10 Ways to Make Your Organisation More Agile
Do you know what your customers will need in two years’ time? In fact, can you even tell for sure who your customers will be two years from now? Can you predict what kinds of products and services will be in demand and which ones will have become ‘old news’?
If you have little or no idea, don’t worry you are not alone. In most industries, customer demands change so quickly – a phenomenon accelerated by relentless changes in technology – that it’s almost impossible to know what the future will bring.
The way for a company to excel in such a fast-paced environment is to build an organisation which is highly flexible and adapts readily to change, so that whatever the future holds, the organisation is ready to embrace new challenges. This is the essence of Agile.
In my previous post I outlined the most important characteristics of an Agile culture. But knowing what it looks like and getting there are two very different things.
In this article I will introduce 10 steps that will help you on your path towards an Agile transformation.
How to make your organisation more Agile Read More
Agile is being embraced by a wide range of industries
‘Going Agile’ appears to be a burgeoning trend among companies across Europe.
At the time of writing, on just one of the top international online recruitment sites, there are 772 job postings for Agile coaches in the UK, 779 in France, and 1327 in Germany. Organizations big and small are keen to adopt Agile principles. What’s more, these organizations are no longer limited to software companies. Browsing through the online job adverts, Royal Mail, Comic Relief, ING Bank, UK Cancer Research, and Lufthansa are among those companies looking for coaches to help introduce more agility into their ways of working.
So, Agile is spreading outside of the IT industry. But what does ‘Agile’ really mean? Read More
Let’s face it, you can’t get away with flogging the same old product or service over and over again.
One of your competitors has just come up with a new solution; more and more of your clients ask whether you have any “new innovative products”: These are some of the signs you can’t ignore anymore.
The company will soon start losing market share unless you place a lot more emphasis on innovation.
Until now, you have always been the main source of creative ideas in your team. But this is not sustainable anymore. You must build a team that is capable of coming up with new, exciting products.
But how can you build such a team? Here are 7 essential elements: Read More
Top managers’ 5 most common objections to cultural change initiatives … and how to tackle them
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” declared management guru Peter Druckner.
Most managers know from their own experience that no matter how brilliant the strategy is, the ‘wrong kind of’ organisational culture can sabotage even the best of plans.
Let’s see two typical examples: Read More
“Information not passed through the heart is dangerous.” (Anita Roddick)
Stories can help you communicate a message that truly inspires and motivates people in your company. Read on to find out how it works.
A story that changed something about me
A few years ago I read a short story that changed my attitude towards forming new habits. Read More
Social network analysis – the management tool that helps you harness the power of social networks
In my previous post I wrote about the significance of managers understanding your own organisation’s informal network in order to make the right decisions.
But how can we draw the accurate map of the company’s social network?
Social network analysis is the method of collecting, visualising and analysing data about informal connections between employees of an organisation.
Managers can conduct a social network analysis by following these five steps. Read More
Everybody who has ever worked in an organisation knows that behind the formal orgchart and the official roles and responsibilities there is an informal network of personal connections.
Who chats with whom during coffee break? Who does someone shares their personal concerns with? Who do people turn to with their professional dilemmas?
These are questions you can’t answer by looking at the orgchart. And yet these informal social links strongly influence how a company operates, how information flows, and how quickly and flexibly an organisation reacts to any changes in the business environment.
Do managers really understand what is going on in the informal network? Read More
Brain surgery or aspirin? Treating a patient without a diagnosis
Medical scenario 1:
Diagnosis first, treatment second
You have been suffering from severe headaches for the last two months. You are worried, so you go to see a doctor and tell him your symptoms.
The doctor listens carefully to your woes and then announces: “What you need is brain surgery.”
What do you think of this suggested course of treatment?
Apart from being rightfully shocked, you would probably be a bit sceptical. How can a doctor possibly know what the cure is without conducting a diagnosis first? How does he know what is causing the problem? What is the justification for this drastic action? Read More
The New Manager’s Big Change Initiative is failing
Go-ahead manager Bob Newcomer begins his position in the well-established company, Slo-Gro products. He is full of ambition and eager to prove himself as the new head of the team.
After a few weeks, Bob can already clearly see that the processes, methods and traditions in the company are totally dysfunctional and in desperate need of change.
Therefore, after less than two months in office, Bob announces his Big Change Initiative. He introduces several radical transformations. He changes the organisational structure; he starts re-engineering processes; he demands new attitudes and new behaviours from his subordinates
Not surprisingly, Bob Newcomer faces huge resistance. Things are just not happening the way he planned. His orders are not being carried out. People don’t follow his new procedures.
He replaces several of his managers, but improvement is still not forthcoming.
He doesn’t understand what is wrong. Read More
What is the first step on the journey to becoming an outstandingly supportive and valued internal HR service provider?
You need a high-performing, motivated HR team.
A HR director participating in our Best of HR Project faced a big challenge two years ago: employee engagement within the HR team was one of the lowest within all the teams in the whole company.
However, through some radical changes – both within the HR team and in his own leadership style – he managed to improve things so dramatically that, just one year later, HR had become the most engaged team in the organisation.
In the interview with him he shared with us the key elements of their success. Read More
Forcefeeding values – by novishari
One of my clients asked me the other day: “I know why having a vision is important. I get that. But what is the point of a value statement?”
I could see where he is coming from. There are so many companies whose value statements are only a list of mundane expressions such as “customer focus”, “excellence”, “cooperation” etc., which are posted on the walls of the corridors and on the company website.
Regarding these “value statements”, I fully agree with my client – there is absolutely no point to them. Read More
„We are in the middle of a big transformation and it is an absolute chaos.”
This is not a quote from one particular person. Rather it is something almost everybody has said, or could have said at some point during an organisational change process, irrespective of what kind of change we are talking about. Whether it is a change of organisational structure, the introduction of the new SAP or a big cultural change project, the phenomenon of “nobody knows what they are doing” is always there at some point.
This chaos causes employees to despair and managers to panic. So, you might ask, how can we plan and implement a smooth and chaos-free change process? The answer is: we can’t.
“Global warming a problem? Just shave the bears.”
An old joke Seth Godin quotes in my all-time favourite blogpost.
Ever since I first read the post in 2009 I have been looking out for signs of organisational “bear shaving”, in other words, offering a superficial solution to an organisational problem instead of addressing the root cause. Read More