“Agile is as much a philosophy as a methodology”

~ Bill Holz, Vice President Analyst, Gartner

COVID-19 has turned the world of work upside down. In a previous blog we’ve discussed managing your employees in tough times, but what about being able to withstand future unpredictable events?

Amplified by COVID-19 + the rapid changes that have happened in the workforce, today’s employees are bringing a host of values + expectations into the workplace that many leaders may not have experienced before. Much of this relates to dynamic working (how, where + when we work) + demonstrates the need for organisations to move towards having an agile culture.

Technology initially enabled agile thinking, but these days having an agile culture is less about the power of tech and more about making the most of the human talent in your team. It’s about harnessing the power of your people + their creative + collaborative skills.

To create a truly agile culture, you want to encourage a working environment where your employees can be change agents who will advocate for change, influence through example + be proactive. You want them to feel that they can reject complacency + siloed thinking; to take responsible risks, be honest + be prepared to fail.

In your new agile culture, you’ll encourage training and life-long learning and you’ll focus on developing skills, living agile values + striving to improve.

Typically, teams working in an agile culture will share these values:

Focus: Everyone focuses on the weekly/monthly goals for their team

Courage: Team members have the courage to do the right thing + to work on tough problems. You’re all leaders; accountable + self-sufficient.

Openness: You’re open about your work + challenges with doing it. Team members share knowledge, learn from others + express opinions without fear of judgement or punishment. Clear communication is vital.

Commitment: Each team member personally commits to achieving the goals of the team as well as growing their own skills

Respect: Team members respect each other as capable, independent people

So, you’d like to work towards having an agile workforce or talent eco-system, but where do you begin? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:

• Do you know the skills you have within your business + who can do what?
• Have you created an internal talent market in which people can self-select for learning opportunities to upskill / diversify their skills?
• Do you have fluid teams that can join together + disband as needed?
• Does your team have the values you need to encourage agile working?