If 'organisational agility' was a movie and you were the hero(ine)...

by Brendon Livingstone on 02/02/2017 03:30

Movies normally start off nicely...

Things are going marvellously. Your people have been on the training. They're using Agile practices. They've got the Agile lingo down pat…



CRACK! …Cut to that scene in movies when lightning flashes and an unsettling and enormously loud crack of thunder suddenly erupts, heralding the imminent doom and despair that is about to ensue…

Movie lightning, in the context of Organisational Agility as a movie and you as the hero(ine)

Image: Lightning by Onno-thx for 20 million views, used under Create Commons CC BY 2.0.

Enter the scary organisational culture thingy

According to Michael Sahota, a Toronto-based Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach, the biggest barrier organisations face when undergoing Agile transformation does not relate to practices, but rather effecting deep change in the organisational culture.

This point is supported by Version One's 10th Annual State of Agile Report which shows that the main barriers to Agile adoption relate to cultural factors - "ability to change organisational culture" and "general organisational resistance to change".

While many organisations see upskilling delivery teams to apply Scrum or other Agile approaches along with associated practices as the main thrust of their Agile adoption the reality is this is only one (potentially less important) part. Realistically, achieving organisational agility requires a fundamental change in culture. This is a serious change initiative and it won't happen without motivated people 'leading' the change.

We need a hero(ine)...

Hero(ine) shows up to lead the change

In the Scrum Alliance article Meet Michael Sahota, Sahota states "The behaviour of the organisation is a direct result of the leadership behaviour, but leaders get into the trap of wanting people to be fixed by Agile training and coaching, and they're not looking at themselves first".

In the Scrum Alliance 'Certified Agile Leadership' course that Sahota delivers he guides leaders and coaches, helping them grow an awareness of the need to create an open, honest, and safe environment in which everyone can participate freely.

"I want to help leaders show up in ways that invite others to show up," he says. "That's the beginning of the path to evolving structures and practices that create an adaptable, resilient organisation."

Who is actively leading your organisation to agility? Perhaps it's time for you to show up?

Your turn: It's 'blue pill / red pill' time

"You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." Morpheus, The Matrix

Blue: go ahead, carry on as before, perhaps have your people use Agile practices. No doubt you'll get similar results to the past, just done using agile practices and new words. You're organisation might 'do Agile', but will it 'be Agile'?

Red: Start addressing the real issues needed to create organisational agility - culture, leadership and fostering lasting change. Set your organisation on a new path to achieve the types of results needed to succeed in a turbulent, fast changing world.

Hero(ine) training

Michael Sahota, Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach, delivers Certified Agile Leadership trainingThink of Michael Sahota as your 'organisational agility' Yoda.

He delivers the new Scrum Alliance Certified Agile Leadership course, which specifically focuses on helping leaders and coaches foster agility within their organisations. Sahota guides attendees through the important topics referenced in this blog post - organisational culture, growth, leadership and change.

Michael Sahota has partnered with Equinox IT to deliver this course for the first time in New Zealand on 19-20 April 2017 in Auckland. Attendance will be worth your time - Sahota is getting exceptionally high praise for the course internationally.

At the time of writing early bird pricing is available on the course, but you need to register fast to take advantage of this.

Find our more and register


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