Very often, “agility” is named as “everybody does what he wants” – that results in CHAOS, not AGILITY!
Agility is the ability to respond instantly to a change in environment which is changed by that response immediately.
Some call this interdependency also “complexity”. But, if You succeed in splitting up the need for change into small fragments, You change one-by-one in short iterations (“Baby-Steps”), You are able to react in an only complicated, hopefully simple, manner and therefore cope with the need to constant change.
I work very often in organizations that operate worldwide, producing highly valued goods in huge amounts.
These organizations are structured in a hierarchical pattern (“HORG”) that is a heritage of an efficiency-mindset based on the principals and methods originating in “Scientific Management“.
All went fine in the good ol’ days as customers were willing to align their needs to the few available products.
Nowadays, the game changed. In times of universal availability of almost everything, providers need to align to customer’s demands – whether a solution is available or needs to be created by following customer’s demands.
That has impacts.
/HORGs are not fast enough
The HORG is most efficient organizational structure to achieve the ever same goals in massive amounts.
As long as direction stays solid, HORG can speed at highest limits.
But, HORG is not capable to achieve personal aim. Therefore, HORGs are lacking in ability to cope with individual demands.
HORGs have everything at their hand. Established structures, usable resources, money and aim.
But, they are not able to react on change in time. They do react, but it takes its time for information running up and down the pyramid.
/HORGs leave money on the table
Between the filter layers of hierarchy, necessary information will be sorted out as “irrelevant” and generation of consensus about the rest will fail most of the initial target area.
While internal processes are running at highest revs, customers are unwilling to wait and switch to those who promise faster results.
Hierarchy is braking out whileere agility is needed.
Once, a customer is partnering with another vendor, it is even harder to turn him than before – as he was undecided.
The match is lost, the game is gone.
The Fast will beat the Able.
/give structures a Flow
There are possibilities to do better. The most powerful organizations are those which utilize their full range of ability in an agile manner.
They will create organizational structures following the everchanging requirements of customer’s demands.
These demands and their fulfilment is the heartbeat of the organization.
The pumping in the delivery pipe is the rhythm of success.
Nothing different between HORG and agile environments.
The difference is the flexibility of the pipe itself.
It is not a fixed tube with large diameter transporting heavy oil.
It is more like a hose pipe, flexible to bring what is requested to where it is needed.
As the gardener walks from bed to bed, the agile organization follows customer’s demands with immediate fulfilment.
/people need to be trained in attentiveness
Acting in an agile environment needs different skills from acting in a HORG. You need to be always aware of movements around and impacts of Your actions. It is like playing in an orchestra. Often, You cannot say who is playing instruments in which way. But, You can perceive the result and feel whether this is in harmony or out of tune.
It can be stress or joy – depending of the tune.
Like playing in an orchestra, people in organizations need practicing and training.
They need coaches and conductors.
Good news: most people are really good in what they do.
Most people act intelligent within the system.
What is needed is the basic understanding where a beat is needed and where pause is needed to create and align to the rhythm of the organization.
Björn Czybik and Alexander Gerber offer a two-day workshop format in which they bring participants to the point where they can identify the patterns and use their already existing ability in harmony with the rest of the players that build the organization.
/famous last words
Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger.
In the end, there is no end – only another beginning.
“Enjoy, and share what You like.”
“Feel free to make life great by that!”
“Likes” are welcome. Comments are appreciated.