Getting better results often requires a shift in organizational culture. But culture is about far more than just beanbags, table football, and free snacks.
While we can’t design company culture, we can influence and monitor it. In this webinar, Giuseppe De Simone and Simon Sablowski explore why a coherent organizational culture is so important and the different types of cultures that exist. They give a detailed guide on how we can influence and measure our company culture to build one that is more conducive to our goals, as well as how agile42’s OrgScan™ tool can help you to achieve this.
Andrea Tomasini & Dave Snowden host the keynote at the remote Manage Agile 2020.
agile42 co-founder, Andrea Tomasini, and founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge, Dave Snowden, will host a keynote at the Remote Manage Agile on November 24th from 9.20am (CET). The topic is ’… the one most responsive to change’. This keynote will be held in English.
agile42 is the Gold Sponsor of the Manage Agile conference taking place from November 23rd to 26th, 2020. In order to ensure every participants safety, the conference will be taking place remotely this year. There is a great line up of speakers split across lectures, workshops and keynotes. It will be a great opportunity for our network to meet like-minded individuals.
As sponsors of this event, we would like to extend a discount to our valued network. Please use the discount code, MA_aha_20%, when signing up to receive a 20% discount off the standard ticket.
The program (only available in German) is attached here. We hope many of the topics will be of interest to you.
Also Simon Sablowski is keeping a workshop on November 24th at 10.50am (CET) covering the topic, "Wechselwirkungen zwischen Führungsverhalten, Kultur und Struktur einer Organisation". This workshop will be held in German.
We look forward to ‘e-meeting’ you at the conference, and to discuss how agile42 can be a partner in bringing Agile Leadership to your organisation.
Last week we shared our Corporate Learning Program with our network in a webinar. It was a great pleasure to welcome Katrin Birrer from JTI (Japan Tobacco International) to the session who shared her insights and experience from collaborating with agile42 on JTI’s Agile Champion program, a learning experience which is being rolled out to 10,000 employees. From agile42’s side, our experts Simon Sablowski and Lothar Fischmann, presented the Corporate Learning Program.
More and more large corporates want and need to embrace agility. Becoming agile starts with achieving a shared understanding of the values, principles, and key practices. The challenge is to provide learning to thousands of employees. Agile is existing in many parts of organisations, but having every person attend a stand-alone training, probably with different providers, comes with some problems. The learning is different, in as many ways as there are providers. It takes time to coordinate the training, along with it potentially being a significant investment.
We’re finding that corporations are seeking solutions that are more cost-effective than sending individuals to training here and there. The Corporate Learning Program, co-created with the client, is more effective, in many ways.
In the webinar last week we got to take part in JTI’s story and their experience of working with us on their program. We both learnt a great deal through co-creating the program, and we're very pleased with the outcome. You can hear more about this from the recording.
Picture: An example of JTI's program
Our Corporate Learning Program offers large-scale learning by:
allowing individuals to familiarise themselves with key concepts at their own pace
providing everyone with a coherent learning experience
customising the learning journey to your company’s needs
blending virtual self-learning (understanding key concepts) with experiential learning (putting things into practice)
If this sparks your interest, how should you start?
The first step is to get in touch with us, so that we can gain an understanding of your situation - how big of an organisation you are; what your needs are.
Once we understand the needs, we can start to co-create the Corporate Learning Program to ensure the program is tailor-made for your needs and context.
From the picture below, you can see the next steps that follow when we have a program that is ready for employees to start exploring.
Here you can find the slides from the presentation.
The recordingis available online. You can watch it again or share it with your network as you see fit. It is also available on YouTube.
We hope that you get in touch with us so that we can start to explore your needs!
*Follow this link to view upcoming & past webinars on our website*
On October 14, I held a webinar about the first principle of ORGANIC agility. Together with 50+ participants, we explored the importance of culture and various ways of making the culture visible both in theory and practice.
Culture is, briefly, “the way we do things around here”. It is the context of all activities within an organization and sets the norms for what behaviour is acceptable and what is not acceptable. It has a very strong influence on how people behave. And companies that are unaware of their culture, uninterested in what it means, or lacking the right tools, risk ending up with a culture that does not fit their strategy.
Culture also plays a very important role in determining how people react to change. If the culture is incoherent, people will find it difficult to agree on which way to go. They may also react to changes in wildly different ways.
What to do about it? It’s clear that culture is complex and can't be designed. We simply can't draw up an “ideal culture” and then deploy it. What we can do instead is measure what we have, and influence it to create more of a certain type of behaviour, and less of another. By running small safe-to-fail experiments, we can try out different approaches and see what works.
When measuring culture, we can choose from a large number of dimensions, including proactivity/reactivity, subordination, risk appetite, emotionality, masculinity/femininity, conflict resolution, power distance, etc. etc. As it turns out, the two most important dimensions — the ones with the strongest explanatory power — are outwards vs. inwards focus, and flexibility vs. control. They form the basis of the Competing Values Framework.
If you want to measure your culture in your organization, you can have a look at our Organizational Scan here.
A company would start by taking a baseline. A month or two of continuous sampling is typical, in order to even out temporary fluctuations. We then run the survey continuously, following the organisational culture in general but also tracking our pilot/experiment teams specifically. What happens over time? If the experiments are giving positive results, we should see the experiment teams migrate slowly in the desired direction.
Leadership styles are going to be particularly relevant to the change process. Subordinates slowly change their behavior to conform to the leadership style that is visible. Having a conscious approach to storytelling and an awareness of ritualized behavior can also support the change and provide some coherence.
