The focus on becoming an agile organization is on the rise. In fact, Harvard Business Review asserts that embracing agile innovation methods have greatly increased success rates for a variety of IT-related companies. For CuroGens, being an agile organization is key, and goes beyond streamlining processes and being able to anticipate new opportunities. These qualities are (obviously) fantastic for any business, but at the heart of becoming agile comes down to the way an organization values and treats its employees. By putting these qualities first, countless benefits are sure to follow.
The People or the Technology?
The first defining factor of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development is to value individuals and interactions. In this modern world of technology advancements—whether you’re considering incredibly sophisticated software such as ERP (our realm of expertise) or the increased likelihood of negative interactions with people behind the safety of a screen via social media or email, authentic human interaction should still be at the heart of everything your organization does. Not only does this show employees how much they’re valued (and build some added loyalty, engagement and drive to succeed), it increases the ability to more quickly solve problems, which in turn saves money for your organization.
[Related Forbes article: 5 Reasons Social Connections Can Enhance Your Employee Wellness Program]
Removing the Bureaucracy
At CuroGens, this means that everyone has an equal voice and the license to use it. Our leadership is expecting the employees to speak up, ask questions, push back if they feel passionate about something and take their share of ownership in every project we take on for our customers. This collaborative nature allows us to become stronger individuals, which can only strengthen the team. Instilling this kind of confidence allows for faster response rates and an easier time bouncing back from setbacks that may occur during the course of a project.
The Trickle-Down Effect
In our organization, a healthy work-life balance is not only encouraged but genuinely promoted. CuroGens’ CEO, Jesper Kehlet actually receives updates on who has not taken vacation time so he can address it with them. He understands the value of someone taking time off to recharge—both for that individual’s sake and for the health of our company overall. In turn, this keeps employees sharp and more likely to better anticipate customer needs and requirements.
It also means that peer to peer or professional development, whether it’s for something to help an employee perform their current work or to help them learn something they’re intrigued about is supported and encouraged. Employees are inspired to spend a percentage of their work hours learning something that has nothing to do with their jobs. Our management team understands that this can only lead to further creativity and innovation for not only the individual but also the company and our current and prospective customers.
A component of empowering our employees is trusting them to take a certain amount of risk in their jobs. Of course, every organization has its limits, but utilizing this mindset allows individuals to find the best possible solution for its customers, even if it’s a new idea, a twist on an old one or something that hasn’t already been tried. This encourages the building of new skills, resourcefulness and process improvement.
Are you ready to start assessing and improving your company’s agility? Or do you have some great ideas that have worked for your organization that you’d like to share with us? We want to hear from you! Start a conversation with us firstname.lastname@example.org or email our CEO Jesper Kehlet directly at email@example.com.