06 Mar Is Your Team Ready for Agile?
Chances are, the nearest newspaper to you will have a story centered around the spread of COVID-19, making it of vital importance that we make our discussion this month focus on the topic of crisis management, to guide you in mitigating the risks to your organization.
Before we get to talking about actual crisis management, let discuss the mindset crucial to successful crisis management: the agile mindset.
What is agile? It’s making sure that your organization can anticipate, pivot, and respond quickly to consumers that demand high levels of service, constant improvement, and being understood by the businesses they consume. While it seems natural that most business leaders would want to embody the above traits and have those as goals, how can you be sure that your team is ready?
The main requirement for the early stage formation of an agile company is to have a strong and precise communication system. As basic as this seems, it is often overlooked and considered as easily fixable, when in fact, once spread, it is difficult to remedy. Communication is something so fundamental that business experts and entrepreneurs are still well on their way to perfecting the Standard Operating Procedures for communication in their companies. Communication failures within a company can give birth to a phenomenon called the silo mentality, that keeps your company from being truly agile.
Factors that trigger the emergence of a silo mentality are:
- KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
In this context, KPIs can be harmful if not used properly. In large corporations, KPIs will usually be divided into KPIs for each department and KPIs for the whole organization. In the KPI of each department, each key employee has their own KPI as well, which influences the performance of their team. This is exactly when the silo mentality starts to take over. When each department only focuses on its KPIs as the organization’s KPIs start to be neglected, leaders must be wary.
- Company Value Not Implemented
Oftentimes, what happens is that the company value is only communicated, not realized by the people working there. Even though the most important thing is the application process which must go through a process of adaptation and fine-tuning. This triggers a common belief that: “I come to work so that I get paid at the end of the month”. This can be dangerous if it happens in your company when your company’s carefully crafted mission statement is merely considered as free-time reading activity material.
The silo mentality can very easily emerge in large companies. This is why nowadays there are so many companies, or startups, that deliberately keep their teams small so the collaboration process can be flexible and deep. But what about large corporations? The formation of special divisions for internal branding communication will help. To be able to combine many divisions so they want to unite and collaborate is something that cannot be considered a side job by an existing division, but must be a separate KPI for a new division.
Agile demands all employees to be “adaptable” in collaborating and upholding the organization’s KPI. In the early stages, this cannot be resolved from within the company and usually requires a third-party consultant. The key is to return to the top management accepting the fact that to solve a problem, one must first realize what the problem is. So, are you ready to be agile?