What does the buzzword “agile” mean in practice? Being agile means being able to react quickly and flexibly to changes in the environment. Particularly important for companies in times of digital transformation. Those who are agile can quickly adapt to new technologies and changing customer needs. Especially start-ups need to be agile in order to meet the market’s needs efficiently. But how is agility implemented in a company?
Change does not wait: The COVID-19 crisis and the accompanying digitalization are currently the prime examples of the need for agile corporate structures. The climate and the environmental movement are rapidly changing the economy. This is currently affecting a wide range of diverse industries. The automotive industry is facing major challenges electric mobility, car-sharing, and autonomous driving are changing the market. In order to keep pace with those changes, it is essential for a company to rely on agile structures. This restructuring begins with a change in corporate culture.
Changing Culture: The first obstacle in changing the corporate culture usually comes from a lack of understanding of what the culture of the company is. The first step towards a change in the culture starts in the mindset of managers and employees. Without a genuine willingness to change, rigid structures cannot be broken.
The Foundation of Agile – Motivation: It should not be forgotten that not all motivation is the same. Some people are probably familiar with the distinction between two different types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic.
Managers often think of financial incentives, such as a pay raise, bonuses, or commissions, as a way to increase employee motivation. Extrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by external rewards such as money and fame. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to intrinsic motivation, which originates inside the individual. Intrinsic motivation does not require any external incentives, because it comes from within. If a person enjoys doing an activity or works passionately on a project, he or she is intrinsically motivated. Satisfaction is an important prerequisite for dedicated, fast, and productive work.
Leadership Within the Agile Framework: According to McGregor, if you believe your team members don’t like their work and are not very motivated, you are more likely to use an authoritarian leadership style. This approach involves micromanaging employees to continuously ensure that work is done properly.
If you believe that employees take pride in their work and view it as a positive challenge, they are more likely to lead using Agile management principles. It is very important to understand that the way of leadership style is redefined in agile frameworks.
Conclusion: The realization of the importance of intrinsic motivation of employees as well as the trust that employees can and want to work independently is the core of agility. Until the mindset of employees and managers is not “agile”, the various tools for agile working cannot take effect.
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