- More than 80% of respondents to a recent survey said they see agility as the most important characteristic of a successful organization. The survey, conducted by Forbes Insight and Scrum Alliance, collected insight from more than 1,000 C-level executives. Those who incorporated agility into their organizations said they saw faster innovation, improved employee morale and increased ability to attract and hire top talent.
- Based on in-depth interviews with executives, the report said companies can become more agile if they build a C-suite out of professionals with agile mindsets, hire and train the right talent and nurture an agile-friendly culture and organizational culture. Almost 85% of respondents said their transition into agility succeeded because they could rely on talented employees with critical skills. More than half said they trained and utilized employees to lead the agility transformation.
- When respondents described their company's culture, many said their workplaces resist change (57%), lack purpose (58%) or are bogged down by ineffective communication (59%). More than 65% of respondents said agility is "an essential part of their company's DNA."
Agility — it's an organizational approach and a mindset. That's how Renata Lerch, vice president of global marketing and communications at Scrum Alliance, puts it. "It's a mindset, but in order for that to be successful, you need a framework that synchronizes the operations. It's not only the concept but the execution as well," she told HR Dive. But how does this involve HR? CEOs obsess over agility because it spurs innovation and reduces time to market. To make that happen, organizations must ensure they have agile-friendly talent on board and surround those employees with an agility-supporting culture. As the heads of hiring and the keepers of culture, HR is wrapped up in agility.
"HR is the key enabler of education for their organization in terms of culture. Even the basic areas of HR responsibility — hiring, training, culture — those are key to the implementation [of agility,]" Lerch said.
Lerch stressed the importance of hiring employees who will jive with agility. She recommended that employers look for individuals "who take initiative and create accountability." "From my own experience with hiring people for my team, I think hiring people who are very open minded and are team players is really, really important," she said. Lerch also noted the importance of hiring employees who are comfortable with decision making. Within an organization emphasizing agility, employees will have more power than those under a more traditional structure, she explained. Candidates who are responsive to ideas from different departments, backgrounds and cultures will stand out. "That's key for a great hire," Lerch said.
A company's transformation into agility will not succeed without an agile-friendly culture, even if it has hired the most agile employees available. Once a business has adopted agile practices, departments will interact far more than they did under traditional constructions, Lerch said. "HR is a connecter. Every department has different dynamics, different nuances," Lerch said. "HR, that's the one department that syncs it all, bringing the culture across the nuances by department." HR will also help bring culture and communication down from the C-suite. "Many CEOs are unbelievably good with developing strategies but aren't as good with communicating across the structures," Lerch said. Without HR's help, several key functions within the agility transformation will surely stall.