Fast, lean and agile. Modern companies act like professional athletes – they work vigorously to become faster, leaner and more agile than the competition. What does the ever-increasing demand for speed and flexibility mean for the way we lead, organise and train?
On October 4th 2018, thirty people working with innovation, business development, leadership and change gathered for a symposium held at Workz to share their stories on organizational speed and agility. Here are the key take-aways from three presented cases.
Case #1 - Rambøll: Accelerated Innovation
Line Lyst, Head of Innovation, introduced Rambøll’s Innovation Accelerator - a new approach and model that has changed the way the engineering company works with innovation in a constantly changing market. Employees from all around the world are invited to bring in their new ideas. The design-thinking process works as a framework for rapid innovation, cutting the innovation process from several years to less than 5 months:
- Teams are taken out from their everyday jobs to innovate full-time.
- Work towards a MVP (minimum viable product).
- Fast 2-3-week sprint planning.
The most challenging part presents itself after the acceleration: how to scale it in a de-centralised organisation with 14,000 people and 35 markets?
Case #2 - MobileLife: A journey to the belly of the bank
How to make buying a house as easy as buying a book from Amazon? Corporate Entrepreneur, Cecilie Willer, shared the inspiring story of the product Sunday: taking a minimum viable product that could not even crawl into the belly of the bank. Cecilie shared her three take-aways for implementing the change fast:
- Just do it. Instead of just thinking or talking, build the product and have it touched and tested. In a zero-mistake culture, focus on bringing down the fears of messing up. Contrary to usual beliefs, changing behavior can be a cornerstone for changing mindsets.
- Minimum Viable Change. What is the smallest unit of change that gives the biggest impact? By chunking the big change into small pieces, the results are quickly visible, increasing motivation and appetite for change.
- Implement first, develop later. The co-creation between the developers and end-users builds a greater sense of ownership. This gives a higher success rate in the overall implementation.
Case #3- Novo Nordisk: The 3 T’s of business transformation
Torben Bundgård, the Vice President of the Organisational Communications at Novo Nordisk, has learned through 15 years of continuous and steep growth. Torben introduced three key values for thriving towards agility:
- Trust is the foundation for being able to change. Trusting that it is the right thing to do, building transparency through openly addressing fears and having the trust in colleagues, believing that everybody is doing their best. Investing in building trust pays off big time with greater alignment.
- Treating your people like adults, recognising their innate power. This implies less micro-managing, yearly performance management systems and other practices that take, rather than give, power to people. Being aware of unconscious biases and include more people who are not like yourself helps to not replicate the culture.
- Trying. Failing without losing our enthusiasm. Keeping in mind where we want to go and trying out ways to reach it. Discovering ways to be more motivating and trusting will build the foundation of the culture where trying is welcomed.
Ask Agger from Workz summed up the symposium with three observations that seemed to run as a read thread through all the cases: shared ownership, designing from trust and welcoming healthy conflicts. Bringing the ideas alive through involvement and trust, but also learning from the conflicts which break the old dogmas, seem to be some of the key elements for becoming more agile.
Warm thanks to all participants and especially our three case presenters. We look forward to more knowledge-sharing and deep discussions at our upcoming symposiums. If you have a topic or an idea you are passionate about, that you would like to share at a Workz Symposium, please contact Rebecca.