ricardo-gomez-angel-vvst7KmzKUc-unsplash

Business agility

Partner with us to develop your people and grow your business agility capability

A fresh approach to business agility

Partner with us to develop your people and grow your business agility capability. Our approach is broad, not narrow, agile. We bring fresh thinking and encourage a wide range of agile ideas and practices to collide and combine.

Our approach is like a whāriki or woven mat. We’re weaving together agile with ideas that came before it and exist alongside it. Where they join, you get a hono: the joining of new material to create practical ways of operating.

Our approach is tailored to you

You’ve got your own culture and customers, and outcomes you’re working towards. That’s why our learning, consultancy and coaching is customised to you, we don’t believe one size fits all.

 

After all, agile is a means to an end — how to thrive in a complex and ever-changing environment — it’s not an end in itself.

Choose from our six domains

You choose the learning, support and coaching you need from six agile domains: agile mindset, strategy, leadership, teams, innovation and people. Choose one or combine them to create what you need. We’ve developed progress indicators for each domain:

  • I’ve got the idea

  • I’m starting to apply it

  • I’m totally on the case

These give you an idea of progress, but they’re not prescriptive. They show you where you and your people are, and where they need to go next.

Image by Headway
Image by Hannah Busing

Building, coaching and facilitating agile teams

Successful teams are clear on their purpose and can articulate outcomes. And they’re committed to both.

Image by Rachael Gorjestani

Business agility meets innovation and creativity

Perpetual innovators adopt certain habits: challenging orthodoxies; demonstrating intellectual flexibility; learning from the fringe; focusing on the future; and playing wild cards.

Image by Brooke Cagle

Agile people and talent development

Workplaces are changing and hierarchical structures are out of step with agile ways of working.

Image by 胡 卓亨

Business agility mindset

Thinking agile is a way of seeing and understanding our complex world.

Image by Startaê Team

Strategy for business agility

Strategic thinking means predicting the future and moving towards it. Agile strategy accepts the fiction of prediction.

Image by NESA by Makers

Leading for business agility

Leading for business agility starts with an agile leadership mindset.

Business agility mindset

An agile mindset is the start. You need to think agile to act agile. Thinking agile is a way of seeing and understanding our complex world. The Agile Manifesto of 2001 is important, but it’s not the only source of wisdom. It’s a key part of the whāriki, and there are many others that weave together to give us a coherent and ever-evolving whole. Agile is part of a large kōrero about how we need to be working in the future. The conversation is not about the work, it is the work.

Image by 胡 卓亨
 
Image by Startaê Team

Strategy for business agility

Strategic thinking means predicting the future and moving towards it. Agile strategy accepts the fiction of prediction. Seeing all relevant future variables isn’t possible: our world is too complex. Unexpected consequences often result from actions. Simple cause and effect doesn’t take our VUCA world into account: black swans and antifragility abound.

Setting overall direction is vital, as is creating environments that can deliver results and achieve outcomes. Then strategy needs to continually adapt as new challenges emerge. 

To think strategically in an agile environment means including multiple perspectives, continually scanning horizons, asking challenging questions, and challenging assumptions.

 

Leading for business agility

Leading for business agility starts with an agile leadership mindset. And that means taking into account complex and ever-changing environments and accepting uncertainty.

It means planning as you go and making decisions quickly with others, often with limited information. A growth mindset, curiosity, and continual learning are key attributes.

The result is leaders who are self-aware and authentic. They won’t have all the answers; instead they empower and enable the teams they lead. This means letting go of command and control, extending trust and creating a strong sense of belonging, psychological safety and community.

Image by NESA by Makers
 
Image by Hannah Busing

Building, coaching and facilitating agile teams

Successful teams are clear on their purpose and can articulate outcomes. And they’re committed to both.

They are self-organising and empowered to focus on their own sense of belonging, psychological safety, and community. Everyone has a voice. Taken together, this enables experimentation and failure without fear.

But can successful agile teams succeed alone? Well, some have to. Ideally in an agile organisation, teams collaborate: often easier said than done. Conventional and stretch collaboration both play a role here.

Effective individual and team coaching is a key part of empowerment. Using pull techniques for coaching draws out answers to generate fresh insights. Using different coaching approaches add to a coach’s practice, so we include a wide variety.

Facilitation puts people and agile teams at the heart of meetings, stand ups and conversations. The facilitator provides the picture frame; the participants paint the picture.

 

Business agility meets innovation and creativity

Perpetual innovators adopt certain habits: challenging orthodoxies; demonstrating intellectual flexibility; learning from the fringe; focusing on the future; and playing wild cards.

Innovators think in different boxes and challenge existing mental models.

To do this, they connect with others, talk to strangers and give others permission to innovate. The focus is on achieving outcomes, rather than narrow outputs. And there are numerous ways to arrive at outcomes.

Minimum viable product (MVP), iteration and fast failure are at the heart of agile. They also feature in the Lean startup method, Design Thinking, and Lean Innovation. All of these approaches contribute to innovation and creative thinking. Some iterations may include wild cards and disrupting your business before someone else does.

These methods may be uncomfortable for some. But they’re based on the basic scientific method and how we test things in the real world. And our world is VUCA and user/customer reactions to innovations may be unpredictable. They create their own purposes for products and services, or adapt them to fit their needs.

Failure is part and parcel of innovation. Fail fast and move on.

Image by Rachael Gorjestani
 
Image by Brooke Cagle

Agile people and talent development

Workplaces are changing and hierarchical structures are out of step with agile ways of working. Agile organisations are collaborative, networked and based on cross-functional teams.

Transparency and openness are key to an agile culture. These ideas translate into talent development, performance management  and career planning.

A growth mindset and curiosity are great starting points for developing people and talent. Collaborative working encourages formal and informal learning, and effective learning builds competence and confidence. Developing people’s talents is a mix: planned and opportunistic.

Performance management is traditionally about individuals, but agile is about teams. So that means we need a new approach to managing performance. 

With agile comes flexibility and uncertainty; annual performance rounds don’t fit in. And ratings are counterproductive. After all, individual ratings are against pre-set criteria that in an agile world have all too often become irrelevant.

Agile means a shakeup of performance management and adopting an agile mindset and iterative practices.

One track, one ladder and the one career mindset are gone. What we mean by careers needs a mindset shift: scientist rather than sniper. As the sniper, you’ve got a specific and narrow goal. As the scientist, you set out on a path, learn and move on. And you take your learning with you and apply it to new situations. Your career is a three-dimensional mosaic.

 

E-learning module: What you need to know about business agility

The Training Practice and Lift Education partner to create e-learning. This short guide to Business Agility gives you our take on business agility, and shows you what our e-learning looks like. 

 

Our latest thinking on business agility

What does the future hold?

Hilary Bryan

Blog post

What does the future hold?

Done right, scenario planning isn't a future planning exercise that's then forgotten; it shapes what we're doing today.

Level 7, Terrace Conference Centre House, 114 The Terrace

PO Box 182

Wellington 6011, New Zealand

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

© 2020 The Training Practice.