What To Take Away From World Agility Forum's - 1st Day

By Peter Stevens

What are the driving forces on this transformation that you're seeing today?

We heard a lot of different stories at the World Agility Forum. We heard about the U.S. military. We heard about the Royal Ballet in Denmark. And I can't think of two organizations that are more different from their mission and their charter. 

But at the same time, they had a common thing, a common theme, which was what we're doing, what they had done before isn't working anymore. So, fear was a driving motivator, this fear of death, in the case of the military, that is a very literal thing. For other organizations it meant commercial survival and how are we going to stay relevant? In both cases, there was outside pressure driving them to change and the need to do things better. And we saw this repeatedly. 

And in fact, the presentation from Vivek Wadhwa about how these exponential changes are converging and driving the world to change completely: all of this is leading to the conclusion that we must be more agile.

What can a company expect from some of the things that we heard today? How can they carry that back to their organization?

One thing we hear a lot is the culture. This isn't just about tools. It's not just about processes. In fact, one of the big takeaways is that you read all the books, and they're important. You’ve got to learn that stuff. But it's more than that. It’s about applying values and principles and bringing the right people together. In other words, the culture, the attitude is more important than the individual because executives are more and more of them coming to understand that having only Agile teams is not sufficient.

So, what does that mean to an executive?

One of the things is, first, a lot of executives want to learn from other executives. So being able to learn and share with other executives who are practicing, this is hugely valuable.  And what they’re hearing is that an Agile transformation is a whole-company affair. So, the Commerce Bank trained three quarters of their staff in business agility and the executives themselves started introducing cadence to their own work. So now, every week you can set tangible goals. Every week you can review what you've done. This limits your work in progress. 

So, these things that four years ago, they would have said, that's not for us: that’s just for the teams. Now, that's an executive task as well. 

And there’s also recurring theme about how power and decision making are shifting in the organizations. Before, everyone had their silo, they protected their territory. Now they're saying that's not fast enough, that doesn't work anymore. You've got to delegate decision making into the teams that are doing it. We got to involve our customers from the word go. Right from the beginning. These are huge behavioural changes in how we do things. And it all comes back to the culture and mindset.
So, the executives are going to be applying cadence to their own work. And they're going to be creating an environment where we can get the right people together. And that includes the customers already from the beginning to figure out what really needs to be done. 
And what we also heard is that there's a huge commercial potential in the convergence of exponential technologies. This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the companies that are successful at doing this.  And they can also have a meaningful impact, for to their customers, for their users, for their stakeholders, and for themselves by making this transformation.
And another one of the conclusions we got today: you hire people for their skills and not for their future role in the organization.

Remarks to Hugo Lourenço and Peter Stevens


Peter Stevens

Keynote Speaker, Executive Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Trainer. Call me "Mr. Alignment"

My day job: I teach people how to do Scrum. What I really do: I inspire people to change their situation for the better. I help companies transform into more effective, more successful and happier organizations.

I am the creator of The Personal Agility System (tm), the simple framework for doing more that matters.

Would you like to learn Scrum? You can sign up for one of my public courses in Switzerland, Italy, or Sri Lanka.

Would you like your organization to be more effective? Would you like your people to care about what really matters? Scrum and Personal Agility could be part of the solution.

I am looking for companies and individuals who want to change for the better. Interested? Let's start a conversation on how to achieve your goal!

P.S. Would you like to waste your time and mine? I am not looking for training assignments from resellers or trainings whose main purpose is to add a few letters to the suffix of someone's business card. I am really not looking for software development, web development, SEO optimizers, or any other services that you expect me to pay for.


What To Take Away From World Agility Forum's - 1st Day
Peter Stevens September 14, 2021
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Leaders and Heroes
by Hugo Lourenço