To create an agile mindset, any enterprise-wide transformation needs to be both comprehensive and iterative. New ways of working also require new ways of transforming, by applying the new principles to the transformation itself.
This article examines the fundamental principles of how to transform and reinvent your ways of working, so that you can become an adaptable, agile organization with high-performance teams.
Outcomes over procedures
Instead of the traditional change management method of focusing on procedures and processes to change people’s minds, you should focus on business outcomes and creating value. Concentrating on outcomes is about being better: providing better quality at an increased speed, reducing risk, and improving safety. Support your teams to achieve these new outcomes and applying new ways of working, and let them decide which processes and procedures are most appropriate for doing so.
Start small over a big bang
While implementing change, your business should focus on scaling intelligently by applying an incremental change approach. This allows organizations to develop over time by changing components in increments and making small alterations.
The benefit of the incremental change approach is that you can start finishing right from the beginning. It delivers results fast compared to a big bang approach that only produces results further down the line. As Malcolm Gladwell suggests, small incremental changes will build and reach a point where they tip to unleash a flood of success.
So, start small by focusing on one team or department and learn what works well. Once you find what works best for you, then you can scale up.
Invite over enforce
Like any innovation, “organizational innovation” follows the innovation-adoption curve. Instead of concentrating on people who are skeptical or conservative, focus on the enthusiasts and invite people who are interested in what you are offering. And, once these people produce provable outcomes, you can scale up and create more momentum by including more teams.
Top-down over bottom-up
It is almost impossible to plan an agile transformation in great detail from the very start. Instead, most agile transformations have emergent elements.
Ideally, start with the number one team: the leadership team. Build their understanding and aspirations, creating a blueprint to identify how agility will add value and provide a clear vision of how a new approach will work. By implementing a top-down approach, the executive team can fully grasp why this way of working is required and buy into it, before moving to a comprehensive transformation at scale.
A comprehensive transformation will touch every facet of the organization, including strategy, organization design, ways of working, people and technology. By implementing the above principles, you will have the toolset and methodology to transform and reinvent your ways of working, to become an adaptable, agile organization with high-performance teams.