Emergent Agility

An Agile organisation looks, feels and behaves differently. Agility is an emergent property in a high-functioning group system. You can’t install it, make someone agile or command it to happen, but you might be able to create the conditions which will help it to emerge, much like friendship in a group of strangers or love in a family system. ​

Training, coaching, developing a shared intrinsic motivation for change and creating the space for people to try different things and fail safely are all levers that can help create these conditions. ​

For agile behaviours to emerge and embed, leaders need to go first and be on the journey. They set the tone for people to follow. Some of these leaders will work on all levels of organisations of course, but leadership teams are also a key part of this change.​

This change is likely to be felt as challenging because people in positions of responsibility are invited to behave in ways that, to them, might feel irresponsible. The result of this is that people and organisations often naturally and unconsciously resist or self-sabotage change efforts. ​

Resistance of this kind is usually helpful. It protects an organism from invasion and is called Homeostasis. This helps a body, or a system return to a natural state of rest and is something that we need to be conscious of when working to create systemic change, or else the past will remain the present.  ​

Developing shared awareness of what is keeping people tied to the repeating patterns of the past can help to enable movement. The first step is often the hardest so you might like to start with trying to leave aside judgement and simply answering this one question with what really feels true:​

In this organisation, what do we believe that holds us back in nearly everything we do, and what might more helpful beliefs be? ​