What is Organisational Agility and how can companies harness the power of Agile? An interview with Eduardo Nofuentes explains all…

An Interview with Eduardo Nofuentes; Founder & CEO of The Agile Eleven where we go deep on Organisation Agility and harnessing the power of Agile to help companies move quickly, be bold and improve culture:

Luke Marshall:

Really exciting to be here Eduardo, so thank you for letting us have access to your office at We Work the home of co-working and the future of work.

So, I want to start by, and we’re going to go through a number of different things, so we’re going to touch upon Agile and the future of work et cetera, and what that all sort of means. But I want to kind of start with you, if that’s okay?

Eduardo:

Yes.

Luke Marshall:

You’ve had over 20 years in customer centric kind of leadership roles, and you’ve been part of probably major disruptions, or disruptors. Particularly at businesses like REA Group and Census. So I’m interested how that’s kind of shaped you and your thinking, and obviously founding the Agile Eleven four years ago? Do you mind just going through a bit about your background

Eduardo:                      Sure.

Luke Marshall:            … and ultimately where did Agile Eleven all start, and why?

Eduardo:

Great question, thank you. So yeah, my background is not in IT like most Agile people, there’s a lot of Agile consultants that come from IT. Mine comes from a business background, so my background is business. As you can tell by my accent I was born in Barcelona and had corporate jobs there in Spain, and Europe, and then moved to Australia 15 years ago. I work for big corporates, as you mentioned Sensis, and there was something about the way work, work that I wasn’t happy with. I was feeling frustrated with some of the way those big corporates especially work. I joined REA Group, real estate.com in 2011 I think it was, and it was something different. So the way that company was operating at the time, and really resonated with the way I see work and I see business.

Eduardo:

I started learning through very smart people that was part of that company back then, I started learning things like Agile and lean, and systems thinking, and different ways of doing things. That moment you go, bang I found what I really, really was looking for. That was it, when I joined REA there was a gentleman called Nigel Dalton, the CIO that started at the same time, and we started talking and he almost mentored me through that transition. I remember trying some of these things with him that I was running at the time, one of them was a contact centre. In the contact centre you think that is a very non Agile team user in the organization. I started trying some of these things then and the result were amazing. People were more engaged, customer satisfaction was better, we were working better with the rest of the business.

Eduardo:

So I think I found my calling, by actually doing it with the teams that I was leading. As you said, after three years at REA decided to start the Agile Eleven and it’s been four years since then. It’s been a very rewarding journey so far, that’s for sure.

Luke Marshall:

Fantastic, that’s great insight Eduardo. So look I know you and I know the Agile Eleven really well, for those out there who might not, and after four years I think you’re rapidly getting across the market very well, and globe, off to the US on Wednesday. Maybe just spend a couple of minutes just explaining, so you obviously founded Agile, what was the catalyst to actually start your own business and one in Agile, what seems like Agile coaching or enterprise coaching?

Eduardo:                      Yes.

Luke Marshall:

What was that catalyst there? Tell me a little bit about the Agile Eleven as well.

Eduardo:

Yeah, as I said the catalyst was seeing the difference that it made applying these approaches, these tools, these mindsets to the teams that I was leading. That was the catalyst. I need to take this to as many people as I can.

Luke Marshall:

Yeah right.

Eduardo:

That’s the purpose of the organization is, our purpose is making work better for everyone. So that’s what we’re trying to do, trying to do work better for any organization, here in Australia or around the world. About the Agile Eleven, we still a smallish company, but growing very, very nicely. We’ll be 15 people by the end of this month, we’ve got presence in Melbourne, we’ve had presence in Brisbane, we’ve had presence in Sydney but we work in some of the capital cities in Australia and around the globe as well. We’ve got some international clients, and we focus on bringing that agility to organizations of all sizes, any industry. To try to make work better for the teams and the organizations that we work with. I’m sure we’ll go through a lot of detail about what that, agile and agility means-

Luke Marshall:

Yeah I mean I think there’s a lot of buzz words out there, agile has obviously fallen into what was something quite sort of new and different in Chinese, has suddenly become a word that is used a lot. I think you’ve actually mentioned to me a few times that potentially the word agile may need to evolve at some point. What is organizational agility as a phrase? When we talk about the future of work, how important is it to an organization to be agile?

