An Agile Organization Starts with You

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Q: Why is it so hard to do Agile right, and why is it especially hard for executives to grasp what Agile is?

Author Sarah Elk responds: Most leaders have grown up in a corporate world anchored by a command-and-control view of leadership. They believe that the answer lies in them and that their role is to impart their wisdom on others. As a result of this mindset, leaders read books and research on Agile from the perspective of what they need to do to instruct others.

Doing Agile right, however, requires that leaders personally go on an Agile leadership journey. Leaders can change the culture and the organization only if they change themselves. Leaders who are committed to learning and practicing Agile methods understand how to apply it and how to design operating models that serve their teams.

Some companies start with process-heavy approaches that attempt to routinize new behaviors. We find that companies benefit from adapting to what works best within their unique strategic and cultural contexts, defining their own way of working as they mature into a more Agile enterprise.


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