Is executive agility something you can cocreate with agility specialists and leadership teams? If so, how?
Absolutely. I think it should be co-created rather than imposed.
One of the first points of call in a new client engagement is to focus on understanding the context of their organization and why agility is important to them.
I don’t start by walking them through different agile frameworks or explaining the dogma of each agile approach, it doesn’t serve them, and I don’t have enough information about their needs and challenges to make any recommendations of value.
I need to understand the problems that they are facing and how that relates to the business goals and objectives they have identified as important.
Ideally, I get to shadow an executive.
That involves a lot of access to confidential information and as such, I do sign and honour non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, etc. as part of the engagement but it is one of the most valuable ways for me to understand challenges, gain a working and useful understanding of the environment, and recognise what approaches, tools and frameworks would be a great fit.
The most effective client engagements I have been a part of involve pairing with executives and agile leadership teams.
I possess great knowledge of agile in practice, agile frameworks and tools, and how to integrate agility into a traditional organization. The executive possesses great business knowledge, deep insight into the organization and its challenges, goals, and objectives, and has a great vision for what they want to achieve in alignment with stakeholder and partner objectives.
It is a winning combination.
Working together empowers us to create an environment where agility can thrive and help them solve the most compelling problems in the most valuable way.
A great agile executive understands the politics, opportunities, and potential threats of partners and stakeholders. Stakeholder management is an incredibly powerful skill and partnering with that kind of executive really paves the way to getting things done.
So, building trust with executives is crucial.
As an agility chef, my job is to inform, educate and empower executives and leadership teams to make great decisions that enable agility and unlock potential.
Shadowing executives allows me to build a great relationship, develop an understanding of what truly matters, and identify how I can contribute to important goals and objectives.
The importance of partnership
So, yes, I think agility can be co-created between leadership teams and agility specialists, but it needs to be a partnership-driven approach.
The difference between an agility chef and an agile thought leader is significant.
In my experience, agile thought leaders get caught up in the importance of their idea and the dogma surrounding the implementation of that idea or concept.
It’s their way or the highway.
Their focus isn’t on the unique application and context of the organization they serve, it is instead focused on making sure their version of agile is implemented with flawless execution.
Agility chefs are customer focused and problem-solvers.
We might introduce several agility options to executives, and we would walk them through the pros and cons of each approach. We aren’t invested in a particular approach, nor do we have any problem adapting process or systems to help the organization achieve an authentic path to business agility.
As experienced agile practitioners, coaches, and consultants, we can extract the best elements of multiple thought leaders and agile frameworks, and tailor them into a solution that empowers the organization to evolve into its own, unique, and authentic version of agility.
Our goal is to take everything we have learned from the executive or executive teams and synthesize everything we know about agile to create a path to agility that works for your organization and its unique context.
About John Coleman
John Coleman has deep experience and expertise working with executives, #leadership teams and product development teams to achieve increased #businessagility and create environments where creativity and collaboration produce high-performance teams.
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