Agile organization - boost efficiency and productivity

What is an agile organization?

Few terms have been used as much in recent years as agile, agility and an agile organization. Unfortunately, this has led to agile becoming a watered-down, more or less meaningless word for many. Like a hate word. But there are good reasons why agile is so widely used. These reasons include the fact that an agile organization is a necessity in the changing and unpredictable world we live in.

The word agile comes from the Latin agilis and is derived from to act. Agile means to move and act - and to be light, fast and agile in your movements. In an organizational context, agile refers to the ability to be quick and agile in your approach to management and organization. Specifically, being quick and agile in reading what the situation calls for and, based on that analysis, being adaptable in your management style and organization as well as in the working methods needed to solve the given task. Leadership agility depends on the ability to make sense of and navigate a continuously changing context with a high degree of complexity.

Why is the agile organization important for modern businesses?

The traditional ways of organizing as a business or government agency are outdated. Hierarchies, bureaucracies, clear chains of command and divisions into fixed departments based on education and tasks no longer reflect the way the world is. Many theorists talk about the world today being VUCA. This is an acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. In other words, the world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The internal changes in organizations, coupled with the external upheavals in society from crises, climate and struggles, have gone from being limited projects to becoming a kind of general state of affairs.

These societal changes have made the agile organization a necessity. Because the way to manage and organize in a VUCA world is neither pure micro management with a controlling manager who monitors employees, nor a pure freedom-loving manager who sets employees completely free to empower innovation and new thinking. Micro management leads to unproductive and demotivated employees. The completely free framework results in ambiguity, with a lack of direction and clarity on roles and responsibilities.

Leadership research suggests that the solution lies somewhere in between the two options. Successful leadership is about balancing between controlling and freeing. The right balance depends on the context, on the context, on the task. And as the world becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, research shows that the demands increase for leaders to adjust their style according to the context - and practice agile leadership.

Benefits of the agile organization

In the context of agile organizations, the term "agile" can be understood as both 1) an organizational meta-competency and 2) a specific organizational form.

Agile leadership, on which the agile organization is based, is an expression of a leader's meta-competence. This means that rather than subscribing to one leadership style that is always used ("I have the solution, what's the problem?"), agile leadership is about utilizing the full repertoire of leadership and changing approach as the context demands ("What's the problem? Then we need to find the best solution").

Applied to a specific organizational form, metacompetence refers to the ability of the organization to adapt and respond to discontinuity - or the expectation of it - in its environment. Here, agile organizing is understood as the ability to change and adapt the organization and structure as best as possible to the inherent power and dynamics of the circumstances, whether it is the line hierarchy, the matrix organization or in network organizations. If you look at specific organizational forms, you'll come across several different approaches, such as Adhocracy, SAFe, TEAL, Holocracy, agile organizing and the Spotify model.

One of the benefits of an agile organization is that decisions can be made faster when they don't have to go through fixed and slow chains of command. This can increase efficiency and creativity. At the same time, an agile organization can help increase adaptability in relation to market requirements, expectations and demand. All to the benefit of both the organization and the market.

Inspiration

We help you create an agile organization

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.

Presentations

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

Sparring

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

Workshop

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

LEAD's approach to creating an agile organization

Our courses provide you with the knowledge and tools to transform your organization to become more agile. We always make it a priority to tailor our courses and consultancy sessions to the needs of our clients, based on their specific organizational structure and challenges. 

Our guidance is typically based on the following questions:

Agile organizational structures: 

How can you shape your organization according to agile principles? Where does it make sense to implement agile methods in your organization? What is needed to undergo a successful transformation to agile ways of working? How do you navigate organizations that use both hierarchical and agile structures in parallel?

The culture of the organization: 

What are the organization's basic assumptions? What potential does the organization have to become more agile? What needs to change and learn in order to succeed with an agile reorganization? How to create the right balance depending on the task and context?

Implementing agile working methods: 

What is the purpose of agile working methods? How can we adapt these methods to our specific needs and context? How can you lead iterative work processes that focus on continuous adaptation and improvement?

Agile teams: 

What should you be aware of when forming cross-disciplinary agile teams? How do you develop collaboration and team performance in agile teams? How do you promote leadership in self-organized, multidisciplinary teams?

The consulting team working with agile organization

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
Email: ce@lead.eu