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  • Brunklaus, Chim, Lovich, Rehberg

Do you have the courage to be an agile leader ?


Making the transition from long-standing organizational norms to agile ways of working is difficult. Executives have to unlearn many of the things that led to their personal success, and the success of their companies, in the first place. One of the most common traps is redesigning the organization around agile principles and practices while senior managers, who are not part of the daily agile routines, keep doing things the way they have for years.

One key role of agile leaders is to set and maintain strong alignment around overall company purpose, strategy, and priorities. Leaders need to communicate their intent, explaining both the what and the why. Then comes the hard part: leaders need to let go—and do so visibly—thereby releasing the teams to figure out how to address their assigned challenges. The more alignment that leaders are able to establish, the more autonomy they can afford to give, and the more they can and should let go.

In our many organizations, we have encountered leaders who are great at the alignment half of the equation but have a hard time letting go. Here are six areas where you can start letting go:

- The steering committee

- Nonessentials on the leadership agenda

- Perfection

- Overemphasizing skills

- Talent that can't or won't change

- Old ways of managing

To read the full BCG article, please click here.


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