Lead an Organisation

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The adoption of business agility mindsets, structures, and practices are accelerating. Not a day goes by without a press release from a major corporation announcing their transformation. And despite the hype, it’s more than a buzzword. It is a significant, yet nuanced, change in the ways companies operate. In today’s unpredictable economy, the benefits are clear.

If you are responsible for leading a division or organisation, you're in the right place. We have curated some of the best leaders stories and techniques to get you started.

Once you've finished with these, we recommend you visit the Leadership Agility page for specific guidance, common challenges and impediments and more case studies.

Case Studies[edit | edit source]

  • A Story of Leadership Transformation by Susan Courtney | EVP Operations @ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and Joni Wheeler | President and CEO @ CoreLink Administrative Solutions [Video / 18min]
  • Are you ready to be a butterfly? by Nanci Taylor | Vice President, Accelerate Agile @ IBM [Video / 18min]. A story of personal growth and leadership transformation. Nanci talks about her journey of building an agile organization and reshaping teams, workflows, and leadership. She shares the method and approach she took to grow, learn, and lean in. Along the way she found out just how hard changing culture can be, but realized that it can be done. She will share her learnings as well as observations on colleagues who grew and transformed as a part of this effort.
  • New Zealand Post Group - An Agile Executive [~1900 words / 9min]. NZPG, like many businesses after the global financial crisis, undertook a business review, and identified that there were a number of missed opportunities to respond to customer and market trends. It was realised that these opportunities would continue to be missed while the organisation was ‘stuck’ in old modes of operation. In late 2011, the Group Leadership Team, consisting of the Group CEO, CFO, Group Heads and General Managers, began a transformation and continuous improvement programme, to improve the overall responsiveness of the organisation. This transformation led to the creation of the Sorting Room, a visualisation of the state of the organisation and its strategic initiatives, as well as related cultural and process changes. This new approach to corporate strategy emphasised simplicity, visibility and trust, and ultimately changed the way the NZPG Executive operates.
  • Reality Bites and Stranger Things by Renee Troughton [Video / 18min]. Transformations are like roller coaster rides – they are filled with thrilling highs and stomach dropping lows. The lows are those moments when reality bites, when strange and unexpected events occur. How do you work with leaders in these moments, often when the very low has been brought on by their decisions, language, or their behaviour? This is a story of such moment; of actions taken with respect, timing and optimism in mind so that the ultimate goal of business agility is reached. There are no new tools, ideas or gimmicks in this talk – just a warm-hearted story about influencing change in leaders.

Guidance[edit | edit source]

  • Forming Self-Selected Teams - How to Create Happy, Empowered, and Effective Teams by Amber King and Jesse Huth [Video / 18min]. How do you create excited, engaged, happy, and effective teams? Start them off right by letting your engineers choose their own teams and projects! Through a proven technique called self-selection, Opower was able to turn a tribe of 40 engineers, many of whom were unexcited about continuing to work on the same old products, into six high-performing teams with engineers who were excited to embark on a new adventure, acquire new skills, and ship awesome code.
  • Adaptive Leadership and Value Innovation by Pat Reed [Video / 18min]. As our world becomes increasingly volatile, unpredictable and overwhelming, imagine the possibilities if we can develop the capabilities to quickly and easily adapt to changing business conditions and create change to outpace competitors and increase our personal value proposition and potential. We fearlessly welcome challenges with confidence and inspire (and empower) our teams to do the same—knowing that we will learn from whatever future challenges emerge.
  • Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming [Book Review]. Deming, and his book Out of the Crisis, is part of what has driven my passion for Agile Business Management. While this book is over 30 years old (first published in '82) and predates the "Agile" movement, many of the concepts and recommendations that Deming makes align to the values & principles of the agile manifesto