Eduardo:

Maybe we’ll start with that first, with the future of work, because the future of work means many different things to many different people. If you Google future of work it might have people talking about artificial intelligence or robotics, right? There is something around future of work around that path, to me the future of work is more around having a human centre approach. So to me it’s more about that humanistic side of work, which I think got lost in the 20th Century, when the world was very predictable and it was very stable. Was all about efficiency of processes and having managers telling people what to do. But the world has changed, the world is not stable anymore, the world is global and those work approaches that work in the 20th Century, they don’t work anymore. So to me-

Luke Marshall:

Are you seeing that first hand? Like are you walking into organizations and seeing, what are you seeing? What’s broken? What’s not working? What are you kind of hearing from clients to say, I think I can help you.

Eduardo:

Absolutely. So I think there’re some organizations that have been born in the last, probably 15 less years that have been born agile and are using “agile” and we’ll talk about the word and if it’s still relevant. But let’s call it agile for the time being. So there’re some organizations, especially that have been in the last 15 years that have been born agile. They’ve already seen that what was working 30 years ago is not working anymore, and they’ve set up the processes, the policies, the way they treat people, the way they run the organization in a very different way. What we’re seeing is that those more traditional or conservative organizations are seeing that this new agile companies are able to disrupt, and disruption is another bad word, but they’re able to disrupt very quickly. They’re saying, we need to do something different because these guys are coming fast and hard, and fast, and we keep doing the things the same way that we were doing we’re going to be obsolete.

Eduardo:

So that’s what I’m finding, I’m finding traditional organizations that they’re trying to catch up with this new organizations, but also the new organizations trying to maintain that agile mindset, but with some structures that allow them to grow.

Luke Marshall:

Okay, so I’m sure there are many, but what would you say are some of the biggest challenges than maybe a traditional organization find, when they’re trying to deploy an agile mindset throughout their organization or maybe new process, or tools et cetera? What are some of the biggest challenges you find?

Eduardo:

So I’ll say probably the main two are, the main one there are two for me, one is you mentioned is about the mindset. To me becoming an agile organization, firstly it’s about changing the mindset, and changing the way we thought about things. The second one is the egos of the people in the organization. Because to be successful in an agile type of company there needs to be a lot of collaboration, a lot of ambiguity, like structures, all the things that … The one thing that goes against that usually is our personal leaders. Middle managers or executives people that have worked 20, 25 years in this way, in the less agile way and finally they find themselves in a managerial positions, say well now we need to relinquish all that. That’s my time to tell people what to do and they need to become a different type of leader. So I think understanding there is a mindset change and then the egos in the managers in the organization.

Luke Marshall:

Two very difficult things to overcome I would imagine?

Eduardo:

Very much.

Luke Marshall:

In most circumstances they’re not necessarily objective, tangible, maybe somewhat subjective.

Eduardo:

Yeah.

Luke Marshall:

What tends to be the first step, I mean if an organization, the CEO maybe an LET or the board have realized that actually we need to work in a slightly different way. They bring you and the organization in, what are some of the first steps that they can take to changing their mindset? Having better agility I guess, but I mean certainly changing their mindset, ideally leaving the ego at the door. Are there things that you do? Are there things that they kind of just eventually come round to thinking, well actually that’s the better way of doing it? Yeah, what are some of those sort of first steps that they can take?

Eduardo:

Yeah, you know we could ask that all the time, where do we start? Where do we start? I’d say start where you can.

Eduardo:

Sometimes it’s about changing the way somethings work, and that could be a good start. Sometimes it’s about changing the way the executive team works, the executives also a team. So let’s try to have more innovative ways of working for an executive team. Sometimes you’ll get [inaudible 00:11:56] but a very clear vision from a CEO that understands this and then it’s about helping the organization to reach that point. Look it’s not an easy process, right? But it’s not either a black or white, it’s not a good or bad in my mind, right?

Eduardo:

It’s not that I’m saying here, only very agile organizations will succeed, and traditional will not. But it’s about helping organizations walk through that continuum of agility until they feel comfortable, so that’s what as coaches or consultants helping them see what’s possible, and helping them get where they want to be.

Luke Marshall:

So making a start, whatever that means from here to the end goal.

