Manifesto for sustainable agility of organizations
We believe that sustainable agility, that is, continuous adaptation to the needs of the environment, enables organizations to succeed in a low-growth and high complexity environment.
We know that, more than the idyllic description of desired practices, what matters and what is difficult is that the organization engages in a learning process of these agile practices over time.
By our own practice and helping others in their practices, we found values and principles that, when shared, help organizations transition to organizational agility.
Through this work, we have come to value:
- Creating value over blind cost cutting,
- Continuous adaptation to the needs of the environment over entrenchment on what has been done so far, and is mastered,
- Teams and collective intelligence over standardized processes and control tools,
- Cooperation with stakeholders over power relationship,
- Responding to change in order to deliver value over following a plan,
- Diversity of approaches over standardization of practices,
- Learning iterations over a linear sequence.
While there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
In our actions, we respect the following principles:
- The organization has an explicit purpose, that is shared and gives meaning to the actions of each individual.
- Teams deliver and cooperate.
- Each team member is individually accountable for developing their skills and collectively accountable for delivering results.
- The experts serve those who produce. Those who produce make the decisions.
- The organization adapts thanks to rapid and frequent feedback sessions.
- Any action takes into account the maturity of the individuals and of the organization, and makes maturity grow.
- The organization favors the voluntary commitment of the individuals.
- Each team self-organizes to achieve the expected results. People are not planned, they are planning.
- The action is paced by rare, respected rituals that focus on value.
- The controversy is the most effective way to facilitate collective learning.
- The individuals agree on the next step and start taking action immediately, without waiting to reach agreement on a long-term detailed plan.
- An explicit information repository, known to all, enables decision making at the deepest possible level.
- The organization distributes signs of recognition that are consistent with value delivery and agile practices.
- The organization sanctions shortcomings and enforces discipline.
Olivier d'Herbemont, Bruno Borghi, Frédéric Fleuret, Marlene Borghi