The Secrets Behind What We Do

Everything we do is practical and applicable

Background

AWA has worked with most of the thought-leaders and pioneers of agility and organisational change over the last decade. We have combined this incredible wealth of knowledge with our own extensive experience to create a people-first approach to strategic change. Many of the models, practices, and principles are now used in hundreds if not thousands of organisations around the world. We get feedback from these organisations and adapt continuously.

Our clients get the continued benefit of our collective learning.

Our contribution to the agile industry and organisational change movement has resulted not only in us receiving awards but in real change in the most difficult and challenging organisational contexts.

The results that we achieve is based upon experience and real-life work. We continue to expand our knowledge and experience and share this with you through our courses, coaching, and with our enterprise strategy partners directly.

This page provides a very high-level view of the models we use to help organisations conceptualise change and build workshops and coaching programs to make a real difference.

Powered by real-world experience

Facts

  • Over 8000 people trained
  • 500+ years combined experience
  • 70+ countries served
  • 300+ Organisations supported
  • 1000s of courses delivered
  • 200+ meetups
  • University grade learning environment
  • A huge amount of bespoke models and practices are shared on courses and to our clients that you can’t get elsewhere

Agile Onion

Agility is not a thing. It is a belief system that enables people to work together to solve complex problems. Agility is achieved when leaders and their teams believe in the three mindset beliefs and derive values, principles, practices and processes from them.

Values and principles guide the decision-making processes that we use in both organisational change and product and service development.

The mindset and values work across industry, organisations, and cultures. However, principles are contextual and relative to the problems your organisation is solving.

Only when we have adopted the mindset, values, and we have a good set of principles, can we create the right process and install the right tools.

Agile onion and mindset

The biggest mistake that organisations make when moving towards agility is doing this the wrong way around. Starting with tools or processes such as SAFe, LeSS, or Spotify without doing the mindset work first, results in a slow and expensive failure.

Agile Mindset

The agile mindset consists of three beliefs These are required in order to succeed in solving complex problems with large numbers of people. These beliefs are:

  • That complexity exists. By trying to solve complex problems, we change the nature of the problem itself. Solving complex problems is rarely finished. To solve these types of problems we accept that we live in an unpredictable and fast-changing world and therefore emerge solutions and processes in increments and learn and adapt with each increment.
  • The people belief puts people first. Profit, growth, and processes are gained by leveraging the power of both staff and customers. Leaders help create the right spaces for people to feel safe. Only when people are safe, do they have the courage to suggest the next innovative idea and make entrepreneurial decisions.
  • The belief in continual improvement. All organisms must take feedback from their environments and adapt, or they will die. This belief enables us to continually adapt and improve services to customers, look after staff, improve products, processes, and relationships. Improvement and evolution are critical components in a complex and fast-moving world.

Values

In order to succeed with any change strategy that leverages people and expects innovative and entrepreneurial decision-making that is effective in incremental delivery we build upon these values:

  • Respect
  • Inclusion (and diversity)
  • Psychological safety
  • Equal voice
  • Emotional self-management

Principles (heuristics)

Principles are heuristics. They guide both the change evolution and product and service delivery. Whilst heuristics are contextual, these ones work in any complex environment in any industry.

  1. Use an iterative strategy combined with execution to enable change
  2. Align around a very clear motivating purpose
  3. Enable the right styles of leadership
  4. Work on psychological safety, transparency, and honesty every day
  5. Restructure with the big picture in mind but act locally
  6. Apply the right constraints, governance, and autonomy
  7. Distribute decision-making
  8. Use iterative planning with feedback cycles
  9. Experiment and measure results

AWA Playbook for organisational change

The AWA Playbook is a baseline strategy for change that works in any context. It is a non-prescriptive approach that allows contextual strategy and execution to be built for any organisation very quickly.

It provides a huge head start for organisations looking to adopt agility to meet real-world business problems.

It is built upon a deep understanding of people, how people accept and embrace change, and how organisations can be structured to thrive in complex and fast-paced environments.

The AWA Playbook for organisational change gives a larger advantage to organisations and leadership teams using it. It speeds up delivery and reduces risk and cost. It is built upon the Agile Mindset, Values, and Principles, and it creates organisations that people want to work for.

AWA Playbook for org change version 2

Photo taken on one of our enterprise coaching courses

Culture Change

Agile Team Culture and Safety

Culture change is a necessary part of moving towards agility and is needed to thrive in today’s complex environment. Culture cannot be changed directly.

Culture is changed by leaders behaving differently and by structural, process, and communication line changes. Culture is changed successfully and in the right direction when there is enough psychological safety and distributed decision-making to allow the right value to flow to customers quickly.

We use the AWA Playbook for organisational change coupled with culture models like the one here to have conversations about culture and to help organisations navigate the path of change.

To find out more about our approach and to partner with us to enable your organisation's evolution to happen faster, get in touch for a friendly call.

Contact us