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How to Build an Agile Culture

Blog post
By Pam Ashby | 3 January 2018

The Consortium has been working alongside a wide range of researchers and experts to explore the cultural and leadership factors that can reduce organisational stress and increase productivity. Today’s business environment increasingly surrounds people with complexity, uncertainty and continual change. We need to find ways to be more adaptive, innovative and resilient to thrive within this – harnessing the power of people to build an Agile culture.

Alan Furlong specialises in the science of flourishing and business growth. When I caught up with him at the 2017 Agile Business Conference, he was clear that Agile culture and leadership is important for creating an environment where human beings can be their best, and give of their best. Alan is part of the Consortium’s Agile Culture and Leadership workstream, and a contributor to the Seven Elements of Agile Culture DNA that will be discussed in the webinar Harnessing the Power of People to Build an Agile Culture on 17 January.

He explains here why a rethink of the way we work is needed:

Agile thinking challenges the traditional command and control model on which many organisations are still based, putting in its place a greater emphasis on self-organised teams that have the autonomy to make decisions and get things done. “Having decision-making capability closer to where the action happens is necessary in today’s world” explains Katie Taylor, the Agile Culture and Leadership workstream lead. “Change is happening far too quickly for teams to be constantly referring up the hierarchy to find out what they should be doing next.

“Giving people the autonomy to make the decisions that their skills and training equip them to make is not only a faster way to work, but it’s a better way to work.” Katie continues. “Neuroscience has shown that humans feel less threatened when they have more control and autonomy. When they are less threatened, they are able to think more constructively and be more creative. We don’t need to understand the science behind this to recognise its truth – most people at some time will have experienced that dreadful feeling when panic and anxiety seems to shut down our ability to think. By building a more Agile culture, we can enable individuals and organisations to flourish.”

In this webinar on Wednesday 17 January, Jenny Bailey talked to Katie Taylor, and Parag Gogate. They discussed the practical steps that can be taken to create a more Agile culture, backed up by the latest research from the Consortium. 

Click here for the webinar video and recording, with Jenny, Katie and Parag exploring the culture that’s needed for people, teams and organisations to flourish and thrive.

Katie Taylor is a Director of the Consortium, and leads the Agile Culture and Leadership workstream.

Parag Gogate is a senior contributor to the Consortium’s Agile Culture and Leadership workstream.

Alan Furlong is a Director at Sherpa and a contributor to the Consortium’s Agile Culture and Leadership workstream.



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