- 10.3 Overview of Features
- 10.4 Benefits of Feature Preparation
- 10.5 Feature Preparation Activities
- 10.6 Timing of Feature Preparation
- 10.7 Assessing Readiness
- 10.8 Accounting for Preparation Work: Tasks and Spikes
- 10.9 Specifying Features and Their Acceptance Criteria
- 12.4 MVP Planning
- 17.3 Why Do We Need a Scaled Agile Approach?
- 17.4 Planning: Choosing an Approach That Supports Inter-team Collaboration
- 17.8 Scaling the Agile Organization
- 18.6 Agile Corporate Culture
- 18.7 Overview of Principles and Practices for an Agile Corporate Culture
- 18.8 Three Principles for Applying Agile Practices
18.6 Agile Corporate Culture
Successful innovation is not just about having a good idea—or even the right processes. It’s about culture. Everyone involved in developing a product deemed “innovative” in their industries—especially if it’s a disruptive innovation—must share an organizational culture that embraces, supports, and encourages innovation. Failing to do so can result in disappointing failure.
Let’s begin by defining corporate culture; then we’ll look at what it means for that culture to be agile.
18.6.1 Definition of Corporate Culture
Culture is the sum total of beliefs and ideas that guide behavior. Adam Grant defines it as “repeated patterns of behavior that reveal norms and values.”14 Perhaps the most succinct way to explain culture is that it’s “what people do when no one’s watching.”15
Corporate culture is “the beliefs and ideas that a company has and the way in which they affect how it does business and how its employees behave.”16
18.6.2 Definition of Agile Corporate Culture
An agile corporate culture is a set of behaviors and ideas that guide an organization and its employees in ways that optimize the organization’s ability to anticipate and respond to change. Agile cultures embed collaboration, empowered decision-making, and cognitive empathy in the organization—elements we explore further in this chapter.
Jeremy Gutsche defines the following prerequisites for an innovative culture:
Urgency: A necessary condition for reinvention and innovation is that people have a sense of urgency about the need for change.
Perspective: When the organization’s perspective is based on past accomplishments, the result can be complacency and a loss of urgency. An agile organization’s perspective is not focused on the past or exclusively on the present; it’s oriented toward future needs and trends.
Experimental Failure: The enterprise must value and nurture a culture of experimentation. People should expect failure to occur—as a natural and necessary part of innovation.
Customer Obsession: The company must be obsessed with understanding its customers and creating an emotional, cultural connection with them.
Intentional Destruction: The organization understands that existing hierarchies must be destroyed as a necessary precondition for reinvention, and it supports that process.