Transitions: Rigid to Agile Organizations

Transitions: Rigid to Agile Organizations

Ever had that sinking feeling that you’re efficiently working on something that doesn’t matter. Or maybe you’ve noticed that five other coworkers are working on the same thing that you are. If so, you may be living in the nightmare that is a rigid organization structure. It’s time to get agile! Here are the notes from the show:

  • First, let’s define agile as it applies to operational structures in organizations. Agile is small, cross functional, self-contained teams that deliver innovation and new products or services in a quick, efficient, and quality way.
  • These teams work on products end to end, holding each other accountable and taking responsibility for their innovation from start to finish. 
  • What are the typical results? It improves time to market in organizations by 1000%, improves productivity by 100%, quality goes up 2-3 times the original.
  • In a past show we discussed the agile manifesto as one of the first artifacts of the movement that we’re experiencing today. While “agile” came from digital, it’s value goes well beyond that today in organizations.
  • The opposite of agile is linear, rigid, or “waterfall” structures where one team needs to “hand off” work to another team who doesn’t know what they’re working on.
  • So, HOW do you do agile?
    • Create small, cross functional teams
    • A “product owner” directs the strategy and vision of the effort 
    • The agile “scrum” team prioritizes and completes efforts in a time-box (2 week sprints)
    • The team conducts daily stand-up meetings, often called a scrum, to keep everyone on the same page
  • All this leads us back to the amazing skeletal structure of the human body. It of course carries the spinal cord, where all the instructions to the body come and go. It is light, and flexible, with bone, cartilage, collagen of different strengths, little gel packets to keep things greased and well oiled. But with this flexibility comes great strength, way beyond similar structure made of different material.
  • What is dramatic in the scriptures, when you actually see its implications, is how the earlier church formed itself, after Pentecost in the book of Acts that would take over the Roman Empire in 300 years. When the Spirit was poured out on all flesh, as opposed to just prophets. Priests, and Kings in the Old Testament, a new structure was formed, which Paul talked about at length as the Body of Christ. Before Constantine was converted in the third century, the church had leaders and made decisions, but basically worked as small primarily home or city based churches networked together by letters and traveling apostles and fellow believers. It became the first viral organization the world had ever seen.
  • What makes it dramatic is all the models that surrounded the Apostles to take their model from – Sanhedrin, Local Kings, and The Empire – all of which were hierarchical, command and control structures. As the Old Testament shows us, God never wanted kings or hierarchies for that matter. Finally, a new structure forms because the Spirit was now operating in all people, not just the leaders.

Have Something to Say?
Already have an account? Log in.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *