New distribution methods, a volatile economy and improved technologies for communicating and connecting with the world have highlighted the need for companies to be more agile. However, few operations are as flexible and ready to respond to changing business conditions as they could be. For a company to be adaptable, agility has to become part of the company’s mindset and assimilated so that agile is the ideal. Agile change management centers on real-time communications and iterative activities during organizational change or transformation. Here are some interesting perspectives on agile change management.
“In today’s environment, change agility is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. The winners of the future will be those who can out-change both the competition and external forces…The current velocity of change leaves us at the doorstep of a new world. In this environment of bigger, faster and more complex change, agility is not an option but a required core competency.”
Deloitte Australia, 2015. “Agile Change: Lessons from the Front Line“
“Agile change management is a set of principles that can help change practitioners focus efforts on the most important activities, determined by customer value and stakeholder impact. It provides a lean, flexible and iterative approach to achieving sustainable change in an Agile environment.
In an environment of technology disruption, organisations are increasingly challenged to make change happen at scale and at speed. Their ability to be responsive to customer and stakeholder needs and adaptive to changing priorities will drive competitive advantage. Agile has a key role to play in enabling these outcomes.”
Jason Little, 2015. “The Marriage of Agile and Organizational Change Management“
“Agile isn’t new…it’s been around for 15 years! …the change management community has been around much longer. I’d argue most of the good management, change, and leadership books are inspired by Douglas McGregor who wrote The Human Side of Enterprise in 1957. If you’ve heard of Theory X and Theory Y, this is where it came from.
Warren Bennis summarized McGregor’s thoughts in the 25th anniversary re-printing of the book as:
1. Active participation by all involved
2. A transcending concern with individual dignity, worth and growth
3. Reexamination and resolution of conflict between individual needs and organizational goals, through effective interpersonal relationships between superiors and subordinates
4. A concept of influence that relies not on coercion, compromise, evasion, or avoidance, pseudo support, or bargaining, but on openness, confrontations and “working through” differences.
5. A belief that human growth is self-generated and furthered by an environment of trust, feedback, and authentic human relationships
To me, all good Agile, Change, OD and Management books/theories models reflect these 5 statements.”
Christopher Worley, 2016. “The Agility Factor: Seizing Opportunities and Managing Risks“
“As organizations encounter increasingly uncertain and dynamic environments, there is a clear need for strategies that are nimble and agile; for organization designs that are reconfigurable, ambidextrous, and adaptable; and for change processes that can handle more complexity and delivery with more speed. In fact, research suggests that agile organizations are seven times more likely to have above average performance . . . Agility assumes that sustained financial performance is based on a logic of change, and that leaders need to think about managing dynamic relationships that account for both short and long-term performance and effectiveness.”
Bain Consulting, 2016. “Post-Holiday Outlook and Agile Innovations“
“Amazon has honed its Agile capabilities for more than a decade. In the early 2000s, Jeff Bezos restructured the organization to operate in “two-pizza teams,” groups small enough that two pizzas could feed all members. The objective was for these cross-functional teams to break free of functional silos and prescriptive processes, and attack the most pressing challenges facing the business. According to Bezos, ‘This kind of decentralization is important for innovation because your hands are closer to the knobs of what you’re trying to build.’… What Agile offers Amazon is a way not only to come up with good ideas, but also to develop, test and implement them quickly.”