State of Agile Culture Report 2023
Businesses face challenging times.
The past few years have seen the fallout from Brexit, international unrest, and a global pandemic, along with successive changes in the UK government. Living in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world has contributed to the financial instability and subsequent cost-of-living crisis the country is currently experiencing.
This is shining a light on the ability of organisations to respond to sudden and unpredictable events. The pace of change has necessitated a transformation in how businesses operate, pushing them to adapt their leadership styles, embrace remote working models, and accelerate towards digitalisation.
Our third State of Agile Culture Report explores the impact of leadership styles on agile culture, business agility, organisational resilience and performance in a recession environment.
The research has revealed valuable insights about agile leadership and culture:
- A strong agile culture can increase commercial performance by 277%.
- Post-heroic leadership is highly correlated with a strong agile culture (0.82 correlation). *See page 5 for definition.
- Post-heroic leaders are closely associated to organisations which can respond more quickly and effectively to market challenges and opportunities (0.86 correlation).
- Only 10% of leaders demonstrate post-heroic leadership qualities.
- Perceived strength of leadership agility has stalled at 47% compared to 56% pre-pandemic.
- 71% of employees do not believe their leaders are capable of responding to market changes.
There is a significant gap in leadership’s awareness and understanding of agile behaviours:
- 97% of C-suite members believe they role model agile behaviours, but only 2% of delivery team members agree.
- 80% of C-suite members feel that leaders in their organisation can adapt and pivot, while just 15% of senior leaders agree.
- 91% of C-suite members feel experimentation is encouraged, compared with 35% of delivery team members.
The top three levers that leaders can pull to unlock improved commercial performance are:
- Investing in agile coaching and training for themselves and delivery team members.
- Providing greater clarity of intent / business focus and priorities.
- Creating and sustaining a safe agile working environment.
Post-heroic leadership is the way to build a strong agile culture, organisational agility, resilience, and improve commercial performance. The case for investing in leadership capabilities and moving to this style of leadership has never been stronger.