Are you ready for Generation Agile..?
26 February 2020
Posted by: John Williams
For over 25 years, organisations and individuals have been striving for agility, and as Mohammed Ali almost said, ‘If a person thinks the same at 50 as they thought at 20, they’ve wasted 30 years of a life’. As ‘agile’ motors towards its 30th birthday, the shift to broader ‘agility’ needs to be clear, evident and irreversible – for two reasons.
Firstly, things have changed. ‘Shift Happens’, as the saying now goes (www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwtS6Jy3ll8), and agile needs to shift with it. Thus, we see more and more the growth of ‘agility’ in the lexicon of organisational behaviour.
Clearly, ‘agile’ isn’t going away in a hurry – and nor should it, as the foundation of agility is the agile mindset that gave rise to customer-orientated, outcome-focused, flexible project implementation in the first place.
Yet the shift is inexorable. Agile HR, Agile Finance, Agile Procurement, Agile Change Management, Agile Marketing, etc, etc – all herald a wider interpretation and implementation of agile principles than any single methodology can encompass.
Secondly – and more importantly – contrary to Baby Boomer belief, we aren’t the only ones here. Gen X, Millenials, Gen Z, and whoever comes after them, all occupy the same world, with the same desire for self-fulfilment, and – omg – a more naturally agile mindset than our own increasingly pedestrian selves. We were the Lucky Generation – we saw the transition from mechanical & electrical to wirelessly electronic, and the immense benefits that freedom gave us. Yet we used it mostly to do the same things faster, better and cheaper. Just as reality is not limited by our imagination, future generations are not constrained by our history – and like it or not, ‘future generations’ are right here, right now. This is the dawning of Generation Agile.
A ‘digital native’ is not merely a young person more familiar with modern technology than (alas) me – they are a different generation of human being. They are future-focused, and keen to get there at pace. They are constantly, flexibly, insistently collaborative. They instinctively transcend hierarchies. They question. They demand. They experiment, and get it wrong, and try it again a different way. And yes, all of that stuff is supposed to be agile – yet, is that the way your ‘agile’ world works..? The ritualistic ceremonies that characterise ‘agile’ are anathema to Generation Agile – and therein lies the challenge.
As we move into a future that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, our next-generation leadership will be more naturally agile than we have ever been. And that’s why we are launching a drive to spread our Generation Agile initiative into every sector and every corner in our economy and society.
Are you ready to step aside for someone more expert than you in coping with that VUCA world..? Are you ready to accept a challenging, demanding, unafraid-to-question-everything cohort into your controlled, corporate world..? if you are, join us in celebrating and promoting the coming, naturally agile, generations.
The day will happen, whether or not you get up. Are you ready for Generation Agile..?
Find out more about Generation Agile.