Agile leadership - agile, balanced and effective

What is agile management?

Agile ways of organizing and working have become mainstream in many organizations. The word agile has been on many people's lips for the past few years - for better or worse. It has been voted one of the worst buzzwords in the world of work. Obviously because it has been sprinkled over managers and employees as a fancy word for being both adaptable and adaptable. At the same time, we see more and more people choosing agile ways of organizing and working when complex development tasks need to succeed in creating value faster, more agile and more efficiently. 

The agile ways of organizing and working have a common starting point in the "Agile Manifesto", which values collaboration, change management and customer interaction over processes, plan adherence and extensive documentation. In practice, this means working more iteratively and incrementally in self-organizing teams, striving for gradual and rapid deliverables to create greater value for users, customers and citizens. There is often a strong focus on implementing agile ways of working and frameworks such as Scrum or SAFe, but agile leadership sometimes lags behind as the practical literature provides few answers.

What does agile leadership mean for you as a leader?

Leadership in an agile context is distributed across multiple formal and informal leaders - and largely distributed to the self-organized team. As an agile leader, it is therefore essential that you promote and lead on agile values and principles. It's about focusing more on collaboration, managing change and creating value early and continuously - and less on control, extensive documentation and sticking to a plan. To succeed as an agile leader, you also need to trust that the task at hand will be accomplished when employees and teams are given the right environment, framework and mandates to get the job done.

To succeed as an agile leader, you need to be able to adapt your own approach to leadership quickly, easily and flexibly. You must also have the ability and courage to read and respond to changing circumstances with a broad action and leadership repertoire. Thus, it's important to be aware of your own leadership style and preferences, including how your leadership can support agile teams and how your own behavior can inhibit or promote trust and collaboration.

In addition, the agile leader has a special responsibility to ensure that direction, coordination and commitment is created within and across teams. It's less about focusing on who is doing the leading and more about how leadership is produced collaboratively. Leadership in an agile context occurs when people working together in teams create a common direction, clear coordination and strong commitment to shared deliverables and goals.

High demand for the agile leader

Agile and quick adaptation to changing challenges is increasingly becoming a competitive parameter. This has led many organizations to implement agile ways of organizing and working that create value by following the needs of the customer or citizen. This means, among other things, that decision-making power and competence is pushed downwards and outwards in the organization to a much greater extent. However, most organizations are still hierarchically organized, but with areas or units that work according to agile values and practices. This means that agile leaders must be able to navigate internally and across the hierarchical and agile organizational forms - with an eye towards adapting their own leadership style to the circumstances and creating a common direction, coordination and commitment. This places great demands on the development of the leader's reflexivity and self-awareness - you must be able to both read the landscape and be able to read and regulate your own emotions and behavior in relation to it.


We teach you how to strengthen your agile leadership

At LEAD, we offer advice on transformation from traditional to agile organization and management, as well as tailored courses and training programs on agile management.


Inspiring research-based presentations on agile leadership for all levels of your organization


Sparring in connection with the development of your agile management, decisions and initiatives.


Facilitation of active workshops focusing on agile leadership at management and employee level.

How can LEAD help your organization with agile leadership?

Our courses give you the knowledge and tools to succeed as a leader in agile organizations. We always strive to adapt our courses and training programmes to the participants' wishes and always work on the basis of the participants' own organizations and cases. Our counseling and training is typically based on the following questions:

  • Agile Organizations: How can you design your organization according to agile principles? Where does agile organizing make sense? What does it take in terms of leadership development to successfully transform to agile ways of organizing and working? How can leaders navigate across hierarchical and agile organizations when they coexist?
  • Managing agile ways of working: What can agile ways of working be used for? How can we adapt agile ways of working to our needs and context? How do you lead iterative work processes that aim for continuous adjustments and improvements?
  • Agile teams: What should you be aware of when putting together multidisciplinary agile teams? How to develop collaboration and team performance in agile teams? How do you create and promote leadership in self-organized multidisciplinary teams?
  • Personal leadership: What are my own guiding assumptions about leadership? What is my greatest development potential as an agile leader? What do I need to learn and unlearn to succeed as a leader in an agile organization? How do I find the right balance depending on the task and context?

The agile management consulting team

Andreas Fricke Møller

Chief Consultant | Founder | Read more here

Laust Søndertoft Pedersen

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Mette Tange

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Claus Elmholdt

Professional Director | Founder | Read more here

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a cultural development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Claus Elmholdt

Professional Director, Founder
Cand.Psych.Aut. & Ph.d.
Associate Professor in Management and Organizational Psychology, Aalborg University

Mobile: +45 26 14 51 57