80% of Organizations Have Culture Challenges

If you are having culture challenges with your organization, you are not alone.

80% of participants at a recent conference (Scrum Gathering in Orlando) reported that the dominant culture in their organization is not supportive of progressive working environment such as Agile.

Where is Your Organization?

The infographic below show my simplification of the Laloux Culture Model. You can hand it out or show it on a projector and explain the model. Then ask: “What is the dominant culture in your organization?”

Laloux Culture Model


Culture Challenges show in Scrum Gathering Results

Here are the results when I asked this question at the Scrum Gathering in Orlando in April 2016.

Culture Assessment at Scrum Gathering

A whopping 80% or participants are in organizations that are predominantly Red/Amber or Orange.

Agile culture is compatible with organizations predominantly green or teal as per diagram below.

Agile Culture in Laloux Culture Model

Only 20% or the session participants evaluated their organizations as ones supporting Agile. This can be seen as the gap between Doing Agile and Being Agile. Lot’s of organizations trying to Do Agile without creating cultural context to Be Agile. No wonder there is so much failure around Agile.

Similar results in 2012!

In 2012, I reported almost identical results: Agile Failure and Culture – Agile 2012 Workshop Results. In this survey, I used the Schneider model with people reporting that 70% of companies were in control culture (similar to red/amber or orange). This suggests that as an industry we have not improved. Or perhaps that the improvements have been shadowed by growth of “Doing Agile”.

What Can You Do About a Culture Gap?

Trying to “Be Agile” is not a recipe for success. Instead we may see it as an invitation for real change to the fabric of the organization. Real change requires organizations to focus on their own goals and dreams – not cut and paste Agile in their organization. This is why I advocate stopping Agile initiatives and Conducting “Agile is NOT the Goal” Workshops. Please keep in mind that survival is optional – companies do not need to change their culture.

What can you do? Start a conversation about this! Listen to hear what the system wants for itself.

Michael K Sahota guides and teaches leaders how to create high-performance organizations. He is the creator of a proven system for leading change through a practical playbook. His model for Consciously Approaching Agile guides the creation of a cultural and leadership context where Agile creates lasting organizational results. Michael has taught over 1000 leaders worldwide through his highly acclaimed “Agile” Culture & Leadership Training. His company, Agilitrix, delivers “Agile Transformation- Redefined” with an elite team of consultants who specialize in unlocking Culture.

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