8x Agility – proven beliefs to rewrite the rules of business

  • Common OKR over siloed KPIs
  • Outcomes over Outputs
  • Outcome-driven Development over Training Plans
  • Principles over Rules
  • Diversity over Uniformity
  • Agile Decision Making over Centralized Command & Control
  • Learning over Status
  • Teamwork over Silos
Our beliefs in the business define the work we chose to do with the best companies around the globe.

These beliefs have been instrumental in more than 187 successful business transformations (as of this article’s publication) since they maximize the growth and contribution of everyone to delivering high performance results.

It is the consistent application of these beliefs that ensures the full power of our models, frameworks and methodologies is realized in achieving positive impact at scale.

We have proven that superior outcomes on a global basis are the result of superior agile ways of working. We partner with companies to craft these distinctive ways of acting, behaving, decision-making, and learning on a daily basis.

Our purpose as a business transformation agency is to do whatever necessary to empower our customers, our real partners, to achieve business success in line with our beliefs.

These are our 8 beliefs when it comes to achieving enterprise agility:

1. Common OKR over siloed KPIs

Common OKR are those focused on stretching objectives which make sense from a total business standpoint, rather than silo standpoints. The essence of common OKR is the delivery of value to the customer. It is the pursuit of value for the customer that brings people and organizations together to improve common processes and systems.

At its core, common OKR are customer-driven outcomes which a community of people share to achieve common success. Radical Transparency and synchronization around OKR increase employees’ stake in the success of the business and build commitment to those outcomes that are essential to fulfill the business purpose.

With OKR, all employees feel increased ownership both through the steady growth and application of their broad skills to deliver the specific business needs expressed in the OKR. Everyone recognizes how his/her efforts have an impact on delivering the success of the business.

It is the role of the organization to help each employee feel and deeply believe that achieving these common objectives and ensuring long term business success is the best way to also ensure long term personal success. In leading organizations, while people are growing and the business is succeeding they recognize that business and individual success are truly inseparable.

The results using OKR, as in the case of Agile, can only be achieved if a holistic and systemic development is carried out in the different axes that define the governance of an organization.

To make the OKR-based target system accelerate the delivery of superior results in a company, we developed with PEAK the following features:

1. Culture based on autonomy and high responsibility.

2. Iterative strategy based on data

3. Leadership that is transformative and based on service

4. Tactics based on experimentation and continuous learning

5. Agile, effective and adaptive operations.

2. Outcomes over Outputs

Outcomes over Outputs means everyone concentrates on delivering critical business results rather than completing their activities, projects or initiatives.

Everyone is continually improving work processes to deliver outcomes versus just doing their job. All too often, organizations fall short of their desired results because they focus on activities or initiatives in a narrow segment of their business unit versus concentrating on those critical outcomes for all the business. This belief is built on the proven evidence by ActioGlobal that superior results on a global scale are the outcomes of focused priorities, mastery, fast execution and agile anticipation of change.

A common design principle is to organize the workflow, recognizing the interdependent nature of the work in a way that enables self-organized teams to make a maximum contribution to outcome-driven and specific stretching objectives.

3. Outcome-Driven Development over Training Plans

Outcome-Driven Development signifies tying everyone’s growth to the common OKR. This principle is accomplished by individuals developing mastery and demonstrating their multiskills and flexibility to contribute to the flow of work required to have a meaningful impact in the OKR.
The overall orientation of leading organizations toward outcomes requires employees to have an expanded attitude to work and a wider range of capabilities for influencing outcomes than in traditional organizations.

Each individual and team defines and develops the required skills or core competencies necessary to deliver its business commitments. Every employee has the opportunity to do interesting and challenging work and every employee has an obligation to do a fair share of the less desirable work.

Individuals and teams regularly self-assess their capability to deliver the business needs. Radical Candor feedback is also a fundamental tool to power this continuous self-improvement.

On the other hand, the organization develops the necessary systems like pair learning, shadowing, upskilling, 360º, QBR, Drumbeat, mentoring and career planning to create the environment for people to grow to their full potential.

This belief is based on the proven evidence that competitive advantage in the capabilities of individuals, who have the right skills and competences to achieve few stretching OKR, will deliver superior outcomes.

