How can we improve collaboration within an Organization? It all starts with leadership, they really need to help be the drivers and initiators of change and use mechanisms to build a culture of Collaboration, Trust and transparency.
If I, as a coach could choose, I would start with leadership. To succeed with agile ways of working we need to change our mindset as individuals in an organization and it definitively includes leadership. In fact the leadership team should be the first one to change their mindset.
The figure above illustrates this. It is the Leadership Team that has the mandate and authority to change structures, that will influence our company culture, and in Agile changes in structure will be required.
The way this is done from leadership is through experiments, but there is a challenge here. What kind of experiments should the Leadership Team initiate? In organizations I have worked with, the Leadership Team is so busy that they are unable to see that they are not as aligned as they could be.
Co-creation of the current situation, how we got there and where we want to be is a powerful workshop exercise that involves the entire Leadership Team, and it might take several workshops to agree on the past, the present and the future. The reason is because they all have different responsibility areas and will naturally see things from their perspective. A co-creation workshop will help create a common ground, a common understanding.
Once leadership has agreed on these three they would know which experiment and in which part of the organization it should be tried out, they would also by co-creating the experiment agree on what should be run where and in which order.
After a given timeframe of running the experiment the results are reviewed “unboxed” and whatever works well an be included into existing structures in other teams and culture is gradually changed.
An example of such an experiment could be mapping out one full value stream in one part of the organization and set up a value stream team that includes for example marketing, IT, development and operations. This would of course be a giant step and could of course be done for one specific part of a value stream to try i out in a smaller scale to start with. The point is that these kind of experiments cannot be done by the teams themselves, because the impact across the existing ways of working is so big, therefore these kind of experiments needs to be initiated by leadership and be fully supported by the Leadership Team.
To succeed with agile, we need to be curious, experiment and learn and full support from Leadership in this new way is one of the success criterias.