Transcending uncertainty and thriving in an ever-changing world
In response to the need of change, and the complexity and uncertainty it imposes, an agile mindset paves the way for optimism and resilience.
What is an “agile mindset”?
The commonly used term “agility” has become a real catch-all term. Sometimes related to unrealistic promises, agility is linked to its fair share of urban myths. Often associated with constraint-free promises, without prerequisites nor documentation, agility would answer all organisational and management problems. This definition and vision are invariably derived from a book-based, theoretical, and even fundamentalist implementation that is a source of disillusionment.
More than a simple method, agility is an effective way to deal with modern challenges. This agile mindset helps organisations achieve positive changes. Focusing on the real essence of agility will draw real benefits.
The incremental iterative mindset involves accepting that some data is no longer predictable. To overcome this uncertainty, testing, validation and learning are necessary. Every single step counts and allows us to learn continuously. Defining the reason behind an action enables organisations to provide the meaning employees need to become involved, and bringing employees on board with the transformation can help achieve its goals faster.
Foundations of the agile mindset
Agility is only effective if everyone is involved. It is a logical method that shares the intermediate results obtained and encourages communication between individuals, whilst recognising unforeseen events and even welcoming them.
Its objective is achieved by successive iterations, defined by the value created. The agile mindset is characterised by being clear about the amount of work required to maintain momentum over time. In practice, the agile method adopts testing and learning approaches. This helps identify a need as soon as it emerges and maintain direct and frequent contact with the various stakeholders concerned, which involves reflection.. By raising awareness of learning and progress, individuals and teams can improve their operations.
To summarise, the agile mindset provides meaning, develops resilience, encourages initiative and innovation. If correctly deployed and managed, agility can stimulate ideas and initiatives, as well as encourage individuals to go beyond their function while respecting the company’s strategic goals.. It helps employees provide meaning to their work by determining the reasons for the transformation (“why”) before deciding how this transformation will take place. It fosters a team spirit within the company by bringing individuals together and creates a happy work environment.
The superpowers of the agile method
To keep its promises, the agile method involves a large panel of tools and pragmatic frameworks that provide tangible benefits, which can be applied to different situations. For example, it can be used within a project management framework, by helping bond teams and lead projects by breaking them down into several steps.
This can be achieved via the Scrum process framework which can be applied to the company’s organisation. This signifies that the company’s processes will be structured in a way that brings employees together and promotes co-construction and shared responsibility; this can be achieved via the SAFe framework. Lastly, the agile method can be applied to innovation, by promoting freedom of thought, improving potential and committing to the development of desirable future goals.
Companies need to be supported by teams who have the skills to pass on the key aspects of the agile method. This will allow companies to achieve their full potential, make positive changes to create sustained value and ensure their impact on society is positive. Companies adopting the agile method will experience new “superpowers”. They will improve their resilience and be able to embrace unexpected events as motivating opportunities, and ultimately perform tasks meaningfully. The prospects this creates will inspire positivity and allow companies to commit to transformation. All employees will be involved in on-going transformations and will feel they have a key role to play in the transformation process.