Nowadays, everybody is talking about agility. Companies around the world are trying to follow this new way of rapidly adapting to changes while operating in a productive environment. But behind every company, there are human beings. In the end, no business goals, no departments and also no budgets, can embrace agility – it has to be embraced by the employees.
It is simple: A company can’t change by itself; it has to be done by the people. And this means that people need to be open for new things, open for changes, open for innovation. If this is not the case, constant changes and new goals can be like an earthquake for the company.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that agility is a bad thing, quite the contrary. But for me, it is important to keep in mind that you can’t force the people to change their behavior from one day to another. Instead, you have to constantly explain what you want and how you expect it to happen – especially when it comes to new tasks.
Agility is important, but not everything
In my career, I have never seen anybody working fully agile. It is nearly impossible! You can’t just change your working flow or learn a new method every two weeks. Of course, constant learning is a part of the change, but you have to embrace this. Otherwise, you will fail.
Back in the days, I had to do the same. When I started my first job, there were no computers in the office. We had to type something on the typewriter and then take out the paper. It was even worse when we made a mistake, because we had to start all over again. There was no backspace on the keyboard.
These days are over now; we live in a new time. Our work environment has totally changed since then – in a very good way. For example: Our smart phones are outperforming the old-fashioned typewriter by miles.
This shows us clearly, that innovation is unstoppable, no matter what. So many things are changing throughout the years. If one stops and looks around, one might get the impression that it is going faster and faster.
Keep an open mind
Luckily, innovation is driven by people. However, people still have to adapt, learn new things, and – most importantly – keep an open mind! Agility is not only about shaping and reinventing the company; it is also about learning new things from each other.
My advice is simple: You don’t have to change fast. If you are trained to approach challenges in that way, then keep on doing that. But try to look from a different angle, and you might find another way. But please never forget to learn out of your mistakes. Embrace the change, because at the end of the day, learning a new thing is cool.