Is complexity hampering agility? Only 12% of leaders have strength in both agility and attitude to complexity. What if you could increase agility without resorting to rushed decisions and solutions?

Our Mindset Advantage data suggests most leaders struggle to be agile as well as strong in managing complexity. Furthermore, those who do have a stronger growth mindset in their attitude to complexity (28%) tend to be less agile (only 49% of these were also high in agility)*.

In today’s complex world there are likely to be multiple factors that cause any given outcome. Engaging with complexity is important for effective decision-making, particularly when facing new challenges.

In contrast, the need to be agile can mean that leaders look for simple answers and quick solutions, or else rely on past methods and experience that may not be effective for responding to today’s situations.

So how can leaders engage with the complexity of situations without hampering their agility?

It is possible to be agile while maintaining a positive attitude to complexity, however it requires intentional effort and a level of self-awareness.

Some tips for boosting individual agility include:

  1. Shrink the decision – generate a small step that would move things forward. For example, instead of creating a detailed plan for the next 12 months, create a plan for the next month.
  2. Consider the cost of delaying or not acting – ask yourself: What would I gain by delaying? What would I gain by starting? Starting with a small step could also provide more information to help move things forward.
  3. Make time to look ahead – agility is also about anticipating changes and preparing for them. Set aside time to understand changes in the business, industry or wider environment, and their implications for you or your team, to reduce the risk of being blindsided by changes.

Find out more about Mindset Advantage and how we can help boost agility AND manage complexity.


* Data based on responses gathered through the growth mindset psychometric, Mindset Advantage, from thousands of leaders and hundreds of organisations globally over a period of 7 years.