Applied Psychology

What is Agile Thinking?

Nov 04, 2021 | By Saranne Durham
What is Agile Thinking? - SACAP

Agile thinking is the ability to actively switch your thinking according to what’s needed across different contexts. It is an effective and efficient way of managing uncertainty and turbulent environments. Thus, one of the advantages of having an agile mind is that you are able to overcome and adapt to unexpected events. As well as continuing to thrive, in spite of the need to change a planned approach.

Creating an agile mindset is accomplished through exploring and learning. Within a constantly changing world, learning to think critically, be adaptive and having an entrepreneurial mindset are invaluable skills. Agile thinking is also a key ingredient necessary for a successful future.

What is an Agile Mind?

Everybody thinks differently. How one person puts information together can be vastly different from how someone else processes it. However, there are characteristics common to those with agile minds.

10 Characteristics of an Agile Mindset

  1. Adaptive to change
  2. Sees obstacles as opportunities for innovation
  3. Views challenges as a process to grow through
  4. Constantly on the lookout to improve efficiency and effectiveness as well as simplify processes
  5. Is continuously curious, therefore enjoys learning and isn’t afraid of asking questions
  6. Outcome orientated, thereby exercising discipline and consequently is not easily distracted once focused on a task
  7. Resourceful
  8. Empathetic and respectful
  9. Able to see things from different perspectives within a single context
  10. Values collaboration

Thus, someone with an agile mind is able to understand the situation they are facing through observing and gathering information. Thereafter, they will accurately analyse the information and evaluate various possible scenarios and solutions from different viewpoints. Once they have picked the most effective and efficient way forward, they will focus on implementing it until they succeed. If a solution doesn’t work, they will adapt their approach and try again. They will persevere in doing this until the problem is solved.

“An agile mindset enables you to thrive amidst uncertainty and change.”

Why is an Agile Mindset Important?

An approach led by an agile mindset usually yields great results and optimal productivity. At an individual level, and within team settings, it plays out in a can-do-attitude towards whatever they are undertaking. Thus, an agile mindset is also described as a set of attitudes. Your attitude towards things can determine if you succeed or fail, especially when situations aren’t what we expect. This means that someone with a more agile mind is more likely to be successful when unexpected things happen.

Furthermore, as technology is released, industries adapt and thrive or shrink and eventually don’t exist. The result of this means that many people will need to adopt an agile approach to change and uncertainty. Thereby, enabling them to remain relevant within their working environment. Developing an agile mind is therefore a way of future-proofing yourself.

How do You get Your Mind to be more Agile?

One of the easiest ways to increase the agility of your mind is to study. Studying nudges you towards thinking differently and more laterally than you did before. It also stimulates your brain by presenting challenges to overcome and tasks that are time bound. Thereby, often requiring innovative thinking coupled with an effective and efficient approach. Furthermore, many courses have a collaborative element to them. By working with others, you need to exercise empathy, respect and look at things from varied perspectives.

5 Ways to Develop Agile Thinking

  1. Practice Critical thinking: Identify problems, objectively relate them to the situation at hand as well as the people. Then systematically structure a number of approaches to resolve the problem.
  2. Improve your communication skills: Communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Both of which can be enhanced through practice.
  3. Learn to collaborate better: Put yourself in varied situations which require you to work alongside people from different backgrounds that also range in age.
  4. Be reflective: At the end of the day, think back over it. Think about how situations may have played out differently if something in them was altered. Mistakes are opportunities to learn from, if you reflect on them rather than seeing them as failures.
  5. Listen and Ask: Start conversations with the intent of learning from someone else. Listen and ask the other person questions. Then share your own viewpoints and try to relate them to different perspectives of the topic at hand.

Developing an Agile Mind with SACAP

SACAP has a long-standing focus on equipping students with a set of highly transferable skills. Additionally, SACAP actively promotes an entrepreneurial mindset. This is so that graduates can readily adapt to change, find fresh solutions and thrive in their field.

If you want to study within an environment which strives to nurture agile thinking, then consider enrolling at SACAP. SACAP offers courses on a part and full-time basis. Many of which have options to learn on-campus, online via an online live or online flexi approach. Advisors are available to assist you. Book an appointment with one today or apply online.

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