Modern Business leaders are striving to find ways to get their teams to achieve innovation and push boundaries whilst taking advantage of the Agile phenomena. With this in mind, why does it seem like so many organizations have such a difficult time encouraging a free, open, and agile work culture?
Every organization understands that feeling when they look around at competitors and notice that rapid innovation is happening. It can make you feel like you are missing something, that you are falling behind the pack.
But how can you do this?
To start, Business Agility understands that shifting culture in a new direction needs to be calculated. Movement just for the sake of movement is meaningless.
Business Agility and innovation require some key elements to be in place at the foundation of your business. At its core, innovation is bred by creativity – and creativity requires freedom and flexibility.
If you want to embed agile programs that produce results and drive your business forward, you need to create an environment that champions Autonomy, Transparency, adaptability, and an idealisation to Cash feedback program.
To begin, let’s discuss why getting your leadership on the right page is a must in order to set the right example for employees.
Business Agility Requires Setting the Right Example
The example that your leadership teams are setting can either enhance your ability to be agile or stifle it completely. This is why it is vital to be careful about how risk-averse your leadership teams are.
If every single decision needs to come through a single pipeline, for example, then your organization’s ability to move fast and solve big problems more quickly will be massively hindered.
Let’s start with what you should avoid – the trap of habit.
Many businesses are stuck in a vicious cycle, repeating the same rituals that have always worked for them in the past. Predictability should not be what is sought – unpredictability is!
This clouded way of thinking heavily stifles innovation and removes the long-term vision required to achieve agility in projects that require innovation and complex problem-solving approaches.
This type of dynamic leads to a troubling dynamic where leaders start to reward certainty and ignore ideas that need nurturing over the long term. Employees stop caring about trying their best and do what they think will satisfy the manager. As you can guess, this is likely not the best approach to solving complex problems, and definitely not for agility.
In order to improve this dynamic, leaders should strive to change the way their teams feel about their role in the organization as a whole. It is crucial to help them embrace long-term thinking and a more accessible, open, and unbound approach to agility.
Creating a Culture of Business Agility
In order to create a company culture of agility, you need to instil a few key values into your organization. These values will help promote rapid adaptation and change. Some of these values may include:
Flexibility fosters creativity and innovation. Being able to change quickly in response to new information or demands from the market is a huge advantage. It can help to create workflows that produce value quickly without sacrificing quality. In order for Scrum to be effective, for example, it’s important for teams to feel comfortable receiving feedback from stakeholders on a regular basis – and vice-versa! The flexible nature of this methodology creates an open atmosphere that allows teams to make changes quickly and efficiently. This goes a long way towards ensuring a more successful outcome and eventual user experience.
Adaptability means being able to change direction when needed quickly. It means responding positively to change and embracing new ideas. There is no place for closed-mindedness in a culture of agility. In order to be successful with Scrum, you need to be able to change directions when needed quickly and be willing and open to handle changes in requirements.
One of the key factors in creating a culture of agility is encouraging the freedom to fail. Workers and managers need to feel free to tackle problems in novel ways that may not agree with the typical protocol. Encouraging an environment where workers feel free to take risks will enable a much higher degree of creativity and innovation.
● Intrinsic Motivation
Every organization needs people who are invested in its mission. This investment is made real by helping your employees understand and believe they can add value to the organization.
Simply ensuring that there are rewards in place, such as praise, positive feedback, social promotion, and recognition, can go a long way towards instilling proper motivation in your workers. You can cultivate employee trust and empowerment by implementing training, support, and personal development protocols as well. Sending the right message to your employees is essential – so never forget to let them know that you value their participation and that it is essential for the success of the whole organization. This is also where having leadership that sets the right example comes into play as well.
Adapt and Overcome With an Agile Culture
Overall, try to ask yourself this question: Do you have a scalable organizational culture? Is there enough variability in your culture to scale up and down, to work with change and not against? This includes different ways of thinking, life experiences, networks, etc. A diverse and open culture is essential for tackling problems in an agile and innovative manner. If you are concerned about the openness of your organization, it is crucial to think about how you can expand your teams to enrich your knowledge and create more diverse methods of tackling problems.
We recommend trying the following:
- Encourage healthy competition
- Improve cross-team communication capabilities
- Enable the freedom to fail
With these simple key points in mind, you can gradually shift the culture within your organization to one that is much more capable of embracing agility and achieving the innovation your clients are craving.
As a closing note, An ‘Agile culture’ is not a replacement culture but an investigative change mindset willing to embrace “The art of the possible”