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Three-Dimensional Leadership

In the fifth chapter of SAFe Distilled 5.0: Achieving Business Agility With Scaled Agile Framework by Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell, they explain that “An organization’s managers and leaders are responsible for the adoption, success, and continuous improvement of Lean-Agile development and for fostering the competencies that lead to business agility. Only they have the authority to change and continuously improve the systems that govern how work is done.”

They identify the importance of three criteria in order to lead with lean in mind. These ideas are as follows:

• Mindset and principles. Knaster and Leffingwell propose that by in order to establish new practice as the norm, the ideas behind Lean-Agile working must be embedded into the way of life in a company; through their beliefs, decisions, responses, and actions, leaders model the expected norms throughout the organization.

• Leading by example. This may appear self-explanatory, but, when instigating change, you are the role model your colleagues will look to for guidance. If you cannot internalise new values into your working life, you will struggle to keep your workers on the same path; someone must act as the shepherd, and that is you.

• Leading change. In order to implement these changes, you need to be equally as engaged in the process as you wish employees to be, you, like everyone else, must be willing to work to reach the other side of the transition, moving with your colleagues in the right directions. Leaders are the ones to, as Knaster and Leffingwell put it, “prepare the people and provide the necessary resources to realize the desired outcomes.”

In a past interview with the website, Insider, Darrell Rigby, a partner and the global innovation lead at Bain & Co., a US management consultancy, explained that he "Understand[s] that [agility] is both a mindset and a method, just having a mindset and good intentions isn't enough. Going through effective methods and practices without believing in them wouldn't work either. You need both to succeed."

Bain & Co have recently implemented a recruitment practice that furthers that idea, reducing internalised bias when employing candidates by removing the ever-daunting CV screening process, instead, having their prospective candidates now take on a series of skill tests to demonstrate how they work, thus allowing the hiring process to become more objective at the first stage, eliminating candidates that may have extensive CVs but a lack of practical experience, putting the present over the past.

Rigby has been previously quoted, by Insider to have expressed that “capitalizing on specific employees' strengths will create a more well-rounded and agile team”, which certainly supports the move to skill-based testing as a recruitment tool.

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (, is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address:

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