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Agile: it´s not just projects, it´s leadership culture!

All over world, organizations are looking for “agility” – whatever that means. In fact, to face volatility and uncertainty, agile is the new mantra. Some are performing “trial & error”, with some project teams, following the agile and scrum manifesto guidelines. That´s good.  But, in most cases, not good enough.

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All over world, organizations are looking for “agility” – whatever that means. In fact, to face volatility and uncertainty, agile is the new mantra. Some are performing “trial & error”, with some project teams, following the agile and scrum manifesto guidelines. That´s good.  But, in most cases, not good enough.


“Agile” is more that project management. It’s a type of leadership culture that will improve innovation speed, decison making, delivery and enhance stakeholder’s experience (employee, client, business partners, among others). Like in all culture dimensions, the example must be “top-down”. Starting in the management team.


A management team should have a consistent leadership culture, assumed by all its members (which reflects corporate values) – and which demonstrates, by example, transparency, flexibility, informality, tolerance to risk and ambiguity. And, of course, in these days, learning, innovation and change orientation. Walking the talk: apply strategic thinking, scenario planning and risk assesssment instead of linear planning; implement a culture of fast-pace execution, with agile projects, feedback and real-time realignment; and constantly orchestrate levels of collaboration and knowledge sharing between areas and departments, destroying “organizational silos” and barriers to lateral communication. And scale up, in cascade, across the organization, new habits that will shape company’s DNA and cultural consistency.


Recognizing these critical variables, it is possible for an executive leader to act on them and build a more agile and effective management team.

Carlos Sezões

Managing Partner of Darefy – Leadership & Change Builders