The agile organisation
Since the first desert mouse has dodged the saber-toothed tiger’s paw, agility has been a core competency in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. For organisations, the concept has been part of the strategic discourse for some decades now. During the last fifteen years or so, Agile with a capital A, as the frictionless, instant and intimate delivery of value, has come to dominate the realm of software development and project management by storm. This recent boom has brought a level of structuring and standardising of methods that almost makes you forget what purpose agility is directed at in the first place. Sometimes it’s healthy to remind ourselves that many organisations have strived due to their agility, and that they, just as the desert mouse, do not necessarily write code.
What turns out to be the next big bottleneck for the agile organisation is not so much the application of agile methods outside software development – you might go back to lean production and find just what you were looking for. Rather, the key question turns out to be: How do you lead these organisations? What to you put in place so that areas of agile development interact successfully with the rest of the organisation? How do you adapt the architecture of your business model so that it enables iterative innovations by small teams with end-to-end responsibility? How do you change your own behaviour as a leader in order to become a driver, and not an obstacle, to corporate agility?
Together with our partner companies we have developed an agile leadership model, including a structured set of leadership principles, and a plethora of useful practices. The model is supported by a variety of standard and customisable trainings. On the basis of this toolbox, organisations and leaders can identify their need for, and their focus in agile leadership.