New work approach to survive in fast-changing environment – AGILE
COVID-19 has hit the global economic hard and economic landscape is evolving fastest-ever. Adoption of new technologies changes our life and companies are struggle to catch-up with the changes. Around the world, we see growing number of companies are embracing agility to improve business performance. We found that company may respond faster to changes and crises with application of agile.
Many companies do not understand agile and still being sceptical to its result. In nutshell, agile approach is shifting your strategy, structure, processes, people, and technology toward a new operating model by rebuilding an organization of self-steering, high performing and supported by a stable backbone. However, a company culture is the most challenging factor for a company in transformation. Although transformation toward agile is tough, but we may begin to shift working and management approach to be more agile with following steps:
Step 1: Setting up a clear and purposeful culture aspiration.
Culture in every company is unique and each company facing challenges associate with their culture. These challenges can be grouped under 4 general categories and each category of challenges facing by the company, should transform and resonate across the company to be practical and achievable.
Category 1, the “Play Safe” company who always trying best to avoid mistake and failure at all costs. Company should be shifting approach to do what is right and embrace trial and error method.
Category 2, the “Leader” company who only listen to leaders with highest position or loudest voice. Company should encourage more opinion from the ground level and actively seeking for opinion from different perspective.
Category 3, the “Established” company that has SOP and KPI for all processes. Rather than telling others how to get things done and relying on SOP to organize teamwork, company should trusting others that they are able to get thing done by using guideline and questions to help others to solve problem.
Category 4, the “Individualistic” company that emphasize on personal KPI performance. Staff in this company will prioritise own KPI over team performance. Management should make it a habit to make others shine and being deliberately transparent. Spending more time with staff will also help to calibrate teamwork and team objective.
Step 2: Make it personal
Everyone may understand change is required but the need of change is different to everyone. Making change personally meaningful to employee is important and allows different definition of agile mindset. Perception of agile is differ among frontline, middle manager, and top management, and have different implication for each. Invite everyone to share their personal opinion and experience may drive transformational momentum and energy.
Step 3: Engineer transformation with right culture
Even the best-designed strategy can fail if it is not supported by surrounding. Culture is an important factor to a company transformation and many transformations has failed because the impact of culture is neglected. To improve the success rate of transformation, we always encourage leader to cultivate a team with following values:
Focus: focusing on matters that brings impact to transformation and minimize involvement in tasks that are less worthy for investing resources.
Accountability: every employee owned and accountable for the processes assigned and commit to the best possible result he could generate.
Retrospection: always review and assess every milestone. Celebrate success or learning from failure will fuel the team to move forward.
Step 4: Monitor and learn
Continuous learning and improvement are core principle of agile. One need to continuously update with latest technology and knowledge to align with evolution of environment. Successful agile transformation has shown importance of monitoring progress, evaluate behavioural change and its impact, and perform regular review to improve from every success and failure.
Every transformation cannot be done without people working toward the transformation objection and hence working culture is critical. Enabling a successful transformation, agile requires fundamental change in company culture. Changing the way we work and interact is hence essential for every transformation in embracing dynamic change in today economic.