The Agility Iceberg: Why Transformations Fail

3 October, 2018

#WhyShaiWhy [Videos] Agile Leadership

I had an amazing experience last week when I got invited to speak about Agile to an audience of about fifty leaders from a huge organisation. The whole thing lasted three hours and my favorite part was the robustness of our conversations, given that 80% – 90% of them had no technology background at all.

We specifically talked about the Agile Mindset, and one of the key things that I found interesting was I kept being asked, “Well Shai, how do you actually operationalise mindset?”

As thought leaders, contributors, a think-tank in Agile, we do ourselves a disservice by not talking about how difficult mindset is in the real world. Take a look at this diagram:


I’ve mentioned these three before in a previous episode where we talked about building an Agile team, and I’ll say it again: skill set and toolset are less of the problem. Mindset is, by far, the hardest, most complex yet most important pillar that will make or break an Agile organisation or transformation.

When you’re thinking about operationalising mindset, what you’re actually doing is moving away from the idea of mindset.

Operationalising mindset has one key feature and that is: leadership.

Which has nothing to do with your position in the organization! Because all the stuff you know that’s about leadership—living your values, pragmatism, congruence, etc—they are what you have to bring in if you want to be Agile.

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