According to the 14th annual State of Agile report, the biggest challenge to adopting an agile framework is organisational culture. Older companies often have entrenched and risk-averse cultures, attitudes and behaviours that can be incredibly hard to shift. Yet, if you can’t shift the culture, then it will be very difficult to pivot to an agility-first mindset.
Posters won’t change your culture
Sticking inspirational posters on the walls around your office will not shift your culture. Remember the first roadblock we talked about? Leaders not only have to walk the talk when it comes to business
agility transformation, but they also have to lead the charge when it comes to company culture.
The behaviour of leaders, which includes everything from the way they delegate tasks to the way they communicate with people, should mirror the cultural change you are aspiring to. For example, to build trust, leaders could relinquish some of the decision-making they do each day – and instead, entrust teams to make their own decisions. Culture can be closely linked to the organisational design that we spoke about in the second roadblock. Inflexible hierarchies and siloed structures do not lend themselves to the open, collaborative culture that is characteristic of an agile business. So it’s important to work on removing that roadblock, too.
Create a culture by design
To realise success with business agility, your company culture needs to put people front and centre. A people-centred culture celebrates and respects the contributions that all people make to the business
and values individual input. Importantly, it acknowledges the human element of occasional, inevitable failure.
Everyone across the business should be encouraged to embrace behaviours like trust and respect, accountability, commitment, collaboration, creativity and empowerment. It sounds simple, but it can take time. It’s all about gradually shifting the needle and implementing new approaches that clearly show everyone the type of company you want to be.
• Build trust frameworks to identify where trust is lacking and to help build trust where it is important
• Educate people on how to successfully use empowerment, allowing for individuals to take ownership of the change.
• Appoint cultural champions who have the authority and capacity to make changes that will improve and enhance your organisational culture.
• Ensure that leaders are 100% on board with cultural change. If they aren’t, then it will never succeed.
Transformational business agility starts here
Do any of the roadblocks discussed above sound familiar? If you’ve tried to implement a business agility framework and failed due to roadblocks like these, you don’t have to go it alone. EPiC is here to help.
Our business agility coaches can step in to help you pinpoint where your roadblocks lie and then show you how to remove them. We won’t do business agility for you – rather, we will empower you to do it yourself, successfully. We’ll show you how to set up a long-term model that evolves as your business grows.
To learn more about how our business agility coaches can help your business transform, please get in touch today.