Eduardo:

That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

It’s actually just about making a start somewhere where they feel comfortable.

Eduardo:

That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

Is it often driven by HR, is that the best place for me to start? Or is it technology?

Eduardo:

Yeah, so as I said initially it was brought through IT in most cases when it was focused on the IT systems, and organizations saw, these things are working much better, we can deliver more value to customers more often. Now that it’s becoming more a business as a whole, and we’re finding that where we partner most of the time is with people and culture things, because it’s a cultural transformation more than anything.

Luke Marshall:

Right. But you don’t necessarily call yourself a culture consultancy, you say you’re an agile consultancy?

Eduardo:

Yeah, an agile consultancy with a business consultancy lens focussed on culture and engagement outcomes.

Luke Marshall:

So have you got any examples where you’ve walked into an organization and really sort of unlocked ways of working where you’ve had exponential results or feedback? What did you walk into?

Eduardo:

We definitely can talk in general terms, but also some of our clients, so probably one of the clients or the work that we’ve done that I’m more proud of would be with a very traditional, in a sense that they were not a digital organization. It’s an organization called Vicinity Centres, they own shopping centres and have over 60 or 70 in Australia. We came in to the business just after they had a major merger, so there were two companies merging together, and as you will know what a merger does to an organization, two ways of doing things etc, protection over your roles and duplication. We got introduced to change their ways of working, and yes, we used agile and post it notes, and cards and retrospectives, and all that but the new language become the language of both organizations, it was the common language both organizations.

Eduardo:

The result was astounding, after the first year the engagement in the company went up, I think seven or eight points, which after a merger is unheard of. So that’s one that I think we, through changing the ways of working we were able to unlock the potential of the organization. I’m talking about a 1200 people organization, so it’s not a small company.

Luke Marshall:

A lot of people say, oh agile is just a bunch of people standing up and writing stuff on a post it note. Clearly there’s more to it than that, when you talk about that example, were there times where you walked in and literally they were taking it literally-

Eduardo:

Yes.

Luke Marshall:

…okay, well I’m going to behave in the same way I’ve always behaved, but I’m going to stand up and I’m going to write on a wall. But I’m still going to behave the same way. I mean whether it’s Vicinity or not, do you find that? Ultimately how do you know if it’s actually working?

Eduardo:

Great question, and it goes back to my point before, about agile transformation should be about the mindset first. Because you just knock on it on the head there, you can have all the agile paraphernalia, you can have all the post it notes, all the stand-up’s, but if the true behaviours that agile tries to introduce in an organization like collaboration, transparency, communication are not there, that’s just theatre. So in that example no, I’ll like to think that we are good at helping teams and leaders to understand the mindset that comes not so much the tools. The tools is an enabler for those mindsets and behaviours like collaboration and transparency, and trust, and respect. All the things that come from an agile ways of working.

Luke Marshall:

So if you had advice for a leader who was thinking, I think we need to be more nimble, I think we need to be proactive, react to the market because it’s changing so fast. They’re thinking about maybe changing the way that they work, apart from obviously calling you, and getting your wonderful organization to consult to them. What are some of the first steps that they can take on that journey?

Eduardo:

Great question too, the way we describe agility in the Agile Eleven, we would say is the combination of three things. One is what we call the ways of working, where we just talk about the post it’s, the stand-up’s, the retrospectives. That’s how teams work, yeah?

Luke Marshall:

Yeah.

Eduardo:

The second aspect is what we call the lean portfolio management.

Luke Marshall:

Okay, so if an organization, a CEO, a board are thinking about becoming more agile, they realize that they need to react, become more nimble because the markets moving so fast. What do you think are some of the, what could be the first step on that journey? If you’re talking to a CEO right now, an HR director, what are some of the things they could be doing immediately to make that first step on the agile journey?

Eduardo:

So the agile view on organizational journey we’ve broken down into sort of three components. The first one is what we call, the ways of working, so this is how teams work. The post it’s, the stand-up’s, the retrospectives, all that. The second one is what we call lean portfolio management, or prioritization. So if ways of working is about how teams work, lean portfolio management is about what work gets done? Because I tell you, there’s a lot of agile organizations that get very quick by doing the wrong work, and you’re not in a good place.

