Principles of Business Agility

While the mindset and actions should be engrained in any strong organization, the term “Business Agility” is still somewhat new. Therefore, we know it can be confusing to those in your organization who aren’t familiar with the term agile. Here are some principles you can share with them to help them go, “Oh yes, I get it!”

Inspection and adaptation—Business Agility means your organization is able to continually inspect and adapt their products and their processes. Both personal and organizational retrospectives are necessary here.

Create an innovative culture—You want your team to feel comfortable trying new things and learning to inspect and adapt as they go. Creating a safe, innovative space where there is no blame is key! Remember, fear of failure/incrimination will undoubtedly limit innovation, creativity and job engagement.

Transparency—Communicate, communicate, communicate! This is where daily huddles are invaluable.

Executive buy-in—It’s incredibly important to have Agile approaches & values organization-wide, which starts at the top. Executives should be able to model the Business Agility behavior they want to see throughout the organization.

Reducing unnecessary policy and procedure—Watch out for an overload of policies. You don’t need a policy every time something goes wrong!

Results-based not time-based—In a Business Agility mindset, it’s about what you accomplish (quality and innovation), AND (maybe more importantly) how smartly/strategically you work. An example of this is no set working hours.

Empowering self-organizing teams—For true Business Agility, you want to shift away from command-and-control to empowering self-managing/self-organizing teams.

Focus on your customer and their changing needs (see #2!)—Never forget that extreme customer service is the goal! You need to continually inspect and adapt the organization’s product and processes to make sure it fits the customer’s needs. Having a firm plan that cannot be amended is not a good agile practice.