Within an agile culture, all of the fundamental elements of transformation management still apply; the key differences are greater complexity, more internal and external players, a larger number of variables and the speed and fluidity with which change must be implemented. In an agile environment, change cannot be left to chance; it must be managed systematically, as a formal programme.
An important part of the transformation management equation is leadership. Agile organisations recognise that leadership does not simply exist at the ‘top’; it resides throughout the organisation and its value network.
In fact, agility requires that leaders emerge in response to particular situations. Within an agile culture, the concept of ‘leader’ is not attached to a position. A leader on one team may play the role of member on another team, where a different member plays the leadership role.
Agile leaders, wherever they emerge, embody a range of special skills, capabilities, and personal qualities that help them succeed in global, virtual, and mobile workplaces.
- Thrive on challenges and remain focused on the future vision
- Can articulate a strong case for change, reducing resistance and creating energy and enthusiasm among participants
- Value relationships and work to maintain trust, creating a sense of cooperation and involvement to build and sustain momentum
- Expect to take calculated risks and reward innovation
To become a pervasive part of the corporate culture, leadership capabilities cannot stop with a few select individuals. Agile organisations should actively nurture future change leaders.
Activities and roles designed to offer personal leadership development can help firms attract high-potential candidates.
Once identified, organisations need to manage this pipeline, grooming today’s incremental change managers into tomorrow’s transformation leaders.