How to practice agile management in your everyday life - 5 tips

By Claus Elmholdt, Professional Director, Lead
There have been countless books written about "agile ways of working" and the business need for increased agility in response to changing market conditions, but relatively little about what this means from a management perspective.

What does it mean to practice agile leadership? What should you as a leader do differently and how do you best help your team and organization work more agile? We present a perspective on this in this short post, where you'll also find 5 tips for working towards more agile leadership.

5 great tips

  1. Strengthen leadership identity and holistic perspective throughout the organization - in the agile organization, leadership is a shared responsibility.
  2. Create more collective leadership models and more flexible, mission-driven organizations - one-size-does-not-fit-all.
  3. Support the development of a 'we' culture where collaborative spaces across the management chain are the norm, not the exception.
  4. Turn up the volume on dialogues and meaningful leadership communication and turn down the volume on bureaucratic rules, control and governance - focus on empowerment and capacity for decentralized decision-making.
  5. Create a culture and practice of systematic and continuous data-driven improvement and learning throughout the organization.

We need to learn and fail fast by continuously evaluating our work and giving each other feedback. At the heart of agile leadership is the ability to build a feedback and learning culture. This requires a high level of trust between managers and employees and mutual accountability in task performance.

Practicing agile leadership is also about choosing the right organizational form for the task at hand. Self-organizing teams and team culture call for a high degree of decentralized decision-making and thus the manager's ability to truly facilitate teamwork, distribute leadership to teams and ensure empowerment of the individual employee in the work.

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