How Agile can Influence Educators

Blog post
By Pam Ashby | 21 June 2018

Turns out that the GCSE qualification is 30 years old this year. This has raised the profile of an ongoing discussion around the fitness-for-purpose of the UK education system. A discussion that’s very relevant to the Creating Generation Agile theme of the 2018 Agile Business Conference. 

There’s been a realisation that we know very little about tomorrow’s business landscape. An article in The Times points out ‘Big data scientist, social media manager, app developer: these three roles did not exist when the GCSE was launched in 1988 but they are now ubiquitous on jobs boards.’ How do we prepare young people for a world of uncertainty? 

The world has completely changed. Baby boomers aimed for jobs for life. They entered a career, moved up through a hierarchy and hoped for a fairly predictable path through to retirement. Today’s Gen Z are heading towards a very different future. The Times article highlights ‘Two years ago set a record for start-up creation in the UK — some 660,000 companies over 12 months — proving, more than ever, that people want to be their own bosses and forge their own destinies.’ 

A Shift to Business Agility

There’s been a swing from a world where the workforce is closely managed, to one where people expect an increased sense of empowerment, autonomy, and self-worth. Organisations are shifting to a focus on business agility, where Agile principles such as collaboration, iterative working, empowered teams, and an emphasis on strategic value take precedence over traditional management. Change is now so fast that most roles, that cannot be fulfilled by computers and artificial intelligence, are now about our ability to respond and adapt to change with good judgement. It is our ability to collaborate with others to harness creative thinking and solutions that differentiates us from machines. It is skills such as emotional intelligence, effective communication, and inspiring leadership that we need to offer to young people.

Interest in Agile principles continues to spread well beyond its software development roots. This year’s Agile Business Conference includes:

Dr Sue Black OBE

Best known for masterminding the campaign that saved Bletchley Park, Sue also founded #techmums to help reverse negative attitudes to technology in schools and at home. 


Aga Gajownik – Scrum Educational Experience creator

Aga runs hackathons and acceleration programmes in schools to encourage an Agile approach to learning.


Jason Gaulden – VP Partnerships, America Succeeds

Jason co-authored ‘The Age of Agility: Education Pathways for the Future of Work’ which explores the seismic shift underway in the education-to-employment pipeline.


Bill Mills – Chief Executive & Founder, Explore Learning

Bill has applied his business acumen to his love of education to create an organisation providing inspiring teaching for maths and English.



The Times article suggests

‘The British education system is overdue a radical overhaul to nurture and encourage practical, creative and entrepreneurial skills in young people.’ 

An Agile approach can lead the way.

The Agile Business Conference, on September 26 & 27 in London, is exploring the theme ‘Creating Generation Agile’ around three tracks: People, Strategy and Delivery. Find out more and buy tickets.


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