What does Agile corporate culture look like?
Organizational culture is everywhere but it is not obviously seen. We can describe organizational culture in terms of tangible and intangible elements.
Tangibles and intangibles are different dimensions when we evaluate the culture of a company. In the tangible elements there is the technology, computers, furniture, the lighting, infrastructure, etc. In the intangible part, we see how people are dressing, style of interaction between people, and hierarchical structure, among others.
All these elements combined produce a resulting culture. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, with an informal and relaxed environment, have been great cultural drivers and drivers of results. Their flexible and empowered structure allows rapid development and more efficient communication, which enables employees to focus on customers in a meaningful way.
Some companies believe that just creating open spaces and visual communication will change people’s behaviour and make them agile. No doubt this will support the process of transformation. But if the company wants to achieve success, it must tackle the real (intangible) opportunities.
When a company wants to improve its business agility, we recommend a proper assessment to evaluate five key characteristics. The REALagility Assessment provides a benchmark for the level of cultural agility in your organization. It uncovers gaps between leaders and staff which can be eliminated with the assessment, training and consulting.
In the REALagility Assessment, the culture is evaluated with five key characteristics: Improvement Culture, Teamwork Culture, Vision Culture, Focus Culture and Urgency Culture.
Over the years more than X people have been interviewed from X different sectors providing a very interesting understanding of how Canadian industries are doing on this agility score.
Agile Corporate Culture Elements
The Improvement Culture scores range from 41% to 64%. The culture of improvement is referred to as peoples initiative to work on systematically improving activities. From our sample size, we can affirm that the culture of improvement includes everyone, but it is occurring in some organizations more than others.
The Vision Culture scores have a wider range of 20% to 73%. Small and medium size organizations hold the highest scores. New organizations seem to have the greater ability to set their objectives towards a goal, and reinvent themselves to achieve it.
Focus Culture refers to the ability of people within the organization to work in an uninterrupted fashion towards a single, clear objective. The range is from 41% to 57%. There’s no significant difference in different industry types. But there’s a difference in individuals who have Y habit tend to be more focused on their initiatives.
The other cultural aspect is Teamwork. Teamwork Culture refers to the degree to which the people in the organization work in well-established teams with strong mutual commitment, collaboration and communication. The current range is from 8% to 38%. The implications of these scores? There’s a huge opportunity in this aspect and a significant difference whether the organization has a distributed team or not. For an organization with a collocated team, this scores increases by X%.
Finally, Urgency Culture assesses positive feelings of urgency that are motivating people in the organization, who care about the timeliness of delivering solutions (sooner rather than later). The current range of scores is from 28% to 91%. For some organizations this is the main driver to Do It Now. There’s a high correlation with corporate leadership in developing an urgency Culture. Those leaders who have great communication and alignment with their team(s) and are able to present a connection with the business results, can create a sense of urgency in their culture.
These five aspects are key elements in organizational culture, and once identified and understood, change can be better addressed in an ongoing process. To learn more about the REALagility Assessment, please go to
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