Over the past two years, businesses all over the world have been beset by constant, unpredictable change. Now, more than ever, adopting an agile mindset might be crucial in order for businesses to survive and thrive.
The verdict is in! We live in a VUCA world.
What is VUCA?
VUCA is an acronym that describes a world where volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity have become the norm in certain industries and areas of business. This means that businesses are faced with rapidly changing environments which are harder to predict, analyze and interpret.
The traditional, outdated approaches to management, leadership and day-to-day working are no longer valid in this unfamiliar, dynamic world we find ourselves in.
In order to effectively solve problems, meet challenges and lead, we need to find new ways of understanding and responding to the challenges thrown our way.
This is where agile comes in.
Agile is Made for VUCA
The agile philosophy was developed to overcome complex situations with a high level of unpredictability. In fact, welcoming change and harnessing it for the benefit of the customer is one of the main principles of agile.
Originally created for the software industry, agile has now broken through to non-IT companies who need to innovate faster to keep up with changing customer requirements. Marketing, finance, product development and construction companies have all seen success by embracing the agile philosophy and applying best practices from agile to their own projects.
VUCA Demands an Agile Mindset
However, the challenge of this VUCA environment is to find new ways of thinking and solving problems, rather than reverting to the tried and tested methods. It’s not just a matter of applying best practices in select departments. Rather, it is about adopting an agile mindset throughout the organization in order to be in the best position to adapt and innovate as the market changes.
- Agile puts teams at the center of the organization – Agile teams are critical to achieving business agility in times of VUCA. Self-organizing, cross-functional teams delivering working products at regular intervals using an iterative, incremental approach are the core of the agile model. Applying the servant leadership framework to hierarchies allows for senior management to play a supporting role to the teams they employ. This empowers the team to determine the direction of the project and allows them to arrive at the end result on their own.
- Agile creates an environment that values creativity and innovation – Agile organizations tend to have an environment that encourages creativity and quick decision-making during unprecedented times. They embrace failure so their employees are not afraid to try something new and have a culture that fosters innovation and experimentation.
Going agile has its benefits in the best of times. In the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous atmosphere that makes up our current world, agility is crucial to business success.
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