Sorry, Business Agility Is Not an Option Anymore. | LAMP ep. 9

“Business Agility is not an option. It’s a matter of business survival.” – Jose Casal

Will your business be around in 10 years or will you be replaced by a newcomer? How long does it take for your business to deliver a new product from the idea to the market?  If questions like these make you worried, it’s probably time to talk about business agility.

This time on Lean Agile Management Podcast, we are talking to Jose Casal, who is a Business Agility Coach with experience working in both private and public sectors. Jose is a public speaker, chairman of the Agile Methods Specialist Group at BCS Chartered Institute for IT and is the founder of Actineo Consulting.

Business Agility is not an option. It’s a matter of business survival.

In this episode:

Understanding what Business Agility means in practical terms

  • Flow & Fit for purpose
  • Learning
  • Impact
  • People

3 Myths of Product Development vs 3 Facts of Agile Business Practices

  1. Myth: Customers know what they want.
    Fact: The customers discover what they want as they go
  2. Myth: We know how to build it.
    Fact: We only have an approximate idea of what we want to do. We don’t know how we’re going to deliver until you actually deliver.
  3. Myth: Nothing’s going to change.
    Fact: Everything will change. We should be expecting change.

Culture of Discovery and Learning

  • The toxicity of “Follow me” culture vs discovering the right solution dynamically through discovery
  • In an Agile business, you need to be learning constantly. How are you learning? Managers should be the agile engine of learning and experimentation culture.
  • Allow people to make mistakes. The importance of psychological safety to make mistakes and let people try things. Little by little.

Problems vs Solutions

In traditional management and IT education, we are schooled to be constantly looking for solutions.

Stop thinking about the solutions.

First, we need to be better at understanding the problems, asking about the needs before we start offering solutions.

How to achieve business agility? Which method is best?

  • Forget the methods – this is going back to thinking about a solution but what’s the problem that you are trying to solve with that?
  • Why do we need to change? What’s the better kind of world are you chasing?
  • We need a regular re-evaluation of our strategy. Traditional strategy lacks reflection, adaptation, engagement of the people who are delivering the change
  • The hardest thing to change in an organization is not the culture, process, or boss.

How to approach change management as an agile business?

  • How can I encourage others to change?
  • How can I get people to do things differently?

Missing out on Business Agility – the answer for the skeptics

  • Skipping agile? This is the start of a eulogy of your company
  • Old banks vs Agile financial companies. Who wins? Much smaller firms, which are fast to deliver, perform quick experiments are disrupting centuries-old banks
  • These little industry disruptors are out there to kill you and they will
  • No, it’s not the matter of the industry. Banking, insurance and automotive industries are all going agile with or without you

The future of business is agile by default. Business agility is not just an option anymore.

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