Looking at recent studies such as Hays, a survey of more than 1000 executives showsthat 69% of respondents consider agility to be increasingly important. Important objectives, sorted by nomination, are:

  • Flexibility (55%)
  • Speed (51%)
  • Networking (46%)
  • Adjustment (43%)
  • Self-organization (43%)

However, this also shows in the survey that the implementation of agile methods, for example, is only used hesitantly. Only 11% of respondents (all industries and disciplines) use Scrum and only 19% use design thinking. According to the survey, the current blockers (and thus important prerequisites):

  • Clear responsibilities and “power” for agile roles (31%)
  • Reorientation of processes and organisation (28%)
  • Hardly any trust and pressure from management (26%)

The “Agility Officer” in the company

I often experience that there is an employee in the company (e.g. agile coach) who should introduce agility without any “power”. He reports regularly to the management and usually complains about too little to little support. That is why I consider the support and cooperation of management to be the most important prerequisite for agility in the company.

My experience: As with any project in the company, it is like this: If the management wants something, then it will happen!

The “Agility Officer” between frustration and euphoria

I often receive calls from employees who want to drive agility in the company. In addition to many great examples of good management support, I also find three frustration points:

  • Management doesn’t want agility and the co-arbiter wants to bring the concept closer
  • Management does not support the employee enough
  • The “Project Agility” has been terminated and there is a hybrid world of work, which does not, however, combine the advantages of both worlds.

Another reason is simply that the need in the company is not large enough or that management simply has other issues on the agenda. It is therefore important for you to convince the management.

Tips: Convincing management

Don’t give up and stay tuned! I would like to give some tips below to convince the management. This is mainly done on a human level.

1. The convenient time

Choose a convenient time. Sometimes people are just in their head through too many issues. It is sometimes worth resting the topic for 2-3 months and then attacking again or tackling it in stages.

Patience is a tree whose root is bitter, but whose fruit is very sweet.

Unknown author

Reading tip: Too busy to improve

2. Framing

The next tip is Framing. Framing is often used by savvy politicians. It means that you frame an argument into positive words or images. In the frame, they influence the perception of the person through certain messages.

One example is “Loss” and “Gain” frames such as “Who smokes dies faster” and “Who stops smoking lives healthier”. The first message conveys fear and the second message conveys something positive.

So create messages and frame agility with words like security, protection or the future. Examples of such frameing messages are:

  • Agility protects against a drop in sales
  • Agility protects in new competition
  • Agility secures future orders

3. Chameleon effect

The benefit of the chameleon effect is to distance itself from its counterpart, to reduce its reservations or aggression. Unfortunately, I often notice that employees and employees are both behaving and arguing. Although we also strive to be on an equal footing in management, it is not always the case. The so-called chameleon effect anticipates the language, reasoning and facial expressions of the other person.

Attention: Never eff the other person, but handle it carefully.

The background is the human need for harmony and symmetry. You’ll find a person more sympathetic if you’re similar. So be like a manager. First, you observe the following behaviors and then dedicate yourself to facial expressions:

  • Speaking (High German, dialect,…)
  • Speech pace (fast, slow…..)
  • Emphasis (on certain words or ends of sentences)
  • Word choice (e.g. the person often uses the word super, cool….)

4. Ask the right questions

It is always important to ask the right questions. These help management reflect on important decisions and reflect on them. So think about meaningful questions and give them time to think about them. An example is three types of possible questions:

  • Why Questions: Why don’t we have time for agile transformation?
  • Example questions: Can you give me an example where the lack of time is apparent?
  • Wordless questions: Just silence and let people talk. Strategic pauses in conversation can work wonders.

5.Gain key stakeholders

We are constantly targeting the other “important” people around us. We let ourselves be influenced by this. It is very likely that we will follow a person we like or see as authority.

This is also the case if the person is “only” a normal employee. An effective way to use this to your advantage is to attract these people to your project and ask for support.

Conclusion

You realize that it is important to convince the management and to keep the important decision-makers at bay. I gave some tips on this. But these tips don’t always help. Before you change jobs out of frustration, you should try it again with full force.

Image source: Shop photo created by yanalya – de.freepik.com

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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