Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy

The challenges companies face today in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world call for Agile throughout the company. There are two challenges: companies in general are trying to survive intense disruption and companies with successful software departments are trying to expand Agile methods to the whole company, including the board and the legal structure of the enterprise. Both the VUCA challenge and the pressure to implement Agile beyond IT, demand guidelines for implementing company-wide Agility.

We discovered these needed guidelines in Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile. Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Human Systems Dynamics, and Cynefin provide additional insights.

However, in talking with various experts about how to address the challenges companies face , we got answers from within that expert’s framework. For example,

  • A Beyond Budgeting expert said, “Stop fixing the budget annually, because otherwise you won't have the flexibility to react to frequent market changes.”
  • An Open Space expert said, “You need to make space for what you don’t know and can’t control, for totally new things to emerge. If people can follow their passion, you will be able to implement company-wide Agility, otherwise people will just do what they are asked.”
  • A Sociocracy expert said, “You first need to resolve the power structure, because as long as you have a hierarchy defined as top-down you will not become agile.”
  • An Agile expert said, “You need to start inspecting and adapting by using regular retrospectives in order to react flexibly, otherwise you will neither be able to learn from the market nor from within your company.”

All of these perspectives are true, but each perspective was always from within the discipline. We synthesized the approach into a wider perspective dubbed BOSSA nova: B = Beyond Budgeting, OS = Open Space, S = Sociocracy, A = Agile.

The synthesis leads to a new organigram that reflects all the sources of guidance to a value center. The new organigram focuses board/CEO, inspiration, and resource and legal considerations on the value center. The value center is thereby free to focus on the customer.

We discuss how to use Cynefin-type probes that enable everyone to apply this new strategy for implementing company-wide Agility in their own organization.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Intro: Challenges companies face today.
  • Core values of an Agile company.
  • Synthesizing established wisdom like Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile for implementing company-wide Agility.
  • Sample probes for own application.
  • Wrap-Up.

Learning Outcome

  • Recognize the four values you need for company-wide agility: self-organization, transparency, constant customer focus, and continuous learning.
  • See how you can synthesize Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile into a powerful new way of strategizing, structuring, and running a company.
  • Learn how to probe the VUCA challenges your company faces to find ways to create a dynamic and nimble organization.

Target Audience

Top Management, Middle Management,Project Managers, Senior Technical Engineers, Human Resource Managers, Budget Directors, Coaches, Consultants, and Change Agents


No prerequisites

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

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