The Right Balance – Being A Flexible Warrior

This Week’s Focus Point

So, I’ve started attending regular yoga classes – no easy feat for someone built as I am.

Recently the yoga instructor had us enter a ‘warrior’ pose – standing, wide legs, arms pointed outwards parallel to the floor. After reaching this position, she has us gently flow our upper body back and forth while maintaining the solid wide legged position.

What felt unusual at first started to become strangely natural.

To reinforce the move, the instructor calls out “solid foundation, flexible top”.

Our organisations are like this yoga pose. Our ‘form’ collapses if we are too flexible – resulting in mixed messaging and poor quality outcomes. While if we are too fixed – we are stagnant, overly burdened with administration and not able to adjust to market forces.

It is in the balance of fixed and flexible that we grow. A balance between core foundations and willingness for risk. Our core foundations provide the internal confidence to pursue new opportunities – but we must have and do both.

This is a common mistake made in the attempts to create more ‘agile’ organisations. In the excitement to make the shift, all rigidity is abandoned leaving a chaotic mess rife with rework and silo behaviour.

Remember – ‘Solid foundation, Flexible top’.

Your Weekly Challenge

Ask yourself (and your teams):

  • What are our foundations and where should we ensure rigidity? (for example, this may include strategy, road maps, internal values, decision making frameworks, use of important systems).


  • What elements of what we do should remain flexible to ensure we are actively seeking new opportunities and the best result? (for example, this may include work approaches, feedback loops, methodology choices, call scripts, available discounts, working arrangements).

Then, throughout the week look for ways to make adjustments to ensure the balance of a flexible warrior.

This Week’s Thought Pulses

Leadership & Performance

The only thing worse than a strict authoritarian leader is a wishy-washy one.
Constrain the required foundations and empower the rest.

Momentum & Energy

People must have both a clear vision and a direct method to contribute their expertise towards it. Nothing diminishes hope (and therefore motivation) more than regular destination change.

Delivery & Oversight

Agile projects do well when the systems and processes that surround the delivery are structured and in place. If your project case is ‘agile’ (read: ambivalent) then your results will be similar.


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