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How CEOs Keep Agile Transformations Moving

Agile transformations that stall or fail to reach the transformational tipping point are common. The extra push from the CEO and the leadership team can play a crucial role in getting over the inevitable hurdles. On the basis of our experience, we have identified five things that successful leaders do consistently to keep their transformations on track.

- Start with 'why'. People need to know why the new ways of working are critical.

- Adopt the principles, adapt the practices. At its core, agile is a set of cultural values, principles, and behaviors, rather than a set of specific practices. Adopting values, principles, and behaviors can be done successfully only by shaping the context in which people work.

- Change your leadership. Leaders should push themselves to adopt agile ways of doing things and publicly demonstrate their own changing behaviors. The public aspect is important.

- Align to empower. Leaders need to communicate their intent, explaining both the why and the what, and they need to let go, releasing their teams to figure out how to address their specific assigned challenge.

- Learn and adapt, at speed. Agile puts a premium on feedback and lessons learned: adapting to change is more important than following a plan. This rule applies even to the agile transformation itself. Transformations, which are often described as journeys, can take two or three years. We are seeing more CEOs tighten up that time frame—in some instances to less than a year. The biggest counterweight to resistance is momentum, and nothing builds momentum like speed. Like loosening controls, moving fast can seem risky. But the bigger risk to the transformation lies in not changing fast enough.

To read the full article from BCG, please click here.

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