We know that an agile framework allows organisations to adapt more quickly and easily to a changing environment. But what cultural elements can we introduce to foster and build a truly agile culture?

How can we chart a new course to change and transform current practices?

5 Keys to an Agile Culture

Transparency of information

Nowadays, there are still many barriers to accessing information in companies. These “filters” block people from seeing the whole picture and what should be removed. If we can’t discover knowledge within the organisation, then we don’t connect people who work in the organisation with products and needs related to the clients.

To connect with “everything,” it’s crucial to share knowledge; this is done through transparency.

A strong information “unfiltering” movement is necessary in order to allow for a flow of assimilation and understanding that liberates knowledge, intelligence, and know-how.

Iterate and experiment quickly

Learning cycles must be fast so that testing, learning, and making adjustments based on errors becomes a real area of progress.

It’s also essential to introduce the concept of MVP (minimum viable product) when we innovate in order to create prototypes of potentially better products or services to test and learn from.

Continuous learning

We can never stop learning, whether as individuals or in groups. To do so, we need to incorporate the routine of exploring new ways of learning into our day-to-day so that we can improve both what we do within organisations as well as ourselves.

We also have to do so in a “freer” way based on others’ knowledge through exchanges and other ways of open collaboration, getting comfortable with errors and failure as part of the process of progressing.

Promoting new ways of working to retain what we have learned and replace old ideas makes it so that continuously unlearning and incorporating new knowledge clears the way for innovation.

People before processes

An agile culture challenges the traditional “command and control” model that many organisations are still based on. Instead, it places greater emphasis on self-managed teams that have autonomy to make decisions and complete tasks.

Nowadays, it’s necessary for decision-making to be closer to where the action happens.

Changes are happening too quickly for teams to have to constantly check with superiors so they can find out what they should do next.

Giving people the autonomy to make decisions in accordance with their training and skills is not only a faster way to work, but also a better way to work.

Enabling teams so that they become proactive, attentive to signs, and able to take action based on them allows us to detect and take advantage of opportunities, a key element for driving innovation as a catalyst of change.

New, innovative leaders not only have to be good at managing projects, but also at managing people.

Technology, systems, and tools

Agile is not just the tools or technology for creating functional prototypes more quickly, it’s a work culture based on practical tools.

It’s difficult to keep up the rhythm of learning and adapting to new technology; it changes constantly.

To deal with an environment that is constantly updated, organisations have to develop the ability to have a more modular structure. Systems that are open to change with sights set on new technological developments. This way, it will be easier to integrate the new with the old and respond to changing needs.

Introducing these elements into the organisation’s culture makes it so that little by little, agility becomes the norm for transforming and allowing for constant adaptation.

Question for reflection: Can innovation really happen without an agile culture that fosters it?