We are igniting momentum during COVID-19

Why team collaboration and agility might be simpler than you think

Scroll

Relentless uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and what's next... the majority of our clients have questions about agility and collaboration on the tip of their tongues.

How do we continue to adapt and innovate from one week to next? How do we ask that of our people when they're exhausted and unclear? How do we fire up our teams’ ingenuity and get them to actually collaborate across silos and find efficiencies? 

The answer was once Agile or Lean or Six Sigma. But in this environment they won’t work. They’re cumbersome, exclusive to a few and designed for big & complex transformations. In fact 96% of agile transformations fail to generate the capability to adapt to changing market conditions (2018 State of Agile Survey).

Real progress doesn’t come from an operating model overhaul or project delivery methodology; instead it’s made by integrating disarmingly simple tools into the way your teams already operate.

Here’s how:

  1. Be simpler: teams are busy and life is hard. So don’t complicate things with a cumbersome process and tools that only a trained specialist can use. Simple steps, tools and questions can make all the difference in creating teams that work with agility.
  2. Make innovation business as usual (BAU): innovation doesn’t just mean a brand-new product to market. It should mean every team wiring in a way that allows it to make things incrementally better, week in week out, in their context. A team that regularly asks ‘how can we be better in the moments that matter’ can be the simple, agile unlock that makes innovation BAU.
  3. Unleash ingenuity and energy: teams on the frontline are likely to have the answers to most of the business' challenges. We’ve just got to help them unleash the ingenuity and energy to put those solutions forward. It starts with creating an environment that hears all ideas and challenges conventional thinking. And it’s sustained with a simple rhythm and enough moments to look up and out together.

These are things most of us know we need more of and want to make the normal way of working. But somehow, we end up taking on big complex change and innovation projects.

Perhaps instead the focus should be on our frontline teams… how we empower them to drive the business forwards from the bottom up, in the seemingly small but powerful moments?

Jonathan Gunga
Rapid Improvement Consulting Lead
jonathan.gunga@businessfourzero.com