What is meant by “the Agile Mindset” in organizations?
Good question! Mindset is the thinking and behavioral pattern of a person or group. Mindset, thinking and doing, is strongly determined by your character, your upbringing and by the present culture; "That’s how we do things around here". Your observable behavior stems from your mindset and the consequences that follow from your behavior. The difference between saying yes or no to something. By working with consequences, we can change behavior and therefore the mindset, and in the long term we are able to change the culture.
In organizations where the Agile way of working is chosen, we want to create an Agile mindset. Working Agile means transparency, feedback and adaptation / flexibility. The Agile consequences show greater involvement, better support, more confidence, better quality that matches expectations, and the flexibility to make adjustments or to set other priorities. This sounds very nice. So what does the behavior that fits an Agile mindset look like, and how can we further develop it?
A few examples of Agile behavior:
- providing a product review and showing what you have created is transparency
- conducting an experiment and sharing its successes or failures is openness and entrepreneurship
- processing the customer’s response and responding with a solution is feedback
- making adjustments to the process based on a retrospective is flexibility
- measuring customer satisfaction and increasing it is transparency, feedback and flexibility
- delivering a product faster with only the important and necessary features is flexibility
Some people already show this agile behavior and have an Agile mindset. Others may be hold down by the possible consequences. Making mistakes and sharing that with others is quite scary. Adjusting your way of working, because a retrospective shows that it can be done differently and better, takes some time to get used to. Asking for an assessment can be quite confrontational. Taking initiative and making a choice is quite difficult. What if you make the wrong choice? What will others think of you? Would you not rather stay in your comfort zone?
In order to grow the Agile mindset, we must provide a safe environment in which consequences are positively empowered. We put a lot of energy into explaining and facilitating Agile changes. We also offer support in the form of Agile Coaching, as a source of information, but also by asking critical questions. As we do so, we increasingly trust each other, and we see the positive consequences of Agile working together. We embrace changes and develop ourselves flexibly with an Agile mindset.