Agile organization - the downfall of existing structures?

Everyone wants to be able to react quickly and flexibly to market changes or customer wishes and at the same time make sense or contribute to added value – but only a few are able to create an agile organization.  A principle of agile organizations is:

As much self-organization and flexibility as possible, as many rules and standards as necessary!

As the word “agile” already says, it is a matter of loosening, reconnecting or even completely dissolving a stuck structure. The main characteristics of agile organizations are their strong self-organization and simultaneous lack of hierarchy.

Functional teams have all the necessary skills and decision-making authority. The coordination takes place together with or within the team – the superior rather plays a secondary role. The advantage here is that all team members identify themselves with the goals and the achievement of the goals, feel responsible for them and therefore contribute their strengths optimally.

In reality, however, team members often feel overburdened due to a lack of guidelines and the necessity to speak out uncomfortable truths themselves. In addition, there are often concerns (“Can this even work?”) and fears of losing one’s own status within the organization.

Definition von Führung in einer agilen Organisation

Leadership in an agile organization, therefore, means supporting the operative workers, instead of controlling top-down, top-down is served. The task of management in an agile organization is also the definition, communication, and implementation of

  • Code of Conduct
  • Mission statement
  • Strategy

This ensures a common understanding while maintaining individuality: The teams derive their own goals depending on their individual contribution to value creation. They can be sure that their backs will be covered.

Organizational structures are supplemented by flexible methods

Another characteristic of agile organizations is their lean structure and process organization, which of course is strongly dependent on the size of the company, the industry, and digitization. However, they all have one thing in common: the organizational structures are supplemented by flexible methods such as “design thinking”. Instead of a long conception phase, there are quick drafts with continuous feedback loops. From the outset, there is a trial and error phase, followed by joint discussions, in which everyone is involved. This method requires a high degree of adaptability and development capability – a core competence of an agile organization. This future-oriented, experimental approach requires openness, trust, and individuality, which are the basic values of a flexible company.

An agile organization is the end of fixed organizational structures, the continuation of certain standards and the beginning of adaptable and innovative companies.

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