Agile has become one of the biggest buzzwords in tech. So what exactly is it? Put simply, agile means we value responsiveness over procedures and process purely for the sake of convention. It’s often a people first approach with teamwork and collaboration that provides a more rewarding experience. And when people enjoy their work, it’s amazing what they can achieve!
To remain competitive in an ever changing digital marketplace world today, many organizations are embracing agile practices. The agile manifesto states that “we value: individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, responding to change over following a plan…”
Here are 3 proven ways to winning in the digital age that are rooted in the agile methodogy (witnessed from the best and the worst):
1. Cultivate your people
- Your company’s vision will be within reach if you have motivated and capable people on board. Set clear expectations and offer a transparent career plan. You want to get people with the right skills, set their sights on the finish line and let them lose to figure things out with their creative, communicative and problem-solving acumen.
- Beyond pay, people are motivated by growth, certainty, significance/ recognition, connection, variety and contribution (in varying degrees). Invest precious time understanding individual motivations and aspirations. Ensure people are placed where they can maximize their daily contribution, develop them into their aspirations and create collaborative opportunities to sync with the right mentors.
- Hire audacious problem-solvers, leaders that bring different values to your company and uncover your blind spots. Promote autonomy and internal motivation while creating an environment that rewards camaraderie, teamwork, and a passion for excellence.
2. Support technical mastery and innovation
- In this ever-evolving landscape be prepared to experiment constantly, learn fast and adapt quickly. Establish a methodology to promote learning and technical knowledge through training sessions, hackathons, dojos, digital summits etc. Run “Open Innovation” initiatives by connecting with other companies and colleges. Tap into opportunities that go beyond your organization.
- Cultivate an environment for cutting-edge technology adoption. Create opportunities for people to get closer to digital technologies, exercise creativity and initiate side projects.
- Recognize people that share and multiply knowledge – give them a chance to meet with executives to promote their next ideas.
- Encourage experimentation in search of the “next big thing.” Experiments are at the core of improvement. Establish hypotheses, define the goals, ideate, prototype, test, validate the hypotheses, adapt and improve.
3. Foster a culture of responsible risk taking
- Encourage people to take smart risks and learn from failures.
- Implement a lean-agile process that is obsessed by customer satisfaction, quality and productivity. Today is better than yesterday; tomorrow will be better than today.
- Ensure you are adapting constantly with a continuous improvement mindset – be knowledgeable about the work being done, removing blocks and setting ambitious goals.
- Make a few bold moves. Prioritize transformational initiatives in areas that anticipate large returns and can represent sustainable differentiation in the medium and long term. Establish clear links from your digital initiatives to value outcomes and track them with actionable metrics.
Attaining digital excellence in this rapidly evolving environment can feel like building a plane while flying it, but ultimately – along with the commitment to continuous learning – passion, creativity and genuine belief in the power of people will be the sustaining competitive advantage.
I love digital marketing because the constant tremendous success stories are a reminder that if you believe it, it can become a reality – striving for digital excellence is the clarion call to dream big, find your north star and go for it with everything you’ve got!