When the workforce has access to all necessary data regardless of rank and reputation, anytime, anywhere, and can immediately decide on the spot, then at the latest legacy approaches will become obsolete. The enthroned decision-makers who have lost contact with the business, the chains of command, where the actual decisions are diluted and taken too late, as well as the applications for applying an application that generate unnecessary tasks and no longer fulfill their original purpose no longer fit the time. This explains the yearning for new forms of collaboration. The implementation is difficult, because the desired state is characterized by self-organization that must be allowed – which makes a large part of the tasks of the decision makers futile. This autonomy does not need new structures, but a new mindset. And as soon as these basic attitudes would be given to the managers and employees, they could also flourish in a traditional environment. Agility could actually be used since a long time.
The mindset, however, is a personal trait that is shaped primarily during the development in the direction of an opportunistically submissive command scheme. What have always prevented agility are people, the managers and the employees alike, who lacked the corresponding mindset, e.g.
- the trust that all pull together;
- team learning that expands the common skills;
- the feedback that provides appreciative suggestions for improvement;
- the culture that is based on ethical values, not on paragraphs;
- the intrinsic commitment that keeps obligatorily the momentum of every team member.
The following traits have always undermined agility.
This is not a formal requirement of leadership, but the intrinsic pressure of individuals to interfere in every detail. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about wanting the best or whether the involvement in the subtleties is due to a lack of self-confidence.
- Fault intolerance
Everyone should be aware that everything can always be done better. For this reason, all results should be celebrated. When one can speak of a mistake, depends on the observer. Particularly disturbing for the team are those people, who deal generously with their own mistakes and who pursue perfectionism to the point of aggression with mistakes of others.
- Blame- instead of solution-seeking
At work, the emphasis on shortcomings and persistent reproaches indicates whether it is a question of playing the blame game or searching for a solution. Agility has an impact when solutions are achieved. In the end, the feedback from the customer determines the quality.
A prerequisite for agility is the decisive setting of clear goals. The best possible clarity is achieved through the appropriate smartification of the objectives. It becomes difficult when the decision-makers cannot decide and oscillate back and forth between different goals.
- Double Binding
The world is not black or white, but infinite shades of grey. It is always possible to do one thing and not let the other in these grey areas. Dangerous are the double-binders, people, who wish for two variants and in the end criticize, when one solution is not as perfect as they expected, regardless of the perfection of the other variant – and of course vice versa.
- Energy hijackers
Agility lives from its own momentum and the acquired abilities. Energy hijackers have learned to exploit others for their own interests. That way they burden others with their own tasks by demanding support and keep getting others out of their rhythm.
In the future agility is a must, since reaction times are getting close to zero. It is no longer possible to call for guidance and help with each step. The employee wins the business at the touchpoint with the customer exactly at the moment when he is there.
Bottom line: New wine in old tubes is often regarded as something bad. In the case of agility, however, it is rather an expression of decades of inability to use the skills of the employees in a way employees would favor. The hurdles on the way are individual employees, who have reached leading positions due to the corresponding upswing. They disrupt through their micromanagement, fault intolerance, blame- instead of solution seeking, indecisiveness, double binding and limitless energy appetite. Before any structural changes happen, it is necessary to develop the required agile mindset, e.g. trust, team learning, feedback, culture and intrinsic commitment. Then agility produces its effect – even though it actually could be used since a long time.