• Article
  • Jun.21.2022

The shift to agility begins with leadership

  • Jun.21.2022
  • Reading time mins

"If you want your people to think, don’t give instructions, give intent."

David Marquet

To successfully transform your business into an agile environment, you must start at the top. Agile is a shift in mindset and, while it will help your organization become more efficient and flexible when facing change, it can only become effective if embraced by leadership.

What are your current leadership values? Do these values align across all departments? Regardless of position or level, leaders significantly influence how others behave and perform in the workplace. Your team members will be empowered by a cohesive, responsive framework. As Bruce D. Schneider, author of Energy Leadership, says, “everyone is a leader either by choice or default.”

By following these steps, you can help make an agile transition as seamless as possible.

Communicate “the why”

Change is never easy. When faced with internal transformation, everyone will react differently, and many will resist new processes. It’s important that leaders communicate the reason for this transformation and how it will serve people and improve their work life. By explaining to them how they will benefit, they are more likely to embrace the change and shift from an attitude of “having to do it” to “choosing to do it.”

Lead by example

When it comes to implementing agile change, people will look to their leaders to set examples and “walk the talk.” This makes it vital for leaders to embody these changes, which in turn, will help to accelerate an internal shift. After you have informed people about the agile transition and how it will improve their processes, allow them to decide on how they would like to engage. Once they have decided on their engagement and are making progress towards implementing agility – celebrate their achievements.

Empower people

By moving away from a command and control style leadership, which focuses on employee compliance instead of building autonomous thought, you can empower all team members to view themselves as leaders. This shift in mindset can not only improve internal efficiencies by creating an environment in which people feel safe trying new approaches and taking risks, but ultimately lead to innovative thinking that can elevate how work within your organization is done. Along with creative thought, an agile shift will also prepare team members to quickly and successfully respond to change – which has become ever more present across all industries.

Ready to make an agile transition?

Interested in learning how agility can elevate your business? Our team can provide you with an Agile teams and tools assessment, which will assess your agile readiness, identify any impediments your organization may be facing, and help you define the right path and focus for agile transformation. The assessment includes a section on leadership, so you can have a clear vision of where you stand and what changes we recommend.


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