Experience and research both show that agile organizations have certain trademarks that make them exceptional. These include networks of teams, a people-based culture, rapid decision cycles, fast learning and technology, the purpose of all of which is to create stakeholder value. Moving past organizations as machines, the David Barzilay fast success perspective instead focuses on balancing dynamism and stability. Traditional organizations are static, structural and siloed ones. There is control at the top and decisions as well as goals cascade down the hierarchy, operating in linear planning and control to capture shareholder value. The structure is strong, rigid and gradual in movement.
Agile Organizations: A Step Forward
According to the David Barzilay fast success viewpoint, an agile organization works for both dynamism and stability and offers people centered functionality. This agile model is quick and efficient when it comes to reconfiguring strategy, processes, structures, technology and people towards creation of value and protection of the same. Agile organizations add adaptability and velocity to stability, creating competitive advantages in uncertain, complex conditions where there is ambiguity. The machine based view of an organization is now shifting in the context of the digital revolution changing industries, societies and economies.
The Birth of Agility
Demand patterns are evolving rapidly as customers, regulators and partners have pressing needs. Investors seek growth, through acquisitions or restructuring. Additionally, the presence of collaborators and competitors has led to the evolving of priorities at a rapid pace. Introduction of disruptive technology leads to the establishment of businesses and industries replaced or commoditized through digitization, innovative use of fresh models, and automation or scientific and technological advancements. Robotics, IoT and machine learning have changed the way organizations function.
Additionally, digitization and democratization of information serve as catalysts increasing volume, distribution of information and transparency while requiring organizations to engage in omni-directional communication as well as complex collaboration with partners, customers and colleagues.
Linking Agility With Stability
Achieving balance and mastering paradoxes, agile organizations evolve displaying stability and dynamism at the same time. Designs offer stability in terms of elements that gradually support dynamic capabilities. Agile organizations respond to new opportunities and challenges, as far as David Barzilay fast success measures are concerned. Smartphones serve as a helpful analogy and act as a stable platform for diverse and dynamic applications. Agile organizations also mobilize fast, acting nimble and offering empowerment to act. They respond much like living organisms.
Responding to Pressures: Why Agile Organizations are More than Robust
In case pressure is applied, agile organizations react more than just robustly. Research shows that performance accelerates when additional pressure is exerted. Agile organizations have a higher chance of being healthy work-wise. Such organizations, as per the David Barzilay fast success measures, achieve higher customer centricity, more speedy time to market, greater revenue growth, lower costs and an engaged workforce. Here are the trademarks of an agile organization, as envisioned by the David Barzilay fast success perspective.
#1 Creating Value
Agile organizations redefine when value is created and how it is so. Once agile organizations are intensely focused and meet diverse needs across the life cycle of the customer, creating value is easy. For a wide range of stakeholders from communities to employees, investors and partners, there are many options ahead. To meet constantly evolving needs of stakeholders, agile organizations design flexible and distributed approaches to fulfill value creation needs. They integrate external partners into the value creation system too. Modular and innovative, these business models enable stability, unbelievable value, greater variety and customization. To provide coherence and focus to distributed value creation models, these organizations share purpose and vision.
Agile organizations have a distributed and flexible approach to value creation, sensing and seizing opportunities. Across organizations, people act individually and proactively watching for changing customer preferences, external environments and acting on these. Stakeholder feedback and input can also sought in a number of ways from hackathons to crowd-sourcing and product reviews.
#2 Flexible Resource Allocation
These companies can also engage in swift and flexible resource allocation where needed most. Companies that are agile evaluate the process of initiatives and decide whether to amplify them or not using resource allocation methods to shift technology, people and capital between initiatives rapidly. Leaders of agile organizations play an important role in accessing across distributed systems, bring clear, actionable and strategic guidance around outcomes and priorities at system and team levels. Everyone may be focused on tangible value to consumers and stakeholders by providing additional coaching and feedback enabling people to work towards team outcomes autonomously.
#3 Scalable Team Networks
Agile organizations maintain a structure that is stable, but have a flexible and scalable network of teams. These networks are a natural means of organization of efforts as collective coordination is balanced with individual freedom. For building agile organizations, leaders must check human networks, how to build and design these and collaborate, nurture and sustain them. Implementing flat, clear structures reflecting and supporting ways in which organizations create value are important. Teams are clustered into focused performance groups sharing commonality of mission in agile organizations. Team members can be scaled or adapted to meet changing needs.
#4 Role Accountability
Ensuring clear accountable roles for people to interact across organizations and focus on getting the task done, rather than suffering on account of role ambiguity and lack of clarity. Team members immediately and proactively address lack of role clarity in agile companies. The focus is on hands-on governance where decision rights and cross team performance management are pushed to the edge of boundaries. Decisions are made with relevance and productivity in place.
#5 Communities of Knowledge
Agile organizations are communities of practice and knowledge, with the aim of developing and attracting talent, sharing expertise and knowledge and providing stability and continuity across time, as one rotates between various operating teams. The aim is to create active partnerships plus an ecosystem that contributes to meaningful relationships with external networks and bring innovation to the market.
#6 Empowering Employees
Agile organizations excel at physical and virtual environments empowering employees to be effective. Fostering transparency, collaboration, communication between units and teams, agile organizations use productivity as basic building blocks. Performance is the key as cross-functional teams deliver projects or products that ensure skills and knowledge to deliver outcomes desired. Teams include a product or project owner to define and prioritize vision and work.
Agile teams deliver stable results and offer the best ways to reach goals, focus efforts, prioritize activities and lead the group based on competence rather than position. Individual employees work to enhance efficiency, build larger skill-sets and ensure adequate resourcing of business priorities.