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For us, a guiding book of foundational principles and practices for the development of an agile mindset has been Pamela Meyer’s The Agility Shift. A core section of the book is devoted to discussing and giving examples of agility in action, or as the author calls it “making shift happen” through the 5 dynamics of the agility shift.
What are the 5 Dynamics?
According to the author, these are the 5 dynamics agile leaders, teams, and organizations must intentionally engage with and develop to thrive in an ever-changing work ecosystem.
Here’re our two cents on these dynamics, based on a close reading of the book:
- What you do must fulfill a purpose and must support your team values, and ambitions.
- You must respond to challenges and opportunities in a timely fashion.
- You must face challenges and changes with a positive and proactive mindset.
- What you do with what you have is a measure of your creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities.
- You must embrace the cycle of action and reflection, as the path for learning and growth.
Meyer calls these daily practices “dynamics” to place a greater emphasis in that they are “active” modes of thinking and behaving. To develop as an agile leader, team, and organization you must apply these dynamic ways of looking at challenges and opportunities, on a daily basis.
How can intentional engagement with these dynamics look in real-life work situations?
- The systems and processes in place are consistently evaluated and realigned with the values and ambitions or goals of the team. All outdated systems or processes for which no one can answer the question “Why?” should be assessed, transformed, or disposed of.
- The moment a challenge comes in the form of a system breakdown, failure, or a customer complaint, an already developed SOP will be put in motion.
- Hard hits to the organization, leadership, or team’s systems, processes, strategies, or egos will be faced with objectivity, self-inquiry, and a positive outlook.
- Leaders, teams, and individuals within teams must be able to exercise creative thinking, and problem solving, to tackle system changes and customer requests with a limited amount of resources. Effective communication channels and strong relational webs must be created and cultivated.
- After every challenge, small win or loss, opportunity, and action is taken, there must be a session of individual and team reflection. These sessions will generate learning and growth experiences, new strategies, SOP, celebration, or course correction.
As agile teams and leaders, you may be already incorporating some or most of these dynamics in your interactions with team members, other team leads, customers, clients, and stakeholders.
The next step is to make it an intentional practice, a part of your strategic conversations. These dynamics may also provide a framework for individual team member engagement, development, and self-empowerment.
To assess your own agile mindset and practice, based on these 5 dynamics, ask yourself:
- How are my work and my approach relevant? Do I have a clear “why”.
- How quickly am I responding to challenges and opportunities as they come? Am I leaving some things untouched, and letting others fall by the wayside?
- How quickly and strongly am I bouncing back from setbacks?
- Am I making the most of my tangible and intangible resources?
- Am I taking time to reflect on my actions, my responses, and my thoughts? Am I creating and cultivating a safe space for self-reflection, self-assessment, conversation, and collaboration?
Remember, agile teams, are actively evolving teams. If these 5 dynamic perspectives have shown you, and your team, another element to cultivate in your daily practice, awesome! In agile teams, there should always be some room left for improvement.
For now, make an intentional commitment to incorporate and practice these 5 agility dynamics and stay #agileforlife.
Recommended book: The Agility Shift by Pamela Meyers.
Agile & Co. is an HR & Comms. Consulting Firm, with a focus on People & Culture that embraces an agile mindset and management style. It serves small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, offering coaching, mentoring, or consultation, to assist in the co-creation, development, and transformation of their organizational flow and people experience, in a humanized, collaborative and agile way. Follow @myagilehr #agileforbiz #agileforlife