Intrapreneur Academy: Embracing Change Recap

“Welcoming” and “harnessing” are words seldom used when talking about responding to change in business. If you follow Agile principles, however, that’s exactly how you’re supposed to react to change — by embracing it with open arms. In this week’s Intrapreneur Academy workshop, “Embracing Change,” the cohort learned how to harness change for their competitive advantage instead of “managing” or “enduring” it.

While technology originally promised easier work and increased leisure time, the reality is that we are now simply expected to provide work faster — all while managing constantly changing technology and customer expectations.

Learning objectives:

  • Planning for change in our work
  • Embracing change as a natural part of our work and not an exceptional event
  • Communicating the effects of changes to stakeholders

To kickoff the workshop, Nate Adams, NewBoCo’s Agile Coach, started a discussion with the cohort about how implementing Agile principles at their organizations has gone since their last workshop. Many of the teams have started doing retrospectives (quick, regularly scheduled meetings where teams critically evaluate their work on ongoing projects in order to know if they need to adapt). In order to be intentional about Agile, one team now asks two questions when doing any work: 1) “What problems are we solving?” and 2) “What are our unknowns?”.

As the workshop went on, the cohort went through various hands-on exercises designed to help them adjust their mindset about change.

“Before any Agile tool can be used successfully, a group needs to have the right mindset about change. Being Agile means embracing experimentation and rapid iteration. If you hate and fear change, you’ll struggle to be Agile,” said Adams.

After these exercises, the cohort worked together to brainstorm ways they could bring this new mindset back to their business to address specific challenges. Much like NewBoCo’s Iowa Startup Accelerator, Intrapreneur Academy was designed to facilitate shared learning between all the teams in the cohort. Each team brought a specific struggle they faced to the table, and the whole group talked through ways to use their new Agile mindset to change it.

While Intrapreneur Academy’s quarter on Agile is almost finished, the cohort still has several workshops remaining with optional additional trainings available. If you or your team is interested in learning more about how an Agile mindset could help your business like it’s helped the Intrapreneur Academy cohort, email agile@newbo.co to get started on your Agile journey.