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Don´t Demand Your Employees to Be Innovative and Agile

by Francisco Santolo

Companies demand their employees to become agile and innovative overnight without altering their course. Hiring a leading management consultancy, no matter how expensive it will be, only will make things worst.

Don´t Demand Your Employees to Be Innovative and Agile

Employees will never be innovative, agile and disruptive without undergoing a major corporate transformation involving culture, communication, change management, changes in processes and KPIs, and a strong transformation in leadership.

Sponsorship from the Board, C-Level and clear alignment on the strategy is fundamental. Going Agile, working Lean, demands many tradeoffs. And everyone, but especially leaders will be challenged in their paradigms and be expelled from their comfort zone.

It is fundamental to lead by example. Listening to the customer and Agile testing should drive decisions, not leaders' experience, ego or "knowledge of the market". Traditional KPIs and processes will conflict with Agile culture. You need to be willing to release command and control and let the company evolve in its own way.

If you are not willing to tolerate mistakes and let people run their own initiatives, with the corresponding feeling of ownership and autonomy, and will penalize actions while faking a smile, or run a tight political, archaic governance, the transformation will never happen.

Agility often ends up being an excuse to fire employees for not being agile. It is implemented without understanding. It is entrusted to consultants with lack of knowledge that implement it with strong conceptual errors. Just because it´s a trend or the market demands it. Consequences on corporations are being dramatic.

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