Agile as a Corporate Culture Value

By on April 10, 2013

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Agile, or the ability to move fast, is a trendy corporate value these days and all the Great Places to Work are incorporating “agile” into their culture.  What does agile mean?  Here are some Great Places to Work embracing agility:

  • facebook – Move Fast. Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they’re more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We have a saying: “Move fast and break things.”  The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.
  • Google – Fast is better than slow. We know your time is valuable, so when you’re seeking an answer on the web you want it right away–and we aim to please. We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our website as quickly as possible. By shaving excess bits and bytes from our pages and increasing the efficiency of our serving environment, we’ve broken our own speed records many times over, so that the average response time on a search result is a fraction of a second. We keep speed in mind with each new product we release, whether it’s a mobile application or Google Chrome, a browser designed to be fast enough for the modern web. And we continue to work on making it all go even faster.
  • Quicken Loans – Responding with a sense of urgency is the ante to play“Urgency” is your inner compulsion and drive to get things done in a timely – yet thoughtful – manner. On this team, we return all phone calls and emails the same day. Not just to clients and partners, but to each other! Urgency motivates us to ensure we communicate all news fast – good and bad. We take care of it… NOW!

In companies, the biggest obstacle to being agile is placing processes (aka roadblocks) on every idea, curbing the speed at which ideas move.  Agile should be viewed as a cultural value, not a process that needs to be dictated for the company to really be able to move forward.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say you need to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.  A process based culture will tell you to write everything down before getting in your car.  Do I have enough gas?  Do I have a spare tire?  Am I sober enough to drive?  All of these questions need to be answered before you even put your key in the ignition.  An agile based culture will tell you: get in the car, get moving, pull up your GPS, and as long as we have a foundation of  a solid vehicle (hiring great people) and good ethics (other adopted corporate values), our safe car and good ethics will guide us when facing choices on the road.

All the Big Corporate Culture icons are doing it!  What roadblocks do you think are holding your company back from adopting agility into their corporate culture?

 

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