How do you set conditions for organizations to become "learning organizations" and how do you support the self-organizing teams that emerge from this transformation?

In the next article you can read about an industry specific (IT and software development) application of this key piece of our expertise here at FutureWorks Consulting.

But first, for any field, and any organization, we emphasize four main facets to this kind of endeavor.

1. Those doing the work must participate in designing their work process.

Agile team practices and principles, currently cross-pollinating from the world of software development, are what we like to call, "just good old-fashioned work process design.” And the best work designs emerge from the expertise of those who do the work.

2. Organizational learning is non-linear, complex, and high-dimension.

No paint-by-numbers checklist exists to create this capacity for adaptive learning. There is no predictable route. However, leaders like you can set strong conditions, then protect healthy process as it comes to life in your organization.

3. There are milestones and there is a map of the territory.

Experienced experts-from-the-trenches and thought leaders in your field have been there, and know what the major fluent proficiencies and learning milestones look like, from novice to expert. By learning from their experience you can create a rough map to steer your organization in the right direction - including giving teams a great start (as James Shore and Diana Larsen have done for software-development-focused Agile).

4. Never settle for less than awesome.

The major impetus for the Agile Fluency Project, as you can read below, is that, though initially Agile principles and practices held great promise and delivered on that promise in the early years, we’ve seen a slow decline in its impact as it became diluted and comprised for marketing and other purposes.

Though still effective, Agile began to lose that “this is the greatest job ever!” effect that it had in the early years, and began to acquire (for new converts) an “at least my job doesn’t suck as much anymore” quality.

Not okay! And not good enough to achieve the outcomes organizations are truly capable of. We can do better, no matter what field we work in.

What field are you working in?

While many of our subscribers work in software development/IT and some have adopted an Agile approach, many of you don’t and those that do aren’t getting all the benefits they hoped for. We can help you do better, whatever your field or industry.