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Happiness as the ‘Why’ in Agile Transformations

Challenges continue to plague organizations worldwide; many organizations have disengaged employees, high staff turnover, and continuous and disruptive change in their business environment.

They are adopting agile working methods to better serve their customers and be more flexible. These transformations aim to breathe new life into an organization by creating an environment that embraces creativity and innovation, empowering employees, and reducing unnecessary layers of management.

Does it work?

Sometimes – but often, what happens is a capital ‘A,’ capital ‘T’ Agile Transformation; from an employee’s perspective, it infers involuntary, mandatory change being done to you, whether you like it or not. The capital ‘T’ denotes that you have to change, and the capital ‘A’ denotes how you will change. Both of these words carry baggage and weaken employee motivation.1 

In addition, many organizations adopt Scrum, SaFe, or other frameworks and call it a day. While many of these are helpful tools, it’s not a one-size fits all solution.


What’s the alternative?

Humans are at the center of an organization and a transformation, and human needs should be on the same par as technological and structural needs. It’s about being agile, not doing agile. 

There is rising pressure in the talent pipeline; attrition rates, times to fill posts, and the number of skills required for a single job is at record highs. It’s a candidate-driven recruitment field with 49% of CEOs confirming that “it’s very difficult for us to find and hire the kind of people we need in our business.2

It’s high time to focus on happiness as the main component in a transformation. Happiness isn’t about making people “smile more” or always be “positive”; it’s about employees that are motivated and confident to approach the inevitable challenges, empowered with the right tools and knowledge to face the difficult times ahead.


At Management 3.0 we believe that leadership plays a crucial role in driving this happiness; hence our mission is agile leadership for happier people and successful organizations.

This conference explores how to support happiness in agile transformations with Management 3.0 and other innovative methodology and tools. The knowledge and actionable advice this conference shares is transferable for all other change projects and allows you to build resilience in your organization. 

Resources:

 1: Jonathan Smart – Want to do an Agile Transformation? Don’t. Focus on Flow, Quality, Happiness, Safety and Value. July 21,2018 – https://medium.com/sooner-safer-happier/want-to-do-an-agile-transformation-dont-focus-on-flow-quality-happiness-safety-and-value-11e01ee8f8f3

2: Gartner, Jackie Wiles, CEO’s Turn a Sharp Eye to Workforce Issues and Sustainability in 2022-23, April 27,2022 ( https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/ceos-turn-a-sharp-eye-to-workforce-issues-and-sustainability-in-2022-23 )

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