Lean and Agile are the most popular slogans of top managers in banks who, fascinated by the descriptions of changes within Airbnb or Bank ING, are trying to implement this in their own back yards. Before 2017, these same terms were related to just technologies and implementations.
In 2018 the trend of the year turned out to be Business Agile, an idea emphasizing that agile activity can be translated into a wider aspect of a project than just its technology. The enthusiasm did not cease, 2019 is the year of Organization Agility, synonymous with the transformation of the entire company, and in particular the hierarchical structure, into groups and cooperative networks, adaptable to changing problems.
Adapting Fintech-like management models
The modern perspective is a deeper change of approach, resulting from the spread of technology in business management – at all stages and levels of work. Previously, IT departments acted quite hermetically, independent and cut off from the rest of the organization. Changes in approach in management paradigms are needed, as almost every bank has undergone the digital transformation stage, and afterwards – naturally – is looking for a new way of managing work and digital processes.
Digital, unlike the classical model, focuses on cyclical and iterative. Currently, dominant models of financial institutions and banks are growing out of the era of industrialization. Fintechs, on the other hand, are a great example of small-scale organizations with digital origins. Changes in the work model are already visible in the daily life of the employee: more remote work, decisions made by commitment, activity-based tasking, and customer driven.
A recent US study by Randstad highlighted that by 2025 most workers and employers agree that the majority of the workforce will be employed in an agile capacity, either as contractors, consultants, temporary or freelance. The study suggests that by 2019, agile workers could comprise as much as 50% of the workforce vs around 11% today.
Value Driven organisation agility
But buzzwords alone will not be enough for the success and transformation of the organization. Transferring agile work from the programming stage to a company organizational level requires, first of all, a model scaled to a large organization, but most importantly, addressing the values that set the goals and priorities of the business in business. Otherwise, agility will be akin to chasing your own tail.
In banking, for example in the Dutch ING or Polish mBank, changes in the culture and organization of the entire company translate into results, mainly visible in the area of service quality and interaction with clients.
Future based on solid foundations
Organizations are seeking an advantage in rebuilding structures, agile organization and learning design processes. For sure, organization and adaptation of agility is the future, but it must be implemented wisely. However, this adaptation requires the ability to build solid foundations of concept, determining key values and prioritizing requirements at the level of business assumptions. Without solid foundations, even the biggest change in culture will not help and will not alter anything, and the effects will be rather cumbersome than advantageous.
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