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Lean-Agile Leadership

The words Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into next century, leaders will be those who empower others” are coming true within the present itself. Today leaders are the ones who can guide and empower their subordinates and colleagues and are not just authority. If seen in agile many consider managers are the most neglected and not useful roles. Even most of the coaches and trainers fail to describe the role of managers in agile effectively. But that isn’t the case. In the SAFe framework, the role and responsibilities are well explained as they are the leaders who assist in adapting the agile practices and principles within organizations. The importance of leadership in SAFe is so high that it is one of the seven main competencies of business agility. This competency is known as ‘lean-agile leadership’.

Lean-Agile Leadership describes how agile leaders withstand and accelerate organizational change and their operations by empowering persons and teams to achieve their highest efficiency.

Why Lean-Agile Leadership?

To achieve business agility it is necessary to have a new approach towards leadership as they are the authority to bring the change in action required for new generations. They are the ones responsible for the adoption, success, implementation, and ongoing improvement of lean-agile competencies. Managers, executives, and other leaders create an environment for encouraging the high-performing team to flourish value. Lean-agile leaders responsibilities include

  • Organize and reorganize values in the team

  • Address queues and surplus work in process

  • Emphasis on excluding waste and delays

  • Avoid demotivation of procedures and policies.

  • Inspire and motivate other members of an organization

  • Creating a culture of improvement

  • Make available platforms to teams for innovation

As other six competencies for business agility, lean-agile leadership also have dimensions to achieve it as:

Leading by Example

“Actions speak louder than words”, also applies in leadership. When a leader sets the example by their actions it influences the team to go along with them. Leaders must model the right behavior and transform the culture of an organization. With the right leader, a team can be converted from pathological or bureaucratic to generative culture team.

The list of attributes of behavior will be quite long but there are some mentioned below to form a solid foundation of leadership in this digital age.

  • Authenticity

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Life-long learning

  • Helping to grow others

  • Decentralized decision making

Mindset and Principles

Mindset is just thinking by which we see the world around us. As the world changes, we must be able to change our thinking hence change our practices. In today’s digital age traditional management practices are insufficient. The basic achieve to change the mindset one must be open to accepting the change. The lean-agile leaders are the people that understand lean thinking and principles, and teach them to others.

The three key elements that form the foundation for leadership are in this digital age.

  • SAFe core values

  • Lean-agile mindset

  • SAFe principles

Leading Change

The transformation from the traditional way to the lean-agile and DevOps through the SAFe framework will lead the organization towards significant change. In leading the organization towards the change the lean-agile leader also has a critical role to play. They need to train the people, create the environment, and provide the required resources to realize the desired outcome.

The leader drives the change process with help of techniques and skills below

  • Change vision

  • Change Leadership

  • A powerful alliance for change

  • Psychological safety

  • Coaching the new way of working

The following 8 steps will successfully help you to implement the change

  1. Creating a sense of urgency

  2. Create guiding alliance

  3. Design vision and strategy to achieve change

  4. Communicate regarding changed vision

  5. Allow employee for broad-based action

  6. Produce short term victories

  7. Consolidate gains and create more change

  8. Anchor new approaches in the culture

Agile is the best example of the quotes stated as “A leader is best when people barely know its existence”. In agile the leaders are the ones with the most challenging responsibilities but are inconspicuous. They are the foundations of the Lean-Agile system.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

Connect with us at to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.



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