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Introduction to business agility
Introduction to business agility

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4 Pattern 3: Invite over inflict

Improving ways of working is a form of innovation, and Everett Rodger’s writings from the 1960s on the Diffusion of Innovation are useful in this context. The population will contain some individuals who are most open to change – innovators and early adopters – but the majority will need to see social proof that the innovation is useful before they will feel comfortable to follow. There will be others who are highly sceptical of the change and may never agree to it.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for improved ways of working leading to better outcomes. Experimentation is needed. When helping your organisation to change, it is important to identify innovators and early adopters – and to invite them to participate. These people are more likely to relish the opportunity, to have greater curiosity to explore what works and what doesn’t and to demonstrate the resilience to overcome obstacles.

The antipattern would be to inflict a one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf framework across your complex organisation, mandating a fixed set of practices developed elsewhere.