. Disruptive Innovation
How can we help? When taken in combination, these five competencies become the foundation for building true organizational agility. In response to this need, Dr. Mirabile has carefully designed several workshops designed to provide the highest degree of impact in the shortest period of time for both emerging and seasoned leaders. Each course is between 2- 4 hours in length and can be customized based on the particular set of circumstances, culture, priorities and tactical or strategic objectives. Whether you have existing programs or are designing one from the ground up, Torchiana has several leadership and management training topics that can supplement or build the framework to improve organizational impact. If you are interested in learning more, contact Lynne Saiz or Kristi Rocha (contact info below).
Blog of the Month: Creating a Culture of Leadership Accountability

Ineffective leaders can hide in plain sight in many organizations, even those often associated with great leadership. Often, the only thing that will reveal the leader's challenges or flaws is the courage of one or more team members to "complain" about the leader's behaviors. 

It's almost always a last resort, and for good reason. Taking the risk to provide unsolicited constructive or negative feedback about a leader can be a career-limiting move - whether the feedback is provided directly to the leader, or by level skipping to another leader.  

When team members protect themselves by withholding feedback, the consequences to the organization are just as limiting. Leadership behaviors drive engagement, retention, performance and innovation -for better or for worse. Good leadership is good business. 

So how can we drive a culture of accountable leadership into our organizations, and how can we create systems that can detect ineffective leadership before the damage has been done? A recent research study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), titled Creating a High-Performance Culture, suggests that encouraging self-awareness and transparency are the keys to success. Read more in this blog post.
Upcoming Events

Torchiana Webinar Series 2016
Successful Change and Transformation: Are you Leading Change or Being Led by Change?
When: Wednesday, September 10th, 10:00 am-11:00 am PST
Register now:
Webinar ID: 114-873-651

NCHRA Events
Please see for all upcoming events.

HR Strategy Forum
When: Tuesday, September 27, 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Where: UC Berkeley Extension Belmont Center, Classroom 05, 1301 Shoreway Road, Belmont, California
About Torchiana Mastrov & Sapiro

Established in 1980, Torchiana is the Bay Area's most experienced independent career management firm. Our staff of professionals have expertise in all facets of leadership development, executive coaching, career management and career transition/outplacement services. We have established strategic alliances with select organizations to fulfill additional human capital and business needs. 

We firmly believe that your people are your most valuable asset. Our offices in San Francisco, San Ramon and Santa Clara provide service to more than 300 companies and we deliver our services worldwide through Career Partners International (CPI).
San Francisco & East Bay
Kristi Rocha | VP, Client Services 
50 California Street, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111
2603 Camino Ramon, Ste. 200, San Ramon, CA 94583
Silicon Valley & Peninsula
Lynne Saiz VP, Client Services 
5201 Great America PKWY, Suite 320, Santa Clara, CA 95054