A Guide to Building Agile Culture

peter abraham
Mar 15, 2019 · 4 min read

How to make culture work? What are the four key elements of agile organizational culture? We’ve just published the results of our workplace culture research entitled
A guide to building an agile culture and you can download it free here.
If you’re struggling with understanding your corporate culture GET IN TOUCH, we run 30 minute calls to discuss how we can help using our data driven solution that uncovers common barriers that slow organizations down.

In it we cover:

* Organizational agility and agile teams in the context of modern management

* Cultural challenges during agile transformations

* How to make Culture work

* Recommendations

An organization is only as good as its people. But people are motivated by the organization’s culture as that’s what drives the behaviours that make the organization successful.

Organizational agility is not well understood, our research into the subject revealed four critical areas, which are key indicators of what we can term as potential misalignment within an organization.

We looked at how SMEs manage change and transformation when they go through transition(s), such as a growth phase or through the process of a Merger & Acquisition.

In our research, we looked at how SMEs manage change and transformation when they go through a transition, such as a growth phase or through the process of Merger and Acquisition. Our findings centred around four key elements of organizational culture to more efficiently pursue agile transformations. Our focus was on identifying the way businesses managed the four key elements of organizational culture to more efficiently pursue
agile transformations.

These four elements are:

1. Recognition: Recognising good or hard/smart work. One in five claim that there are never any personal development reviews inside their organization…and strongly disagree that there is a system of recognition.

2. Communication: Organizational purpose, clarity of expectations and alignment of people. One in five companies claim that the organization’s values are not visible…and a similar number claim that the relationship between their role and the purpose of the organization is not clear.

3. Trust: Trust in other people/ Organization.Trust is more likely to be associated with fellow colleagues rather than senior management.

4. Learning: Investment in training. In controlling cultures there’s less investment in skills.

An agile culture has to be built on an agile mindset. This allows things to move more quickly, less hierarchy in decision making and responsibility handed to small agile groups and teams to make things happen. Communication channels are then efficient and open, as in there is more transparency.

Building an agile mindset and culture offers a way to harness the power of the people in your organization to find ways to be more adaptive, innovative and resilient in a fast-paced digital economy.

An agile culture is increasingly recognised as a critical component for the survival and growth of a business.

In a fast- paced environment where changing trends and consumer sentiment are the norm, significant disruption is not only to be expected but embraced.

Rapid changes in competition, demand, consumer and employee expectations, technology and regulations make it imperative for organizations to be able to adapt quickly.

Becoming agile is important to my organization

Despite companies ranking agility as a high strategic priority in their performance units, respondents sentiment painted a picture of organizations falling behind in transforming activities in several parts
of their structure — from innovation and customer experience to operations and strategy.

What’s more our survey also confirms that organizations that have successfully implemented an agile culture and adopted an agile mindset excel at both stability and dynamism.

Whatever the type of culture you develop, it must sit at the heart of strategy for today’s businesses. From an agile perspective, depending on the focus of your organization, your company culture will likely either be:

1. People Oriented (Personal) vs. Company Oriented (Impersonal)

2. Reality Oriented (Actuality) vs. Possibility Oriented (Achievement)

The guide looks at some of the behaviours that nurture and characterise an agile mindset and the impact that adopting agile culture can have on communication, commitment and collaboration within your organization, and the symbiotic relationship between culture and leadership and how it shapes and influences change within organizations.

If we’re not investing in our workforce what are we doing?

If you’re struggling with understanding your corporate culture, why the business isn’t growing as fast as it should and need some help then GET
IN TOUCH
, we offer a 30 minute call to discuss how we assess culture and remove barriers and how our data driven solution helps.

Click to download

Originally published on the Agile Business Manifesto Blog

You can read more about organizational culture and building business agility in our book.

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Image source

Building The Agile Business

Building The Agile Business

Thoughts on organisational agility and digital transformation in support of the books ‘Building the Agile Business’ and ‘Agile Transformation’ (both Kogan Page)

peter abraham

Written by

CoFounder Crank weareCrank.com | CoAuthor of Building the Agile Business (Digital Transformation) | Non Exec and Advisor to TheDigitalTransformationPeople.com

Building The Agile Business

Thoughts on organisational agility and digital transformation in support of the books ‘Building the Agile Business’ and ‘Agile Transformation’ (both Kogan Page)

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