Svens Corner: "Agile & Beyond II"

Agile organizational development. What is that actually?

Does the result of agile development necessarily have to be an agile organization? Or is the process open-ended for you? Of course Lean Management and agile organizations are great! You can read or hear a lot about them everywhere. And the agile coach certainly believes in the agile (and lean) organization as the best result of the commissioned organizational development.

However, if you now think of foosball tables, espresso machines, playful office furnishings and colourful stickers, you may be barking up the wrong tree. The result is rather an organisation that is sustainably adaptable and capable of change. The journey there is iteratively designed with agile methods, the traditional structures, roles and ways of thinking may be turned inside out. This transformation demands a lot from all those involved. The organization or its members learn and develop in the long term. Hierarchies disappear in favour of personal responsibility and self-organisation. Decent, collaborative formats replace ritualized leadership and reward folklore. This often includes the foosball table and colourful stickers.

Some companies are - due to context or culture - not yet ready. If during the agile development process it is found that another form fits better at the moment, that's fine too. As long as adaptability and sustainability are not permanently parked away. The agile organization remains an option for the future. The kicker is still allowed.

The third approach is not so much about transforming the existing organization, but rather about introducing agile methods (Scrum, Stand Ups, Retrospectives, Kanban, Design Thinking ...) - usually linked with the expectation of speeding up processes, increasing employer attractiveness, serving the customer better and making the company more profitable. Attention! This is possible. Some teams or people in the organization will then work accordingly and will certainly be able to meet some of these expectations. However, this does not mean that the organization is where it could be. The potential of the agile possibilities is not used. The bottom line is that all this means far too much waste and missed opportunities. So only half the fun.

To ensure that the agile project does not become a big disappointment, an intensive and honest clarification of the order is an absolute must. What is the client thinking? Why should something move here? What are the goals of the planned change and development? What do history and patterns look like? What does the organisation really need and want? And quite honestly: What can be gained and lost? An agile approach can already be experienced here if appropriate methods are used to clarify the situation.

This first step is really work and it becomes clear that organisational development cannot be delegated but becomes a primary task of management. The management team must be convinced that there is another way. Perhaps the role model function of management has never been as important as it is now. Especially when the classic role of the boss is abolished. This is where decisive impulses come from in order to succeed.

You need courage, patience, trust, a desire for new things, the joy of experimenting, curiosity and perseverance. And there is a lot to gain. But that is another beautiful story.
Let's get into the conversation. I'm sure we can learn from each other. If you feel like it, write me.