What is agile corporate culture?
An agile corporate culture is a network of teams in a people-centric culture of innovation that operates on rapid cycles of technology-enabled learning and decision-making, where the guiding principle is a strong shared purpose to create value together with all stakeholders.
In the agile operating model, strategies, structures, processes, people, and technologies can be quickly and efficiently reconfigured to capture opportunities to create and preserve value. An agile organization brings speed and adaptability to stability, creating a vital source of competitive advantage in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions.
The value of a culture of agility
Direct business growth
For any company, making a methodology an authentic mindset reveals a new creative structure with an immediate return. It is about culture, not just a tool. It is a way to size projects at the right height, to measure the optimal time and effort dedicated to obtaining an optimal result. When all the areas of an organization are capable of internalizing the prioritization of decision-making, the focus shifts to the person. There is no equal formula for fostering, identifying and developing talent.
An agile corporate culture incentivizes productivity and fosters business growth. The rapid response to any change (and today there are many that we face) allows deliveries of the minimum viable product, increasing the added value of any project.
Strengthen human resources
An agile organizational culture strengthens the human resources. Far from its task of identifying and recruiting talent, this area has the fundamental role of laying the foundations for any change of consciousness in a company. The development of ideas and internalization of a new mindset occurs gradually in a collaborative and educational environment.
The professionals of a company work, grow and communicate in a cultural structure, with group dynamics (natural and created) under the careful guidance of the Human Resources team. It is the breeding ground for conversation to become collaboration, for every professional to be an essential part of the team. An agile corporate culture values every professional in a company.
Evolution and leadership
Having the right professional in the right place decreases reaction time and, of course, the completion time of any project. Similarly, organizational culture is transmitted from person to person, horizontally and vertically. Under the umbrella of the agile culture, the leader becomes a coach, the fundamental cell of change.
Any type of agile transformation requires this leadership to inspire both the team and the rest of the company. This supposes a radical enrichment of the work, facilitates knowledge and allows the management of complex and interdisciplinary projects with a common objective: the business.
Collaboration and learning
The knowledge of the agile culture does not belong to the individual, it is something that belongs to the team. The success of the projects, the learning of the group and the evolution of the culture emerge from the process as a consequence of teamwork.
The sum of all the professionals who work with this culture is much greater than the sum of the people who make it up. A priori, agility can generate some noise because the interactions multiply when this concept is applied. The result is a rich experience of practices which results in sustainable work rhythms.
The essence of the agile culture is to give visibility to everything that happens. Every detail of the process must be transparent, since all professionals are responsible for the process and the product. Agility assumes a series of processes that review the planning, the people responsible for each part of the project, the pace of work, etc. It is imperative that all people have a complete vision in real time in order to face changes, detect impediments or adapt when necessary
What do Lean philosophy and agile thinking contribute?
- Continuous improvement: everyone in the company, at all levels of the organization, is responsible for identifying gaps and inefficiencies in day-to-day activities and is empowered to suggest improvements that can be applied in their area of interest.
- Stronger teams: by working together to solve problems, bonds are strengthened and better and more resistant teams are built, prepared to face any challenge.
- Greater satisfaction: there is an increase in the levels of satisfaction of the people who participate in a project. This has a direct impact on the way things are done, starting a cycle of motivation that is maintained over time.
- Commitment: the people in a team show a greater interest in their work and are more committed to the goals of the organization if they see that their proposals for change are listened to and valued.
- Retention of talent: when people are satisfied and motivated, they are more likely to stay, since they do not need to look elsewhere for what they have already achieved or what they hope to achieve.
- Optimise problem solving: By approaching processes from a solution-seeking perspective, teams are empowered to solve problems on an ongoing basis.
Types of agile methods
Here are some examples of agile methods and tools:
- Agile/Scrum: collaborative development models based on frequent incremental and iterative deliveries with empirical feedback.
- Lean IT: simplification and efficiency to focus development processes or service delivery on the creation of real value for the client.
- Lean startup: Method for launching products and services in uncertain environments.
- Kanban: tool for managing the flow of project and operational activities that, following the Lean methodology, allows the workflow to be optimized, ensuring the delivery of value.
- Kaizen: continuous optimization process through collaborative participation in the analysis of root causes and establishment of improvements at all levels, consistently and periodically.
- Design thinking: design of new services and products, facing the problems of lack of definition that arise in unknown environments that require innovative approaches.
- DevOps: cultural transformation that facilitates the rapid and secure launch of services in an agile and efficient manner through a collaborative environment between the development and operation areas.
- Continuous delivery: use of software engineering for fast and reliable delivery to production in a sustainable way.
We can always help you choose the best innovative approach for your company. Check our different programs here!
How to develop a culture of agility and innovation
Committed leadership is arguably the most important determinant of success when it comes to creating a culture of continuous improvement. Organizations with leaders who invest in employee engagement, understand the importance of technology, and consistently apply a regimented improvement methodology, are successful in continuous improvement.
To get you started, here are eight things you, as a leader, can do to create a culture of continuous improvement within your organization:
1.Lead by example
Show your support for a culture of continuous improvement by actively embracing Lean principles and best practices. Participate in continuous improvement initiatives openly and willingly. Put your ideas into action and encourage others to do the same. Track progress, discuss setbacks, and celebrate successes. Your staff need to see you committed to continuous improvement before they adopt that culture themselves.
2. Communicate regularly
Discuss the benefits and importance of innovation with everyone and at every opportunity. Regular and consistent communication serves to build trust and enthusiasm for continuous improvement initiatives.
It is also the time to work on developing the right mindset among employees, one of the biggest challenges in building a culture of innovation. A growth mindset that encourages continuous learning will drive long-term improvement. Consider training and coaching sessions where you encourage new behaviors and develop necessary skills, such as effective problem solving.
3. Ask for innovative ideas
Employees want to feel valued; they want to know that their opinions matter. They are often best placed to identify process or systemic issues, so ask them for ideas for improvement and respond quickly to those ideas. By creating an environment where all ideas for improvement are welcome, you are also encouraging innovation processes and responsibility.
4. Train employees
Empower employees to make continuous improvement part of their daily work. Encourage them, give them continuous improvement tools, training, and time to examine their current processes so they continually identify opportunities for improvement.
Once an improvement has been implemented, ask employees to document it, so that it becomes the norm going forward until further opportunities for improvement are identified. Check our different workshops, designed specifically for business leaders and collaborators to achieve an innovative culture.
6. Emphasize the importance of small, incremental improvements
Don’t turn every improvement into an event or a project, as this is not a sustainable approach to creating a company culture of continuous improvement. Instead, encourage small, incremental improvements across all functions and at all levels of the organization. These types of improvements, known as Kaizen, are valuable and form the basis of a continuous improvement culture because all employees are actively engaged in the improvement process.
7. Help share ideas and improvements
Share continuous improvement ideas and improvements via emails, newsletters, bulletin boards, or any other available channel. The success of a culture of continuous improvement depends on its effective integration throughout the organization, where everyone participates and takes responsibility for improvements.
New ideas, team performance improvements and PIP savings shared and easily accessible through visual management, for example on departmental digital boards, will reinforce engagement, and team motivation.
8. Celebrate the results achieved through continuous improvement
Celebrate successes by formally (and informally) recognizing the teams and individuals involved in the improvements. Continuous recognition contributes to employee engagement and motivates other teams and team members to improve their processes as well.
9. Encourage participation by maintaining a simple methodology
Organizations that manage to spread a culture of innovation do so because their methodology is simple. Make your improvement methodology simple enough that everyone can participate and identify opportunities for improvement.