Eduardo:

The third one is about what we call, the system of work, which is how the company operates. So sometimes when we have meetings with the executive team, they’ll say to us, can you get my teams to collaborate more? Can you do the post it note things? I’m like, yes, we can do the post it note things, but tell me about their KPIs, are they individual or are they team based?

Eduardo:

Of course individual, so how must you expect them to collaborate right?

Luke Marshall:

Yeah.

Eduardo:

So by changing the ways of working, yes, you’re going to get more engagement, you’re going to get more visibility, you’re going to get more transparency. More engagement with the union teams. But the real change in organizations is in what we call the system of work, the things, the processes, the policies that really hinder an organization from achieving agility. Some executives might go to Silicon Valley, or visit some of the digital companies and see how are they doing agile over there. They see the post it notes, and they see the bean bags, and they see the ping pong tables, and they’re, we’ve got it, that’s it, that’s easy yeah?

Luke Marshall:

Yeah. But there aren’t bean bags, I’m pretty sure there’s bean bags and table tennis where we’re sitting right now.

Eduardo:

I don’t have anything against bean bags and table tennis.

Luke Marshall:

Okay.

Eduardo:

But that’s not what makes an organization agile. It’s about all those processes, all that system of work, we can’t say that we want people to feel trusted if they need to put five approvals for buy a carton of milk.

Luke Marshall:

So it’s a good point, so the system has to reflect the mindset. You can’t just have a great mindset, no system.

Eduardo:

Exactly.

Luke Marshall:

Strategy versus plan, versus tactics, they’ve got to, yeah okay, I understand.

Eduardo:

Exactly, and that’s what I think what we see in the market that some of the companies that are trying to move into a more agile way of working, they might be getting wrong. They might be changing the way some teams work, but at the top the way we’re structuring, the way we’re running the organization, the way the policies are written, they’re not agile.

Luke Marshall:

So you’ve really got to look at everything.

Eduardo:

Exactly.

Luke Marshall:

Not just a mindset, not just the way of work, not just a tool or a system, you’ve got to really look at everything. So does that extend to hiring? I mean should you be hiring different people? When you restructure should you be thinking about mindset of the person versus actual task that’s in front of them, or job that’s in front of them?

Eduardo:

You’re the expert there but I would say 100% yes. I think everything that has to do with the way the company operates, and time management will be crucial incentive of becoming more agile. So I’ll say companies that perhaps they’re in the more agile spectrum will hire for attitude rather than skills, in my mind.

Luke Marshall:

When we talk about culture now, we’re talking about hiring, we’re talking about skills that are required, mindsets that are required. We are, and we’re continually moving into what is defining the companies culture by hiring certain people or working to up skill, and help development and evolve an employee. There’re some stats out there that range from say 60% to 80% of employees are disengaged at work, it’s sort of startling, we know the rates of suicide and various other things that are affecting us in this world. I think work for many people is purpose, or you’d hope so anyway. You’ve talked a lot in the past, and I’ve been with you when you’ve talked about it, and part of your mission or vision is to unlock new ways of working, or better ways of working.

Eduardo:

Yeah.

Luke Marshall:

How crucial do you think that is to engagement, and have you got any stories around where you’ve actually had feedback maybe from employees who are suddenly enjoying work again? Is it as warm and fuzzy as that?

Eduardo:

It is. I’m just getting this feeling right now of just thinking about it, so yes, it is. That’s what drives me, that’s what drove me to start this company. That’s what still drives me to get up every morning, which is the impact that we’re making in individuals. Because you are right, work sucks, and that was the reason why I started this company, because I want to make work better for people. You mentioned purpose, purpose is the main, probably the key driver between more agile, more traditional organizations. You can see that more agile organizations they’re very clearly purpose driven, they’re driven by whatever they do. The last will be more shareholder driven-

Luke Marshall:

So the cynics out there would say that some of the Silicon Valley types, or others, they’ve really produced an incredible amount of tech, and they wrapped it round this thing called purpose. They’re getting great results, but have they stumbled across, to coin a phrase, a hack in terms of how to get engagement? Or do you think they genuinely mean it?

