Inclusive Management for Agile Management
Agility is first a meta-organisation model, and so a mindset. Here's how to make the mindset more open, to make agility work best in your organization.
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When people talk to me about agility, I often think first of the question of the agile mindset. Indeed, agility is for me everything except a dogma to follow strictly, but above all an organizational meta-model, which can be understood if we understand the state of mind of agility. This state of mind is dear to me because it must allow and adapt as much as possible to its context, but also to each one to express himself. This last aspect is important because it not only feeds collective intelligence but also helps employees to develop their potential. And for me, making people talk can come together in what is currently called Inclusive Management.
What is Inclusive Management?
If I had to define it personally, I would say that it is management that allows everyone to express themselves fully, whatever their sex, origin, opinions, religion and sexual orientation. It is a type of management where people do not try to hide from who they are, in order to allow them to express themselves fully without filters. If your colleagues censor themselves in their professional lives, how can you expect collective intelligence?
And in Practice, What Should Be Done?
For that I redirect you towards the example of Pinterest, but to take again the big axes of Pinterest:
Empower people, make informations to circulate, get people to express themselves.
Lead by example
Your colleagues are not perfect? Well, you probably aren't, either! Assume your mistakes and communicate them. It will be easier to see your colleagues do the same, and therefore see the problems dealt with as quickly as possible. Moreover, you are the guarantor of the culture. You must infuse by your behavior the culture that you wish to have
Distribute work within the team
Nothing is more horrifying than to see a leader arbitrarily distributing tasks, without taking into account the fact that some people know one subject better than another, without taking into account the appetites of each one, without taking into account the global context. To cut yourself off from your team, you won't do better.
Personally, I would advise you to know your colleagues about the other aspects that you can see in the context of your work. Did you know that Mary is a single mother? That Robert likes the same football club as you? If you know your colleagues well, you will be much more capable of empathy, and therefore of taking into account what they can say, and therefore will feel more comfortable expressing themselves
Support to his team
If your boss is there for you, then you will be there for your boss. It's as simple as that.
To this I would add several axes:
No competition, no performance speeches
To establish a hierarchy and have politically correct colleagues, you will not do better. Moreover, a study conducted in France shows that in large audit firms, where internal competition rages, homosexuals are afraid to assume their sexuality. And of course, they base themselves in the "norm" that goes well in their respective companies.
Think about your office architecture
ThoughtWorks recently published an article on how to think about having an inclusive workplace. Are your desks made for small people? Tall people? Accessible to people with disabilities? I was watching a TEDx video recently, and the question asked was "Why are women's toilets the same size as men's when they go more often?" That's a pretty prosaic example, but you can start with this one.
Interview your employees
Are you sure everyone make feedbacks to you? Are you sure the shy people on your team tell you everything? Then interview everyone!
I deeply advise Host Leadership and Servant Leadership. You'll probably understand better what an inclusive management would look like.
All Right, but What's the Point?
Do you want a company with less turnover, where employees are more committed, more productive, more concerned, more flexible, more creative, more problem-solving? If you want to make sure that agility is not just a method, but above all a state of mind, then I strongly invite you to think about having an Inclusive Management style!
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