By @SimonCocking The Agile Leader, How to Create an Agile Business in the Digital Age by Simon Hayward, available from KoganPage here.

The Agile Leader exposes how leaders can safely guide their teams to organizational stability and prosperity through agile leadership and building an agile culture. With the rise of political unrest, protectionism and economic uncertainties, business leaders have to assess, react and implement strategies rapidly and with enough responsiveness to re-calibrate their efforts should circumstance change. When presented with key moments of choice, agility allows them to move quickly and responsively, and offer coping strategies for this unprecedented rate of change. By adopting agile ways of working that focus on facilitating mental agility, ruthlessly prioritizing, devolving decision-making, and investing in customer research, leaders will allow organizational learning and drive innovation, thus enabling their teams to flourish in this new uncertain world.

Agile working methodologies can often be over-celebrated and under performing ways to get things done. Originally emerging from the world of software development we have personally been through the corporate mangling process of big proud declarations of how an 800 employee site is agile in it’s working practices. And then clearly demonstrating that while the management team may have drunk deeply from the pool of agile buzz words, the reality is a very different thing when employees look to follow the concepts of self organising teams, and aspiring scrum masters.

In this context our expectations were low for this book, so overall we were more than pleasantly surprised. The author of this book has done a really good job of distilling the best elements that emerged from those early software developer declarations of agile working practices and then working out which elements translate well to a wider and different working context. The examples and mini case studies in the book are well chosen and informative. This was all a pleasant relief, after too many theory heavy books aiming to shoehorn an ideology onto a workforce. This book seems to come up with successful examples of where, and how an agile approach can actually be applied and achieve better results than previous approaches.

In a world of possibly too many management books and guides on how to lead your workforce, this one is a pleasant contrast and offers useful insights, based around relevant and informative case studies. Read it before your rivals do!


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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