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March 10, 2017

Building an Agile Culture in the Australian Workplace

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If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about the workplace lately, chances are you’ve come across the term “agile culture” at least once. It may sound like just another new-fangled buzz word, but this is one case where new and innovative business practices offer big rewards, and if you’re not already looking into this mindset shift in your business, you certainly should be.

What Is an Agile Workplace Culture?

The words agile and agility traditionally mean a person or creature that is nimble, quick, and sure footed. In the business world, that definition is not too far off the mark.

Agile companies are companies that embrace change, foster team work, and are proactive about seeking out new, exciting, and innovative strategies, tools, markets, and product offerings. They choose to use mistakes as learning tools, and they thrive on communication.

Sounds like a great place to work, right? It’s also the type of culture that is used by some of the world’s biggest companies, particularly in the tech industry.

How Can Agility Benefit Your Company?

The agile workplace culture can have a positive impact on every company. It helps you to deliver better products and services to your customers, devise and implement critical changes quickly, and take advantage of changes in the market on short notice.

Since economic changes happen faster than ever, and since there’s so much more competition in the international business marketplace these days, all of those things are essential to corporate success.

How to Get Agile

If your company still changes at a glacial speed, and you still need to get twenty-five signatures and a stamp to get anything done, then the idea of agility could be quite terrifying, but there are several easy ways you can start to make the change. These include:

  • Make sure that your team is made up of people who are passionate about the industry and your company.
  • Continuously reinforce the idea that your company is a team. Having people who work together well is critical in the agile company environment.
  • Decentralize decision making. In agile companies, employees have more autonomy. The ability to make decisions (within reason) speeds up every aspect of your business, and time really is money.
  • Embrace change, make innovation a core focus, and welcome great suggestions from everyone in your organization. If it’s not working, it’s time to change it!
  • Decide what your focus is, create long term goals, and communicate them to your team. As long as everyone is working in a common direction, you’ll be surprised what can be achieved.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the wrong decisions. Agility means always being able to change your mind!
  • Consider outsourcing certain functions, such as due diligence, fact checking and information verification. Your team should be focused on delivering excellent service to customers, not wading through information!

It can be tough to make the switch to an agile workplace culture when you’ve been doing things the same way for decades, but the great thing is that this is a forgiving system of management. You can apply it at a pace you can live with, so everyone can ease into it.

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