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Today I attended a HR Round Table in Geelong hosted by Harvest Recruitment & Human Resources. The guest speaker for the session was Eduardo Nofuentes – Founder at The Agile Eleven – who was there to share with us what being AGILE really means, how does it look like for organisations and what is it the role People & Culture/HR teams plays in creating more agile organisations and teams.

In this article, I won’t be talking about what AGILE THINKING means or how does that look like for organisations. For that, you can have a read at this blog article shared by The Agile Eleven Team.

Instead, I will be sharing some of my takeaways with other HR professionals looking to drive change within organisations. My intention with this article is to share some insights and ideas to help you foster an agile mindset within your teams and prepare for what I believe is crucial for the future of work.

1.      DEVELOPING AN “AGILE MINDSET” IS KEY to transition from a non-agile to an agile organisation.

Thankfully this is something we can all start working on from any role we might be performing today in our organisations. So start where you are, start small but start. Look at the areas of the business you have more influence on and start from there.

Some of the things that were discussed during the session were:

-Lead by example, start with your teams and let the results speak for themselves.

-Educate your leaders to help them make more human, values driven decisions instead of relying on HR policies.

2.      COLLABORATION, EXPERIMENTATION AND TRUST are at the core of every agile organisation

There is some things you can start doing to encourage these behaviours within your teams and organisation:

·        Encourage face to face interactions and more regular conversations with the team about their objectives and performance. Also, use visual tools like whiteboards and post-it notes to help everyone (including yourself) visualise what the priorities are, who is working on what, etc. This helps the team realign to their purpose and focus on the actions that are important to ensure they get where they want to be.

If you work with remote teams and things like whiteboards, post-it notes, etc. don’t work, use technology. A few tools some people recommended were:

Trello – it can be used as a collaborative and work visual tool to ensure everyone in the team is aligned and aware of who is working on what.

Slack – it can be used as a team communication and accountability tool for in real time conversations.

Zoom – it is used as a meeting room or teleconference platform to hold virtual face to face meetings where everyone within the team. I have worked with Zoom myself and it can be a fantastic tool for digital learning solutions.

I would also recommend to look at Microsoft Teams. I have been using this on some project work I am doing for a client, it is user friendly and a very effective collaborative and accountability tool when working on projects.

·        Embrace failure by encouraging experimentation. I am sure there is many things you could do to achieve that but some of the things that we discussed during the session were:

-Assess performance from a values alignment perspective and not only from an outcome point of view. It is important to consider both when assessing individual’s and team’s performance.

-Think twice before linking performance with pay increases. It is less likely people will embrace failure if they see that can impact their salary increase or bonus.

-Testing new ideas, programs, projects through PILOT PROGRAMS to prove the concept, gather feedback and implement changes as required. This is key for continuous improvement.

·        Create a work environment based on TRUST by embracing transparency.

Collaborative behaviours like the ones we touched on previously, are all embracing transparency and trust. If the team is aligned, the communication is open and regular, each member feels valued and comfortable asking for help when needed, that is when you build trust.

One of the examples we discussed was “Dress Policies”. A simple “dress appropriately” might be enough. We can start by not telling people how to dress and wait to see what a little trust can do to the work environment and business productivity.

3.      ATTRACT, RECRUIT AND DEVELOP BRAVE LEADERS

It is obvious that implementing non-traditional practices –others call them: disruptive practices – within an organisation that might have not yet developed an AGILE MINDSET can be very challenging. Eduardo Nofuentes stated “an agile organisation is not possible without BRAVE LEADERS” – and I couldn’t agree more.

To me, this means the role of Talent Acquisition and Talent Development teams in attracting, hiring and developing the talent of the future is becoming more and more critical and challenging. I would even dare to say, HR practitioners are needing to become more intuitive, strategic and visionaries – rather than operational – if they want to help their organisations prepare for the future of work.

It is just not enough to hire talent based on their technical expertise anymore or because they come with the industry experience or because they meet the requirements of the job as it exists today. In my humble opinion, being able to see “the potential” in candidates rather than focusing on the actual experience and technical expertise is now more relevant when attracting and recruiting talent.

In terms of talent development, it seems people & culture practitioners will be focusing on developing a more holistic leadership scheme that is not only attached to a job title but more to an attitude. It is the outside the box thinking, the capacity to adapt and take risks, the ability to acknowledge individual’s worth and embrace differences within teams, the collaborative leadership approach, the ability to align teams to a purpose and trust they will deliver, what makes BRAVE LEADERS. Therefore, it is those skills and behaviours what we will see more and more on the training and talent development agenda.

In other words, it is more a MINDSET what we need to look for when attracting, recruiting and developing Agile Thinkers. That is paramount if we – HR professionals – want to provide organisations with the brave leaders they need to grow Agile Organisations.

If you decide to give a go to any of these ideas or if you have any real life examples and case studies to share, please feel free to get in contact with me. Sharing learning can be a great way to collaborate and leverage from each other’s’ expertise specially throughout this journey of preparing organisations for the future of work #collaborationforsuccess

Disclaimer

As I said at the beginning of this article, these are only my insights and a few ideas that might help you develop that agile mindset and take the small steps to prepare yourself and your business for the future of work. For specific advice to your organisation, I would recommend you to contact The Agile Eleven team.

Please share this article if you know a women that will resonate with this #sharingiscaring Thank You !

Beatriz Guevara, is a holistic human resources professional, collaboration consultant, mentor and business enabler with local and international experience working in a variety of HR roles with multinational and complex organisations. Her passion is to help individuals and businesses unleash their full potential, increase engagement levels and achieve sustainable results by embracing innovation, holistic leadership, collaborative mindset and aligning individual’s motivations & strengths to business’ needs. 

Her mission is to help emerging leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners and holistic professionals build their leadership capabilities without the PUSH and the HUSTLE. Instead, she encourages them to embrace their unique gift, trust their own wisdom and foster a holistic leadership style that allows them to co-create the future of work and find the space to lead in a more human way.

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