More agility rather than…

  • More Shared OKR rather than Feudal KPI
  • More Impact rather than Activity
  • More Self-Development rather than Training Plans
  • More Principles rather than Rules
  • More Diversity rather than Classism
  • More Self-Organization rather than Control
  • More Learning rather than Reporting
  • More Clients rather than Silos
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Our beliefs have been and will be the basis of the interventions we carry out in the best companies around the world. With the confidence in their strength, we have delivered more than 187 successful business transformations (as of this article’s publication).

In this process, we have demonstrated, on a global scale, that superior results are the outcomes of incorporating superior ways of working that are focused on achieving Agility and business high performance.

In this article, let’s explore and share 8 core beliefs that guide us and drive successful business transformations:

1. More Shared OKR rather than Feudal KPI

This first belief is about everyone in the organization stopping to think about achieving their own performance indicators and instead focusing on achieving what is wildly important to the company’s growth: the shared OKR.

This belief requires business units and department leaders to stop being kings and queens of their realms and instead become Servant Leaders of the company´s teams and people. True leaders. It’s as simple as that.

However, it is also decisive to remember that results will only be achieved with OKR, as with Agile or other high performance methods if they are put into practice in a holistic and systemic way at the level of the various axes that define an organization. The following are critical:

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. More Impact rather than Activity

The second belief is a set of questions: Three basic questions each employee in every organization should ask themselves every two hours:
Is what I am doing impacting the organization’s OKR?
Is what I am doing helping to maintain the basic operations or health of the organization?
Is there any meaning at all to what I am doing?
That’s exactly what it is: Focus on impact. If what we do has no impact on OKR, it is useless. End of the second core belief to achieve Agility.

3. More Self-Development rather than Training Plans

Before explaining this belief, let’s consider the following questions:
How many thousands of euros do we pour out the window on training programs for people who don’t care about developing themselves?
How many hours do we waste on the mediocre, while our talents are totally overloaded?
Everyone in the organization must be given both the chance to contribute and to be trained – if they want to. There is no point in investing time or any other resources in development plans for those who don’t want to go along. Learning and development is an act of will. We need to focus on willingness, give people the freedom and resources to pursue their own development,

and move on …

4. More Principles rather than Rules

Number 4 is also rooted in a fundamental question:
Would I do what I am doing if it were my home, my own company, or if I had to pay for it?
With such a direct question, where the person him-/herself experiences the consequences of his/her decision, we eliminate all rules in one fell swoop. For those who would not act according to the same principles and values in their own environment, no rules apply. The efficient performance of people in an organization is based on genuine and sincere consensus, a sense of belonging and commitment.

There is no freedom without responsibility. Leading organizations are built on these two inseparable principles.

5. More Diversity rather than Classism

Less hierarchical classism.
Less social classism.
Less generational classism.
Less gender classism.
Less racial classism.
Less cultural classism.

With this prescription, the fifth belief alerts us to the negative effects of the tendency to discriminate against difference. All good things in life and in business come from challenging everything we thought was uniform and unchanging.

There is no future in uniformity. The future is in the community and in the mixture, in the diversity of ideas, of opinions, of people, putting in common all their human and differential talent.

6. More Self-Organization rather than Control

Belief 6 brings us to the need for decentralization of power in organizations.

Problems are solved most effectively by those who have the data, knowledge and skills that most closely match the decision to be made.

In an Agile High Performance Organization, hierarchical control, based on the power of position, is meaningless. The only control that delivers value is self-control: The control that enables people to manage their emotions, energy and commitment to avoid being swept away by the inertia of doing too much and making too little impact.

Whoever sees the opportunity and has the capacity to make it happen takes the lead in the respective actions.

There is no agility without transparency.
There is no agility without breaking down silos.
There is no agility without self-organization.
There is no agility without the humility to put the customer at the center of everything.

7. More Learning rather than Reporting

This formula is precisely explained in the article on the “5 Vaccines for the Work Overload Pandemic”:

On average, more than 35% of leaders’ time and report writing is dedicated to creating PowerPoints on work already done. Powerpoints that are not to define what they are going to achieve in the future but rather to justify what they did in the past (if they did anything at all).

Mediocre companies waste 91 days a year explaining what was done and cannot be changed.

But, on the other hand, 

Leading companies manage to make their years last for 15 months = they win 3 months more than the rest.

Belief 7 therefore forces us to focus on value-creating activities, to remove obstacles and to always think ahead to the future.

8. More Clients rather than Silos

The last belief is critical for us and for companies that have made a transformation toward Agility and high performance since it´s a key insight:

Which customer would buy something that can only be realized by a single department?

Clear and concise: None.

A department only has a right to exist if it develops people who are capable of contributing in cross-functional, self-organized teams to serve customers faster, more efficiently and smartly than the competition.

After a few months of having seen hybrid work in action, we can already predict a disaster.

In leading organizations, no one is lord over a talent. Talent flows dynamically to where it can make the greatest contribution. That is why self-organized teams are the key to achieve the OKR, i.e., the company’s objectives. Talent must be leveraged to deliver value to the customer.

A simple but straightforward and effective belief.

Agility starts with learning a common language that enables us to move in sync at high speed. Beliefs are the code that allows us to develop this common language. To implement Agile, all you have to do is pass one of those nice certifications that come with a Linkedin badge as part of the package. But to achieve Agility and High Performance, we need to be clear about what we are before we act. Only then will we be able to act consistently in accordance with what we want to be.
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