In our fast-moving world, the prime goal of ‘agile working’ is to be fully flexible to respond to challenges. In Loose: The Future of Business is Letting Go, Martin Thomas argues that a collaborative company culture, together with a more relaxed management style, is essential for success.
However, most business leaders have been trained in the traditional ‘command and control’ management style, with a key belief being that ‘leaders know best’. This can sound the death knell for any attempt to transform to an agile way of working. Consultants such as Pollyanna Pixton advise that micromanagement discourages staff to take ownership for their own effectiveness. Instead, ‘leaders must create a culture of trust, be trustworthy, not take ownership away from the teams, and be consistent,’ says Pollyanna. ‘They must also help teams to take ownership.’
So, what determines success is staff who are trusted to take responsibility for delivering high quality solutions. This is known as a ‘high trust/high ownership’ culture, and, without it, companies fail to be truly agile.