Agile leadership for agile organisations

Today organisations must quickly and smoothly adapt to changes. They need to be agile. Agile organisations are not afraid of the uncertainty of a dynamic environment but they embrace it. They do this by responding quickly, efficiently and effectively to changing customer needs, to new technologies and new ways of working.

Having only a Scrum Master and an Agile Coach is not enough to be agile.

Four points of attention for agile organisations:

1. Scalable workforce and ambassadors

• By organizing workforce in a flexible manner, a company is able to react in time. This flexible workforce can be achieved by creating durable and qualitative relations with talented people and suppliers. By doing so, a sudden change in staffing (quantity and/or quality) can easily be anticipated.
• By making sure that the people who leave the company remain ambassadors. They might be needed again in the future and / or can recommend the organisation to others.
• By ensuring internal transitions, using cross-functional trainings and job rotations.
• By sustaining a company culture, where understanding each other’s work and internal consistency are the norm.

2. Real time knowledge

• Due to all the rapid changes it is essential that everyone is updated about the latest developments. An organisation must be able to quickly gather information and to convert it into useful knowledge.
• By investing in internal and external knowledge-networks and meetings, and stimulating and facilitating knowledge transfers.
• By stimulating a culture where experimenting, openness to errors, daring to be vulnerable and celebrating successes are commonplace.

3. A ‘loose’ organisation

• In an organisation that wants to change constantly, it is crucial to keep a grip without being rigid.
• With the help of a fluid organisational design: flat, informal and with few explicit boundaries. Work is done in project teams with only the most necessary planning and control.
• With flexible processes based on trust: standardise what must be standardised, and for all other things rely on the common sense of the employees.

4. Attention to binding and personal leadership

Whatever scenario you choose to follow agility requires more than just being able to lead change. It takes more than training a Scrum Master and an Agile Coach. With a continuous pattern of adjustments, change becomes part of the process itself. Talent management is by consequence becoming more and more important: as a manager how can you ensure that you’re employees keep developing themselves and eventually become more versatile? But the need for binding leadership is even greater. The reason is that it is crucial to have the skills to build networks that are permanent and not only functional, as well in-as outside the organisation. Perhaps even the most important, agility requires personal leadership. Continuously developing yourself and being the example for a learning culture where mistakes are allowed.

Posted in Client Experiences, Connecting Talent, For Organisations and tagged .

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