On September 18th, 2017, I was invited at the presentation of the first survey conducted by Pwc and PMI on “How agile are companies in Luxembourg?”. As an introduction, I wanted to give a broader perspective of the management paradigm shift that I think is currently ongoing.
Indeed, Agile is certainly one component of a wider movement that drives our companies to be more human and more adaptable to a rapidly changing business environment. Other components include Holacracy, Management 3.0, Beyond Budgeting, DevOps, Lean Startup… some of which have been around for already a number of years (up to 25 actually) but not yet widely understood nor adopted. They all have in common certain values and principles and require applying those at 3 levels: individuals, teams and organizations. In particular the role of the middle manager, including project managers, is dramatically changing to become more a coach and a servant leader than a commander in chief and a controller. Moreover, I believe that there is a great opportunity for us (“managers”) to embrace the movement and lead the transformation of our organisations.
Now focusing on Agile and where Luxembourg companies stand in their transformation journey, I must say that the results of the survey presented that night are aligned with what my colleagues and I observe and live in the field every day. A large proportion of local companies are still at the experimentation stage but a lot of them have high ambitions to becoming more agile in the next 2-3 years. For them, the main challenges will be to build a learning organization for developing their in-house Agile expertise and scale their Agile practice across the enterprise.
The effects are deep in the organizational structures and the culture of our companies. In fact it usually requires a new leadership to make the necessary changes happen. But the results are remarkable in terms of performance, innovation, employee happiness, financial, social and environmental return.
We are really living in exciting times for those who love to experiment, learn new things and have an impact!