Do Managers Really Know How To 'Be Agile'?

Do Managers Really Know How To 'Be Agile'?
Promoted by Do Managers Really Know How To 'Be Agile'?

Deloitte’s Global Trends research in 2017 identified that 80% of organisations recognise that they need to develop more agile and diverse leaders and managers.1

Indeed, ‘agile’ remains a much talked about topic well into 2018. Although it is a relatively new term for most, it was actually coined by a group of industry leaders in 2001 as part of their agile manifesto to make software development more responsive to business needs.


Now, appropriated by mainstream management, the term has spread into almost every aspect of organisational life. Consequently, most managers have probably heard about it, many will incorporate the phraseology into their everyday language, but do managers really know how to be agile?

Back then, when those software industry leaders were creating the agile manifesto, they knew that they had to come up with a development model that would significantly reduce lead times in order to ensure projects were delivered, not just on time, but at the right time - otherwise they risked being out of date and irrelevant.

Today, entire organisations are facing similar challenges given the rate and scale of change in today’s VUCA2 environment. However, organisational agility depends more heavily on how effectively organisations can enable huge swathes of people to respond more quickly and effectively to change.

Despite overwhelming pressure, organisations are still found wanting when it comes to engaging and mobilising their workforce to learn in a way that will unleash the talents of the many and enable them to deal effectively with what is to come. For most organisations, in order to achieve this and reduce their employees’ ‘mean time to contribution’, they will need to trade in their traditional mindset of command and control in favour of an ‘Operational Coaching’ approach, and in so doing, take an ‘Enquiry-Led ApproachTM’ to management and leadership.

Our latest white paper, How To Create Organisational Agility In Times Of Rapid Change addresses the rate and scale of change, the people impact of change, and how to enable people more effectively through social reform. To find out more, please download your free copy of ‘How To Create Organisational Agility In Times Of Rapid Change’.

1Deloitte (2017) Global Human Capital Trends Research: re-writing the rules for the digital age, Deloitte University Press, Global

2VUCA is an acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.  Originating in the US military as a way to describe post-war conditions, the term has become a popular way to refer to the increasingly unpredictable economic and political environment in which businesses must operate.

Notion is a global expert in behaviour change.  For more information about how to develop agile leaders and managers in your organisation Download our white paper by clicking here or call us for an informal chat on +44(0) 1926 889 885.

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