Eduardo:

I don’t know all of them, and we’ve got some clients in the US and Canada, so I’ll give you an example, I was very lucky to very quickly Shopify in Canada, they found us, and I was working with them. To me it’s a great example of a purpose led organization, their purpose is to make commerce better for everyone. They really believe it, and for them money is a result of having the entire company aligned to achieve that purpose of making commerce better for everyone. You can feel it when you’re there. There’s two things, one is the purpose but secondly I think what drives a lot of this engagement at work is this command and control type of organizations that we built in the 20th Century as I was saying, and that they’re still out there today. How engaged am I going to be as an employee of any company, if I come every day, and I’ve got a manager to tell me what to do. So I switch off my brain and I wait for five o’clock so I can go back. Of course, I’m going to be depressed and I’m going to be not enjoying work.

Eduardo:

So the second difference to me in this organizations is a good way that I’ve heard agile described once is agile is about putting the decision making where the information is.

Luke Marshall:            Yeah I like that.

Eduardo:                      Who’s got the information usually?

Luke Marshall:            The person at the front line.

Eduardo:                      The person at the front line.

Luke Marshall:            Yeah.

Eduardo:                      Then their brains engage, they’re switched on, they’re enjoying what they do.

Luke Marshall:

So there are other elements that come into it like trust? I mean I think that command control really by enlarge is to sort of say, look we don’t trust our employees. I think there’s some macro factors that have actually meant not just the emergence of new ways of working. Not just the emergence of unicorn companies, like Atlassian, and Shopify and Spotify etc, but actually the emergence of technology in general has meant that we don’t need to be sat behind a filing cabinet anymore wondering where and how we can send what we need to send. Technology is obviously at a point now where we can be anywhere at any time.

Eduardo:                      That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

Which is really scary, must be really scary for some CEOs and some organizations. Is that a big factor in this emergence of organizational agility?

Eduardo:                      Definitely.

Luke Marshall:            What word do you think is critical to organisational agility?

Eduardo:

Trust will be the word, if you ask me, try to put, substitute agile with one word, I will say trust. Anything that you do is about putting trust on the employee. You’re right, it sounds scary but I think it’s exciting for all the CEOs and all the founders that have seen this ability to move much faster if rather than put for manual control or processes, you set a very strong purpose for the organization. Hire smart people and let them run by outcomes rather than outputs.

Luke Marshall:

It’s interesting isn’t it the correlation between organizations that trust their customer, Uber, you put a phone in the hand of a bunch of drivers and they go out and pick other normal people up, which is kind of revolutionary, was revolutionary and now kind of the norm.

Eduardo:                      That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

We’ve seen the emergence of After Pay, I mean After Pay is really built on trust, it’s like well other than sting you, we’re actually just going to let you pay over four months and if you abuse that trust, if you don’t pay then you’re out. But we’re going for the majority-

Eduardo:                      That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

Is that what is comes down, is it a majority? I mean most employees, most customers they actually want to do the right thing, it’s the minority that don’t want to do the right thing. There’s always-

Eduardo:

Yeah there’s one example with one of our customers, one of those in the more agile spectrum, the travel policy is book your flights as you’ll do it for yourself. No approvals required. So you’re treating people like adults and they usually become adults, I’m not talking about 13 people employee, I’m talking about thousands of people organization. That doesn’t mean you don’t know who’s doing what, but you don’t put them through the hurdles of having to seek approval from my manager to do what. We’ve all have this common purpose and we’ve got an organization that breaks down the work in a meaningful manner, and we all have some outcomes that we need to achieve. Don’t put hurdles in my way achieve it. That’s what an agile organization is.

Luke Marshall:

Talk to me about the Agile Eleven then, because you guys started, and I remember distinctly when we first met and you said, I said, “So where’s your office?” You said, “Well what office?” Because we obviously sat in your office today, which is a little bit ironic because when you started you were pretty adamant that you didn’t need one. But you had a mobile workforce straightaway from day one-

Eduardo:                      That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

Tell me about how you guys communicated and what was some of those sort of things that kind of got you off the ground and ensured that you were agile, and why did you do that?

Eduardo:

Yeah, we tried to be very lean, so at that point we were starting, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on things, on fancy things, you’re trying to save. But also, because we were a remote organization, we used video conferencing, we used online tools like Trello, which is a collaboration tool, and Slack. If either team wants to collaborate, they collaborate without us sitting in an office or remote, we do have an office now. We grew to a point that the team felt that there was advantages by having a home. But we still, we call ourselves remote first, so we’re still a remote first organization. So every meeting will be, regardless of I mean, if we’re all here, we won’t, but we always start with a Zoom, with a video conferencing. If we have six people in the office, six people will be in and then we’ll Zoom. But everyone can attend every meeting, so we think remote first.

