The 10 Characteristics of an Agile Environment

agile-leadership-introduction-1-638Today I stumbled upon the presentation Agile Leadership created by Martin Olesen. Although it lacks a written context I found it very informative. It provides a clear picture of the why, what and how of Agile leadership. Three visualizations really stood out for me:

  • The 10 characteristics of an Agile environment
  • The 7 steps on how to create an Agile environment
  • The 3 parts of a cultural shift

I’ve taken the liberty to merge these parts into one blog post. Not to create a unique blog post, those credits fully belong to Martin and the resources he has used. But merely because it helps me summarize my take aways of his presentation and thereby understand it better.

Please check the original presentation for the full context. These are my take aways, for sure you’ll find some other interesting stuff as well!

The 10 Characteristics of an Agile Environment

  1. Leadership is first an foremost about purpose
  2. Business value is delivered by small, co-located, cross-functional and self-organizing teams
  3. Team membership is stable over a longer period to increase performance
  4. Management empowers decentralized decision-making
  5. Temporary documentation is replaced with face-to-face interaction
  6. Full transparency instills trust
  7. Big projects are delivered as a series of small independent projects all adding value
  8. Frequent deliveries means short feedback loops which lead to higher quality and engagement
  9. Relationships and results brings joy of work (and happier people produce more!)
  10. Make continuous improvement a natural part of the company culture (failure needs to be an option)

The 7 Steps to Create an Agile Environment

To create such an Agile environment the organization should:

  1. Shift to an interative and interactive process
  2. Set inspiring and meaningful goals
  3. Empower self-organizing teams
  4. Embed learning & development
  5. Motivate via mastery, purpose and autonomy
  6. Eliminate performance ratings
  7. Accept leadership mandate

Don’t Forget the Cultural Shift

agile-leadership-introduction-4-638Chances are that by creating an Agile environment the culture of an organization also shifts. This cultural shift is a combination of:

  1. A shift of mindset
  2. A shift of skills
  3. A shift of behavior

By influencing the mindset, skills and behavior you can eventually influence the culture as a whole.

Wrap Up

In this blog post I’ve bootstrapped the presentation Agile Leadership created by Martin Olesen. I’ve added the content of three visualizations that I liked most and put them in a logical order. I haven’t included any comprehensive thoughts or how-to’s, that might be stuff for another article. I hope it invites you to study the original presentation, its definitely worth it.