Below you can find the slides from my presentation.
The recording is available online. You can watch it again or share it with your network as you see fit. It is also available on YouTube.
During the webinar, I referenced an article on organisational culture. I’ve found it valuable because it gives a decent overview of cultural dimensions.
Kim S. Cameron and Deborah R. Ettington. The conceptual foundation of organizational culture. Working Paper #544, The University of Michigan, School of Business Administration, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 1988.
As many of you might have seen, agile42, along with our long-standing client, Swedbank, wrote a Success Story about our journey together. Ever since we've been keen to host a webinar on this, to tell the story! We had the honour of inviting Cecilia Kåhrström to join the webinar with us, where she, together with agile42Sweden's, Giuseppe De Simone, walked the audience through the work we did together.
The journey has been long: some parts of the work with Swedbank began back in 2014. This webinar and the Success Story, specifically focused on the work with Group IT, which started in 2018. A lot has been done together since then, and we are happy to say that we today can call Cecilia and all Group IT leaders and employees, not clients, but friends.
In the picture below, Cecilia summarized all the activities that supported the achievement of their current level of agility and we are particularly proud of the bubbles on the right. In fact they show the things which Swedbank continued on their own after we left, witnessing the accomplishment of our mission: grow our clients’ capabilities so that they are able to persevere on their path to agility sustainably after we leave.
The discussion between Cecilia and Giuseppe opened up these topics.
A particular focus was given to one of the most important factors in this Success Story: how the leaders understood early on that agility could not be achieved just by buying and deploying a predefined process. It was amazing to observe how fast they got this clear understanding compared to other leaders we've met that are just looking for a pre-packaged solution. Every organization that is interested in becoming sustainably agile needs to make this journey on their own: you should not worry about reinventing the wheel, because the journey is more important than the goal.
The slides from the webinar can be found here. You are welcome to have a look at them, and for any questions you have, you can turn to us.
The empirical evidence agile42 has gathered from multiple client engagements, supports the theory that ideal characteristics of a leader are based on archetypes, ideal types of what an organization should look like and their underlying culture. This has led us to observe a very strong relationship between leadership attitude, organizational design, and organizational culture.
The idea behind ORGANIC agility is that there isn’t any right or wrong leadership behavior, but rather there are behaviors that one can master, and can be appropriately called upon in specific situations within a specific culture: if a leadership behavior doesn’t correspond to the cultural expectations of the people involved, it will very likely cause a negative emotional response, and potentially increase motivational debt.
In this webinar I gave an overview of different archetypes that are expressed under specific conditions and bring leadership behavior, organizational design and organizational culture together. We also explored some methods within the ORGANIC agility framework, that allow you to recognize the archetype to which an organization can be mapped at a given moment in time, and provide guidance for transitioning to a different archetype, while increasing coherence between culture, organizational design and leadership behaviors.
If you missed the live webinar, I have great news for you!Here you can find the recording of the session, available on YouTube. Please have a look at it and feel welcome to share it around with friends and colleagues.
During the webinar, I mentioned the Archetype Assessment as a part of the ORGANIC agility framework. The archetype assessment is a service we provide either virtually or in-person, and it is an engaging and meaningful activity that reveals what people think about the way leadership achieves results in your organization. It allows groups and leaders to express what combinations (archetypes) they see themselves operating in, what expectations they have of one another, and how they can make changes without alarming and disappointing the people they work with. The aim is to support cohorts going through any sort of change, whether intentional (such as an agile journey) or unintentional (such as a merger). Change creates friction and both leaders, and the people they work with, struggle with knowing in what ways it is useful to change and how they can best reduce resistance and help support growth in themselves and others.
Please have a look at the information, and contact us if you are interested or have questions!
I mentioned the webinar from our colleague, Lasse Ziegler, in this webinar, about Leadership in complex environments, and I recommend you have a look at that one to get an understanding of the leadership styles mentioned briefly in my webinar.
One of the main aspects of any agile transformation program is cultural change. During times of working from home it’s even more important than ever.
Based on the 1st ORGANIC agility principle, “Increase Cultural Awareness and Coherence”, the main challenge is how to understand your organizational culture and how to create coherence based on shared principles without losing diversity.
In this webinar I shared my experiences of using the Competing Values Framework, developed by Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron at the University of Michigan. This framework gives us a model with the purpose to help change agents identify effective ways of diagnosing and changing culture in order to enhance organizational performance.
I am pleased that the topic of the webinar got so much attention. We had people listening from all over the world, and so many questions that unfortunately we ran out of time. We hope that we can continue some discussions with the participants in the future. It was fun and great that the audience was engaged in the topic with comments throughout the session.
For those who missed the live session, don't panic! Here you can find the recording, and it is also available on YouTube. Have a look at it and feel welcome to share it around with friends and colleagues. If there is anything we can help you with regarding this topic, feel free to contact us.
If you are interested in the Organizational Scan for your organization, feel free to look into our OrgScanStarter Kit. This is a good starting point to understanding the culture of your organization. More details about the OrgScan can be found here. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
To learn more about ORGANIC agility, you can have a look at our webpage. We’re continuing to run the Certified ORGANIC Leadership® Foundations (provides CAL1) sessions remotely, so get in touch if you think this would be something for you and your organization.
If you are interested in reading more about ORGANIC agility, you can buy the ORGANIC agility book from Amazon.
We have more webinars coming up, and the previous ones listed on our website, so please have a look at them here. More webinars!
agile42 enables leaders and their teams to create a resilient organization and a sustainable change process. We equip them with the tools they need daily to grow the business and foster the right organizational culture.
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