Oct. 4, 2012

Agile Leadership

The survival of corporations in today’s competitive environment depends on new management thinking.

“Skills shortage” is an awkward phrase, but the issue it describes is relevant for many companies. Finding the employees you need is hard. Next, you want to keep them. Money alone doesn’t make them happy. Knowledge workers expect more from a job than "just" being paid well. Attractive work environments allow their employees to work autonomously. The required responsibility needs to be encouraged by managers who change their own ways first. They have to go from classic "managing" to "agile leading".

stagnation-change-revolution

The introduction of agile thinking and practice is a proven way to align autonomous work with your company’s business goals. An agile approach is not only suitable for hardware and software development but also for corporate leadership. Organizational structures and management processes need to be challenged to make “agile” sustainable for a company.

There are 4 core aspects of Agile Leadership: 

  • individuals and human interaction are more valuable than processes and tools, 
  • working software is more valuable than comprehensive documentation,
  • collaboration with customers is more valuable than contract negotiation, 
  • responding to change is more valuable than blindly following a plan.

In the past “agile” was confused with a chaotic way of work without the need for planning or documentation. Very much to the contrary, agile methodologies ensure goal driven communication with employees and customers, thus helping to fulfill goals and deliver value with continuously improving processes.

But, agile is not about creating the perfect workplace. Effective business operation is the goal. What this looks like in the real world is well shown in the example of agile42’s customer Ericsson Mobile Core: Ericsson realized that their current organizational structure and processes didn’t allow them to adapt to the market changes they expected. With a train-the-trainer concept, agile42 introduced the agile concepts and methods to 4.000 Ericsson employees. The result is a refreshed corporate culture, a successful value delivery system replacing the old project structure, and last, but not least, satisfied and motivated employees.

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Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director at agile42. I have supported strategic product development and leadership development for longer than 15 years. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: ORGANIC agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)
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Image of marion

Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director at agile42. I have supported strategic product development and leadership development for longer than 15 years. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: ORGANIC agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)

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