What is leadership in agile organizations?
Leading, guiding and inspiring organizations in a constantly changing environment is not a walk in the park. Traditional concepts and theories of management and leadership are coming under pressure as new organization models arise and a new generation enters the labor market. Teamwork is becoming ever more important and team autonomy is trending. These trends require leadership in agile organizations, also referred to as agile leadership. We define agile leadership as: ‘The capacity of leaders to support teams in creating customer value and to embrace uncertainties both inside and outside the organization.’ Many leaders have already mastered the basics: the challenge is to further develop these existing capabilities, so they can help the organization further develop itself in a sustainable way.
After the training ‘Agile Leadership’ you will have an insight into the behavior and skills suited to a leader in an agile environment, how you match with these skills and behavior and what is required for you to develop these further. You will gain knowledge and understanding of new organizational models and the way you can shape and direct these.
Three levels of leadership in agile organizations
We distinguish three levels of leadership; the organizational level, the team level and the personal level. Leadership in agile organizations requires a different paradigm and approach at each level:
- Organizational level. From an organization that functions like a machine towards an organization that works like an ecosystem. This requires a network organization. In the training we will explore which organization structure is most suitable and how you can contribute to this. For instance, building cross-functional teams, interdepartmental cooperation and organizational design.
- Team level. From managing efficient silos and setting individual targets towards teams that can autonomously create customer value. You will learn how to build such teams and afford them the space they require without losing sight of the common goal.
- Personal level. From a wait and see and reactive mindset towards an action biased creative mindset. This requires letting go of certain control mechanisms. You will learn to exert influence in other ways, unleashing the strengths of everyone in your organization.
For board members, directors and managers who see value in stimulating agility and are willing to commit themselves to this effort. If your organization is on the path towards applying agile ways of thinking and working, we will stimulate you to bring these experiences to the table. Do you see yourself as a key figure in strengthening your organization’s agility, but do you still lack some of the tools and experience required? We invite you to join us.
During the training ‘Agile Leadership’ we will constantly connect the latest insights into agile organizations and leadership with what you need to do as a leader in your environment. We will devote special attention to the dynamics in leadership teams, strategy and organizational development.
These are the main program elements:
- The meaning and significance of radical and unexpected changes in markets, technologies and the labour market for today’s organizations
- The new questions and challenges facing leaders of (agile) organizations
- Your personal leadership style and your opportunities to develop it further
- Developing yourself, leadership and development teams in the organization
- New processes, structures, cultures and ways of working in an agile organization: such as Agile HR, Agile Finance and Agile Strategy
- Interventions tailored to what you need to become a better leader
The emphasis in the training is on learning by doing: by using exercises and practicing several components of leadership in agile organizations. The objective is to offer you concrete tools and practices you will be able to use as a leader, with your team and your organization. Some examples of the exercices we will use:
- Defining experiments: our research among leaders has shown that they see defining experiments as one of their greatest challenges. This is why we will practice designing experiments and receiving feedback on them
- Integrative decision making: we will practice taking smaller, rapid team-based decisions without the need for a lengthy consensus building process
- Growth conversations: traditional performance appraisal processes are not ideally suited to agile organizations. This why we will practice having short, informal conversations linked to employee and organizational growth
- Agile budgeting: we will redesign the way we finance teams and initiatives. This will help clarify how to cleverly align goals, resources and forecasting
Internationally recognized certification is provided by the International Consortium for Agile: the Leading with Agility (ICP-LEA) certificate.