What is The Required Core Thinking for an Ideal Agile Organization?
This is an attempt to bring forth the core thought process that is needed to develop your organization to have a set of true agile characteristics; this is a state of being agile ( Please don’t confuse with Agile of Agile Manifesto) where your organization will have capabilities to morph into different shapes as the changing market environment demand for new products and services, for higher speed of delivery, and for keeping lower cost and higher quality; in addition, your organization desires to have stability and safety of all elements in your organization, like swift maneuverability and stability of an aircraft.
As this subject matter is huge any attempt to justify in a few paragraphs is not feasible; therefore, only a few concepts, thought process and ideas have been presented in this article. You may, also, refer other articles that are listed in the reference section.
Challenges with organizational design, strategies, and alignment for agile attributes
The characteristics of being agile that your organization is striving to achieve could put entire organization in a competitive position to morph into different shapes to withstand ever changing demands from your market ecosystem. This phenomena of agile, or a state of the mind of being agile at all the levels in your organization (not the Agile), has no pre-built mechanism, a set of capabilities that are needed to design a social system, which can provide a path forward in an ever-changing competitive environment. Therefore, every organization needs to find their own way of developing the design mechanism of their social systems - not the structural organizational design or the digital design; but a social system design of the organization that will have potential capabilities to bring the phenomenon of agility or being agile. This effective design of your social system can manifest only through the thought processes that you need to develop; one characteristics of these thought processes is when you display your behavior that would take all possible ideas to synthesize and to create a design of your teams, programs, business units, etc. - organizational social systems - that could easily adopt to every context in your organizational environment and to changing market environment. Your organization, also, need to have capabilities to develop strategic thinking that is needed on how you could achieve this design of your organization that can adopt with least resistance to change and that could sustain for a longer time horizon. This adoption of your social system design and this journey of your organization, or for that matter any journey, will end at the outset itself when you go forward with some preconceived idea or a method.
The core thinking for creating an agile organizational design
With the assumption that you already have a right philosophy for your organization, creating a phenomena of business agility to build a truly agile organization requires a right set of strategic thinking and organizational wide alignment, the both must be present at all levels and all the time. This strategic thinking means you will need to plan several steps in advance, not just swimming through empiricism at each of the steps in the journey which will only put you on never ending firefighting mode, as this is a prevailing norm in most of the organizations.
Think through a chess game metaphor. What would happen if you just depend on only empiricism and plan only the next step without thinking through several steps ahead? Organizational context is lot more complex than that of a chess game, as this game has defined rules and roles and has only two minds that can exhibit a choice to think through the strategies in that game. Whereas in social organizations an individual mind has a choice to make on what they would like to do and has their own personal vision. How can you amalgamate the set of individual’s and/or groups’ s choice and their vision to the organizational wide alignment and vision? A journey to design social systems is one possible answer to this challenge.
You will be on a path to the phenomenon of business agility when you can put yourself on a never-ending discovery path to design your organizational social system and when your strategic thinking has mechanism to think through several steps ahead of your competition, planning, alignment, alignment of visions of all, and the last but not the least, execution of your strategic goal. However, this execution will be effective only when your organizational thought processes can think of a strategy to build capabilities to retain, to reuse, and to sustain the knowledge and the understanding that emerges in the journey. Unfortunately, or fortunately – this is fortunate because to know where your true strength exist is a blessing-, this knowledge and this understanding can only exist in human brain. What longer term strategies that your organization can plan to retain, reuse, sustain the knowledge and the understanding that your organization develops over the years? For sure, you don’t want a strategy which will only burn more cash, time, and that can put you out of the game in the market. If your thought process cannot think of a strategy that could put you in a state of agile then default culture of yours will drive a strategy that can put on a path that will burn all your resources.
How can you realize and develop this core thinking and right strategies and think through several steps ahead like in a chess game?
Have more questions generated by your team, and then be on a discovery path to explore an ideal design for your organizational social system at all levels and that ideal social system design should be on the path to morph itself into different shapes to handle the demands of ever-changing market place.
No questions! Then, no answers and no solutions to any of the challenges for daily management and for longer term management!
PS: You may refer to the same article that has additional comments in LinkedIn, please check here.
1) core thinking patterns for lean and agile organizations: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6391994273604079616
2) Agile, Framework, and the challenges: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-framework-challenges-srinivas-garapati/