Luke Marshall:

Just for the record, there is no one in this office today. So clearly they are remote first. They don’t just say it, they do it. So everyone’s out today consulting?

Eduardo:                      Yes.

Luke Marshall:

Fantastic, that’s what we like. That’s good. Do they check in, in the morning? Hey Eduardo I’m not going to be in today. Or I’m going to be here. Do you just? No, you go where you, we trust.

Eduardo:                      They don’t check as in the way of thinking as a manager I need to know where they are.

Luke Marshall:            You say you don’t need to know where they are?

Eduardo:                       No.

Luke Marshall:            Okay.

Eduardo:

We all check as in what are we doing. So we use a messaging tool called Slack, and we’ve got a channel called Daily Stand-up. So everybody in the organization will put a couple of sentences on what are they going to do today. At the end of the day we’ve got another channel called Daily Wrap up and everyone will put a couple of sentences of what they did. But it’s not in any sense about controlling or managing the time, it’s more about sharing information so we all know what everyone’s doing, if they need help, if they need some whatever it is.

Luke Marshall:

I’m interested in how you get to the point where you do trust one another, to the point where actually you can put a couple of lines at the start of the day, and a couple of lines at the end. I know it doesn’t maybe sound ground breaking but to some people that might be, or even when you’re standing up and I know some of the stand-up’s can be quite confrontational at the start, because you’re suddenly exposed.

Eduardo:                      That’s right.

Luke Marshall:

A word that is obviously used a lot nowadays due to Brene Brown popularizing it around vulnerability. Do you spend a lot of time getting vulnerable with each other?

Eduardo:                      Yeah.

Luke Marshall:            How do you build trust?

Eduardo:

Yeah, so there’s two words, one will be around psychological safety, so there needs to be that psychological safety within a team to be vulnerable. So we in the Agile Eleven will have worked a lot in that vulnerability, we call it developmental agility, which is something we’ve been experimenting with ourselves.

Luke Marshall:

You’re very good at naming things. Organizational development agility. I like it. Let me just write it down so I can use it in my organization-

Eduardo:                      No problem.

Luke Marshall:           … and maybe claim it as my own. So development agility.

Eduardo:                      Developmental Agility means the pace at which the people in the organization grow.

Luke Marshall:           Fantastic, I love it. Okay.

Eduardo:                      If they grow at a faster rate than the market they’re in then you’re in a good place.

Luke Marshall:            Okay, so all of that down, if they grow-

Eduardo:                      At a faster rate than the market they’re in-

Luke Marshall:            Okay, that’s a good spot.

Eduardo:

I’m not talking about skills and training, I’m talking about growth, personal growth. So this doesn’t come from the Agile Eleven but this comes from what’s called the deliberate developmental organization. Organizations that feel that development is more important than strategy. If you grow the people in the organization, doesn’t matter what strategy you throw to them they’ll be able to pivot and adjust.

Luke Marshall:

Okay, that’s interesting. Now you’ve just taught me something, which isn’t very difficult, we’ve only been here for about half an hour. I mean you consult a lot across the world, are there any organizations that have just blown you away with developmental agility versus maybe the organizational agility?

Eduardo:                      Yeah.

Luke Marshall:            Okay, Eduardo do you have any examples of developmental agility?

Eduardo:

It is a very new concept, this concept of developmental agility but I’ll tell you there’s a couple of companies that come to my mind, Next Jump, and Bridgewater, the hedge fund, they’re trying these and they’re doing these well. We’ve been doing it ourselves for the last probably 14 months internally at Agile Eleven, and I can tell you, you can see the people in the organization grow really well, and enjoying being part of something bigger than just a job, but a company that helps them develop. To the point we’re doing now with some of our clients, the ones that are a bit more advanced in that agility spectrum. So we’re helping some of our clients as well with that concept.

Luke Marshall:

So I’m sure there’s a lot of things that go into developmental agility, what’s an example of, for people out there? What’s an example of developmental agility? I mean in terms of, so I understand sort of understanding the concept of growth, what can enable that?

