Will Agility Save 2021?

IT’S BEEN TOUGH!

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t really prepare for a VUCA world and that even if you try, you may still need to switch in lockdown mode in an instant, and be able to adapt (who wants to say ‘pivot’ anymore?) – to be able to grow and succeed in the face of change… again. 

So when it comes to leaving the year 2020 behind and looking to next year, how can we make sure we succeed, particularly in the face of uncertainty? One word: AGILE.

TAKING AGILE BEYOND SOFTWARE

There are at least two good reasons to start “taking agile way beyond software“:

  1. Agile methods can help to fight against traditional organisations’ silos, that create delays, lack of efficiency and lack of ownership.
  2. Going agile, companies can better understand their customers needs while reducing their internal complexities, which ultimately improves their customers’ satisfaction.

Sounds like magic? There’s actually a secret recipe… 

  • Imagine you set up cross-cross-functional teams;
  • You make sure to cultivate servant-leaders; 
  • And to let them adopt and tailor agile methods to your business;
  • And finally, you automate some tasks to lower the costs… 

and yes, magic will happen.

In 2021, agility needs to go beyond software context because it can provide solutions to improve collaboration, efficiency and velocity, in every kind of organisation. 

AGILITY IS CATCHING FIRE

Agile methods are proven tools to empower people internally and externally, and to walk together towards a vision; for instance serving an ambitious innovation, creating a workplace full of happiness and of self-effectuation, or impacting positively the community. 

But there is more… As stated by McKinsey, “agility is catching fire .” – And where’s a better place to catch fire, if not in people’s heart and soul? Before we enter the new year, check in on your teams’ mood, mindset and “fire” is maybe the best idea… 

The Covid-19 crisis had more impact on non-software companies employees, that were maybe “less prepared” for the disruption caused by the pandemic, for instance in terms of remote working. Their work-life balance has been challenged more than ever, social distancing becoming the new norm. And with the stress and negative emotions accumulated over the last months, people are simply exhausted. 

Therefore, the energy needed to design an agile process, to change the way to work collaboratively, and the ability to be creative and to let go, are probably much harder to cultivate now than before (especially via Zoom!).

And all leaders, in software or non-software contexts, should really focus on people now, for the next big challenge at stake within teams will be the necessity to balance agile flexibility with the growing need for sense and security. 

SO WILL AGILITY SAVE 2021? 

Probably yes! Because when we go agile, we can do more with less, while looking for more cost-effective ways; and we can focus a lot more on the things that are going to actually make a difference, such as what our customer really wants. 

How much will we need to adjust agile approaches next year? It is definitely on the extensive energy to be deployed, in order to mobilise and to elevate the team’s mindset around agility and change.

Agile managers will be responsible for being the best role models of accountability, collaboration, transparency, and urgency to learn and adapt fast. Demonstrating on a daily basis their distinct skills of adaptability, resilience, learning, and foresight will be a must to make agility catch even more fire in all kinds of companies in 2021… before the next pivot moment!

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