Ask the Authors
Q: What does an Agile leadership team actually do?
Author Darrell Rigby responds: Agile leadership teams recognize that doing Agile right means more than launching hundreds of Agile teams. Agile teams must be surrounded and empowered by an Agile operating system. Collectively, it’s the responsibility of the leadership team to increase the operating model’s agility.
Executives play different roles:
- The chief executive officer often serves as the initiative owner developing the Agile system; clarifies the company’s purpose, values and strategy; and focuses on changing both company culture and leadership behavior. We tend to behave similarly to those around us, and by ensuring that senior executives support one another, the CEO helps them exemplify how all Agile teams should work.
- The chief marketing officer focuses on improving customer feedback loops and identifying customer initiatives of high value.
- The chief financial officer typically makes planning, budgeting, and reviewing processes faster and more adaptive.
- The chief information officer makes technology and data more modular and responsive to the needs of Agile teams.
- The chief human resources officer adapts the talent system for Agile hiring, coaching, teaming and reviewing.
- The chief operating officer develops systems to improve business processes, connects Agile innovation teams to operations, and gives operators clear missions and vital roles in Agile initiatives.
Agile leadership teams add the greatest value by unleashing the potential of every individual. In the process, they build people, teams and organizations that are happier and, as our research has found, 40% more productive than traditional businesses.
(For more, please read our article in Harvard Business Review, “The Agile C-Suite.”)