At the end of last month Neovation staged their first event ‘Accelerating Agile’ – an innovative, insight-filled experience – which headlined not only the purpose, meaning and effects of Agile but the importance of the impact it will have on shaping the future workplace. Presentations from PWC, Workhuman, Unilever, Caburn Hope and Citigroup among others, passionately explained the technical, economic and operational implications of the move to agile ways of working on the business world over the next few years.
From our perspective, it was interesting that feedback from the audience recognised what we have already seen in our work, that the two overriding adjectives that described Agile are ‘Culture’ and ‘Change’.
So how do we embed Agile into an organisation?
This piece covers some context and methodology on how to do so.
Firstly, it’s important to reflect on the one enabler that every single HR and Reward professional at the event and within all businesses around the world will utterly depend upon for being effective as their business transforms, is… communication.
It’s fair to say the word ‘communication’ is often misunderstood. After all it can be interpreted in so many ways and it is really just a means to an end, albeit a critical one. Just as a heart surgeon’s role may just be viewed as a ‘means to end’, but in reality the end is to preserve someone’s life.
In the same way it’s the consequence of an effective communication strategy that HR people understandably care about – obviously getting this right for Agile isn’t going to save a life, but it will certainly improve the experience of it.
If peoples’ experience of Agile is right what will they gain? Well, they will have purpose, knowledge, empathy, energy, inspiration, desire, action, collaboration and dare I say, performance. With effective communication as the means to an end, the implications for peoples’ experience of the change towards agile are substantial – for everyone.
So, Agile will only happen effectively through the right experience and from a sound communication strategy.
Chris Andrew, Client Partner Director at Caburn Hope gave an in-depth presentation on the methodology to activate an Agile program. Crucially he explained the 3 key drivers that are needed for a communication strategy to really work. These are the cornerstones we work with at Caburn Hope:
Chris explained how vital it is to adopt a sound communication strategy, addressing the emotional needs of people during times of change.
Within this strategy, the key is a deep understanding that the workforce should be treated as human beings who respond to their experience and need an authentic recognition of their own diverse individuality. Not merely statistics on data analytics.
For Agile to succeed, build an effective communication strategy – and always keep in mind that in line with all transformation, people’s experience is critical. Quite simply, without it, change will fail.