Eduardo:                      So think about it usually companies will work on skills, skills training yeah?

Luke Marshall:           Sure. Yeah. Go on a course.

Eduardo:

Yeah, how to sell better. Let’s say we want to help people help to sell better, and we’ll put them in a course, follow these steps and things like that. Focusing on-

Luke Marshall:           Do you have one of those for me?

Eduardo:

I don’t. But I can help you with the second part, which is lets say you will look at the development of that person, we saw that maybe that persons’ handbrake was lack of self belief. That’s the thing that’s stopping that person from actually being able to sell more. So when you fix the root cause that person, imagine the possibilities. But if I am just training that person on selling that’s what he or she is going to do, but if I work on lets say developing more self belief.

Luke Marshall:

So if it is that, and it might not be in your organization, but is there an example where it might be self belief or something? What would be an example in your organization where, you can just talk us through what you’ve actually done to achieve more developmental agility for one of your employees?

Eduardo:                      Yeah, that could-

Luke Marshall:           Or yourself.

Eduardo:

My case for example, being a founder and you’re a founder of an organization, having strong self belief would you say is important?

Luke Marshall:           It’s important, I don’t always have it, but it’s incredibly important.

Eduardo:

Neither did I. That probably was my handbrake. So working on that, identifying it, make it available for the rest of the organization so they all know that, that’s my thing. It helped me become better and better at it every day. Therefore, I can say that after a year working on that self belief it’s not becoming a handbrake anymore, and I can just-

Luke Marshall:              Fantastic.

Eduardo:                      … run faster, which is what you want-

Luke Marshall:              Which is what you want.

Eduardo:                      … as a founder. This is getting very deep and personal now-

Luke Marshall:

It is, that’s what we want. Well changing gears slightly and I appreciate you being a bit vulnerable with me, it’s very cool. But changing gears slightly, we talked about at the start, we talk about it a fair bit, the word agile. Lets just touch upon that. It’s got to evolve at some point, it probably came from somewhere else, lean or somewhere similar into agile. There is always a case with fatigue around a concept, or whatever the case may be. What do you think agile 2.0 looks like? Where do you think it’s going from an Agile Eleven perspective?

Eduardo:

Yeah. I like to think that, that 2.0 is what Agile Eleven is already doing, because of that organizational agility. So agile was great at the start from a project management, from a self development, doing things different to the way, the old way of running projects, which was waterfall. Now it’s about running organizations better. If the word is agility or it is something else I’m not, you say I was good at putting names, but probably it’s not up to me to come up with the next name. I think agility defines much better than agile, what organizations are trying to achieve.

Luke Marshall:

Okay, good. What is your vision? I mean you’ve talked about the mission and unlocking better ways of working for organizations. What’s your hopes and dreams for the Agile Eleven? Where do you see the vision going? Is it something you spend a lot of time thinking about?

Eduardo:                      Not really.

Luke Marshall:           Okay, because you’re agile right? It’s about the next thing.

Eduardo:

Yeah, and also be that purpose driven, we do good things, we keep helping things in organizations, things will come. The results, the growth is not a goal, it’s a result of what we do. So we’ve been growing very rapidly and very nicely, but it hasn’t been a target, it hasn’t been a goal we need to grow. If the market, and the companies that we work with keep liking what we do, and referring more clients than we can do better work. We will keep growing, and I guess that’s our mission as a team, be ready if more people out there wants to, likes the approach of the Agile Eleven.

Luke Marshall:

Well, I just want to thank you very much for your time today. Been an incredible journey to watch from the early stages, and I was very grateful to get an intro to you a few years ago. I’m not just saying it because we’re on camera, but a lot of my clients, because we share similar clients have talked independently very highly of you, and the work that your team have done to make people happier at work. Which I think is in a nutshell what it’s all about, enjoying what you do and getting out there, and having a crack. That’s what you guys are doing, and thank you very much for your time today, I really appreciate it Eduardo.

Eduardo:

Thank you Luke it’s been a pleasure as well being your friend for the last three or four years, and see you as well launching this new venture, so I hope it goes very well. So much success for you.

Luke Marshall:

Thank you Eduardo.

 

 

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