The 5 unique elements of an agile organisation

The 5 unique elements of an agile organisation

December 13, 2021

The agile framework is revolutionising how departments and entire organizations are run in today’s highly dynamic business environment, and as we have discussed in our previous article, if you want your business to remain competitive, now is a good time to consider making the change to become an agile organisation.

While each business will have its own unique journey to become agile, and there is no blueprint for success, there are however five unique elements that characterise an agile organisation. These five have been drawn together by McKinsey & Company, and below our Netherside team has elaborated on what these might look like for your business. 


1. Strategy - North Star 

Agile organisations are masters in reimagining both whom they create value for, and how they create it. They are characterised by their customer-focused attitude and seek to meet diverse needs across the entire customer life cycle. This value creation is also extended to a wide range of stakeholders including employees, investors, partners, and communities.

To remain consistent with their focus, agile organisations set a shared purpose and vision that is embodied across the business. Combining a shared purpose with a flexible, distributed approach to value creation allows agile organisations to rapidly sense and seize opportunities. Individuals across the organization proactively watch for changes in customer preferences as well as the external environment and act upon them.


2. Structure-Empowered Teams

While agile organizations do maintain a stable top-level structure, they are known to swap out much of the remaining traditional hierarchy with a flexible, scalable network of teams. This works well as networks are a natural way to organize efforts because they balance individual freedom with collective coordination.

An agile organisation comprises a dense network of empowered teams that operate with high standards of alignment, responsibility, know-how, transparency, and collaboration. The company must also have a stable ecosystem and culture in place to ensure that these teams are able to operate effectively.


3. Process: Rapid Decisions 

Right planning is an essential thing when it comes to going for the desired outcome, and the senior leaders of the organization need to define the plan in detail so that everybody understands it, and it also reduces the risks. The world we are living in is a constantly changing world, and if the organization does not embrace these changes in the best way possible, they will be at risk.

An agile organization has a workflow of rapid thinking and doing that is an effective way to accomplish objectives. Now it is up to them if they deploy the design or not, but lean operations, agile development, continuous action makes an organization works in an agile way.


4. People - Dynamic People

At the centre of every agile organisation is its people, and leaders will actively engage and empower them to achieve goals. Through people-centred models, organisations are able to create value quickly, collaboratively, and effectively.
Furthermore, leadership in agile organisations is there to serve the people within, to ensure they are empowered while also developing them. Rather than planners, directors, and controllers, they become visionaries, architects, and coaches that empower the people with the most relevant competencies so they can lead, collaborate, and deliver exceptional results.


5. Technology – Next-Gen Seamlessly integrated technology

The digital revolution has certainly been key in driving this change towards agile organisations, and so naturally, technology features heavily within these businesses. In order to meet changing customer and competitive conditions, many products are services will likely need to be digitized or at least digitally enabled. This is also true for operating processes which will also have to continually and rapidly evolve, and this requires agile organisations to evolve their technology architecture, systems, and tools.

While still not widespread, the agility buzz is spreading and management teams are scrambling fast to learn how to unlock the power of becoming a truly agile organisation. Here at Netherside, we support business owners in unlocking this potential and achieving value growth. To find out how we can support you on this journey, please contact us

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