4. Principles over Rules

This belief means the use of principles versus rules or procedures for actions required to respond to various situations in decision making.

Doing “what is right,” with the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior in responding to business and individual needs, increases the flexibility and responsiveness of leading organizations. As a result, everyone’s best efforts can be focused on achieving the critical few OKRs.

Guided by principles, organizations and individuals have considerable autonomy in determining what actions must be taken to achieve the desired business outcomes. This autonomy coupled with consistent applications of principles maximizes the organization’s ability to compete in today’s exponentially changing business environment.

There is no freedom without responsibility. There is no entrepreneurship without risk taking. There is no success without every single member of the staff taking extreme ownership.

5. Diversity over Uniformity

Diversity over Uniformity denotes the differences people bring to the organization are valued and fully utilized to improve business outcomes. Team work to improve and execute business processes is enhanced by leveraging the knowledge, insights, and unique perspectives of everyone involved. Decision making is improved by targeting the creative ideas of the entire organization to deliver common OKR.

The learning rate of an organization is accelerated by encouraging risk taking, innovation, and creativity fueled by various ideas and experiences. Diverse interests naturally raise the amount of communication that occurs thus enhancing the basic communication process, a requirement for cross-discipline team work.

The key to making productive use of diversity lies in the common OKR belief. The communications and training systems that support common OKR provide for the high level of dialogue and for the skills necessary to integrate the diverse interests into a set of common objectives.

6. Agile Decision Making over Centralized Command & Control

Agile Decision Making is problem solving and decision making led by those that have the data, knowledge, skills, responsibilities, and accountability closest to the situation and are impacted by the outcome.

Agile decision making gets individuals and teams to experience a greater feeling of ownership as they seek opportunities to solve problems and improve work processes. This increases employees’ feelings of being full participants, owners, or stakeholders in the business.

Having individuals and teams responsible for and free to exercise decision making results in better quality decisions, more timely actions, and more cost effective decisions.

Problem solving efforts are enhanced by the expectation that everyone is empowered to solve problems, by OKR setting that determines priorities and allocates resources, by training providing skills, and by communication providing information.

There is no agility without discipline.
There is no Agility without a common language.

7. Learning over Status

Learning over Status recognizes the importance for individuals and teams to be in a continuous learning mode. What we learn and the rate at which teams and organizations learn are critical success factors now and in future.

Organizations around the world as they strive to globalize and deliver customer preferred products to market faster than their competition are recognizing the need to benchmark themselves versus other world class organizations.

The magnitude of effort being expended around the world by organizations to learn and rapidly re-apply is unsurpassed. Many organizations are encouraging breakthrough thinking, creating strategic partnering, and forming learning alliances to accelerate their mutual progress. The successful organization of the future will be a learning organization that is consistently assessing how it can improve, re-engineering its work flows, and developing mechanisms to create organizational memory.

For this, retrospectives and renewals can’t be something companies and teams just do in special events but must rather be part of the regular rhythm, the Drumbeat.

Retrospectives and Renewals are necessary to detect early deviation and prevent decline in the organizational health, capability, and systems.

8. Teamwork over Silos

Teamwork over Silos means organizations are built around teams by which interdependent work can be accomplished more efficiently. This translates into teams involving people throughout the entire value-added process (multiple disciplines, suppliers, and customers).

The complexity of many businesses is so pronounced that it is beyond the ability of a single team to change the status quo. To effectively impact the OKR requires a high level of coordination among teams. Therefore, each team is not a silo but a node of a network of self-organizing teams that collaborate for the common goals.

After a few months of having seeing hybrid work in action, we can already see chaos and lack of alignment.

Problem solving and decision making require that information from all parts of the business be brought together simultaneously in effective data lakes. Leveraging the knowledge, insights, and multiple skills of individuals with different perspectives is a prerequisite to completely understand and productively respond to a given issue or opportunity. As discussed before, leveraging the unique diversity of individuals and teams is essential to continually improve our business processes and to execute them to their full potential.

Teams are empowered with the necessary sets of skills, with information, decision making space, and resources to deliver their common objectives. The OKR – at their best.

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