Agile Leadership or How to Learn with every Move throughout Life

The digital age is defined by exponential technologies that allow real-time customising of experiences, thereby creating a new dimension of speed and complexity. Learning in real time is vital for this quality of time.

On the other hand, there are production-oriented organisational structures and cultures, but also people, who want to be accompanied into the new age. So far, so clear. But there are still few successful examples of successful transformation from industrial organisations to the necessary business agility. For eight years I have been working on the impact of social media on organisations: in ambuzzador projects, studies and training. As part of my certification as a Certified Agile Leader (CAL 1) back in 2017 I was very fortunate to study with Angel Diaz-Maroto, who has managed to put all the puzzle pieces of leadership into a workable overall context, creating a framework for successful transformation to (digital) business agility, the so-called “leader´s dancefloor”.

What this approach creates is the link of one's own contribution (of my personal leadership style and my being) with the organisational environment. Uncomfortable, naturally, because change is then by definition only possible through changing oneself.

Doing the Right Things

Even the foundation of the leader´s dancefloor (complexity thinking) is a challenge, since it involves accepting complex assignments as such, but nevertheless breaking them down into small tasks (e.g. via scrum) to develop the solutions iteratively and with 100 percent connection to the market. The core of agile thinking, leadership and action is to engage permanently with the users of a product or service. This minimises the risk of a launch flop. That is, doing the right things (leadership) and no longer doing things right (management).

The Personal Style

What sets the leader’s dancefloor apart is – as the name implies – the “dance”, i.e. changing the structure by modifying the KPIs in order to implement new, agile processes, through the different fields, and thus you will literally experience with every move that you make in the exercises what temperament you have and contribute. And each temperament has its bright and dark sides. In my case, the leadership style closest to me is the visionary style, which in pure form makes organisations very successful, but also dependent on the visionary. The objective is to be able to switch between seven different leadership styles, depending on the task, skills of the team and the phase in the change process.


Leadership Styles

The Question of Culture

In the current transition from the industrial to the digital age, we can see very clearly how the culture of competence and perfection blocks today’s essential culture of trial and error. After all, the values of these cultures are diametrically opposed and need to be negotiated. But here again, the same applies: pure form is not the goal. What matters is a balance of all quadrants. Hence, the first step in developing your own organisation is to take stock of the values. The focus then should be on storytelling and identifying desirable scenarios.


Organisational Cultures and Values

It's about the Connection

The basic requirement for all of the above is the development of your own personality in order to acquire the diametrically opposed abilities and, particularly, to build empathy for customers. This will allow you to start and intensify conversations in relation to your proposal, and to develop the learning ability and innovative power of your own organisation. Let’s face it: how often do you personally speak with your customers in order to obtain feedback and wishes about your offer? How often do you ask questions that you answer, if at all, with great delays?


Sustain and evolve the conversation with the market

I look forward to receiving your request for an Agile Fitness Check, in order to venture on a joint dance through the leader’s dancefloor in your concrete transformation project, together with ambuzzador and Angel Diaz-Maroto!