Being agile and flexible is one of the key underpinnings of business innovation, but to realise the potential of ideas, resistance factors such as hierarchy need to make way to new approaches of thinking that empower anyone within an organisation to express and explore ideas to deliver value.
Hierarchical bureaucracy is prominent traditional ‘Business as usual’ organisational culture structures, primarily driven by a waterfall approach to developing strategy and conducting businesses. This type of management and operational process-oriented structure has been a key inhibitor to innovation, and it continues to play out today .
Traditional approaches to strategy and objective definition scoped through business planning and set at the top of the organisation hierarchy are then disseminated across the business through various management layers, frequently without the input and validation of impacted stakeholders. This type of business operation and culture is where the fundamental approach of agile Innovation differs greatly and must be addressed to effectively adopt agile innovation mindsets.
Leadership is about bringing people on the journey, leaders need to enable stakeholders to take ownership to foster investment in the process. Developing strategy in a vacuum doesn’t convert to engaging team members to contribute and drive innovation, flattening the decision making structure to enable people to ideate, test and review in short cycles can lead to significant improvements in value generation by establishing a culture of collaboration and validation rather than just participation.
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