It all begins with agility

Marcus Pierk
Marcus Pierk
| Partner, macc a Qvest Company
Digital Transformation
Change Management
Corporate Change
Published 12. April 2022

Clear rules, no chaos: Digital transformation begins in the mind

An insurance company that encourages sport through mountain bike cover; a color printer on the executive floor of a telecommunications group, the location of which encourages the staff to work paperlessly: agility takes many different forms in the working environment. For the corporate process of digital transformation, agility is essential – with clear rules, methods and structures.

Agility's economic impact is growing

Almost every industry is being drawn into digitalization. The market is changing worldwide as a result of new competitors and changed customer needs with clear ideas of products and services, but also due to technological innovations.
If it hadn't been affecting them before, digital transformation became a priority for most professional fields because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to many more people working remotely and from home meant that factors such as agility and flexibility became tangible, understandable and, in some cases, absolutely essential. It is becoming increasingly clear that development cycles are often far too long and that existing services may need to be replaced by new ones as soon as tomorrow due to a change in needs. When it comes to responding more quickly and flexibly to the requirements of the markets, traditional methods and models of company management are no longer sufficient.

Small course corrections – big effect

But for a long time now, agility in the sense of company transformation has not meant just strategies, processes and technologies. Employees too – especially managers – must learn to handle the rapid pace at which changes are being made. Above all, however, they must understand that agility means the opposite of chaos: agility follows clear rules and methods.
In practice, this is particularly evident if someone outside the company looks at the existing structures. Often, traditional management styles with unchanging ideas prevent new market developments and their positive effects on the business. Managers lack the courage to act quickly and rapidly adapt radical changes. In such cases, it is not necessary to do a complete U-turn. It is sufficient to make a small course correction to enable more communication, trust and curiosity.

Increasing team productivity through leadership development

The aim of this new, more agile company philosophy must be to excel at making clear decisions no longer only when it comes to the company direction. Agile managers, or "servant leaders", show greater empathy and appreciation towards their employees. They ensure the company's success by giving the working groups more freedom to self-organize and develop on a personal level. These "soft" factors are then supported by proven method and models such as design thinking, Scrum and Cynefin. These are supplemented by tool kits that participants can use to actively drive agile transformation. The tools in question include the "Golden Circle": This question-based communication model and leadership tool helps managers to transfer knowledge in a structured and therefore understandable manner.

For this purpose, the information is split into three easy questions:





Why is it important?
A reason, vision, or purpose.



How should it happen?
A process, principles and USPs.



What is the result?
A category, definition, or goal.

Indirect measurability

Especially when it comes to introducing more agility into corporate processes, the Golden Circle has become established as an important and effective approach. However, the empathy map – a simple but very effective tool for collating assessments of the perceptions and feelings of target groups – and the more well-known project management tool the Kanban board are now considered two of the key tools for driving agility.

And yet, despite all the rules and methods, one thing remains clear: agility will not be measurable, even in the future. True successes first become visible later – through the number of innovations and sprints, how changes are handled and employee satisfaction. Agility remains a continuous change process that is oriented around market conditions and trends to make it possible to remain competitive in a VUCA world full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

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