June 8, 2018

What is an Agile Mindset?

In this podcast from Liù Batchelor’s ‘Big Ideas Show’, Liù asks Agile Marketer Pam Ashby what an Agile Mindset means to her. Pam talks about how pervasive an Agile approach becomes once you start thinking that way, and how it begins to span everything you do – whether in business or life. Pam highlights the practical nature of Agile, and how for her “it’s all about getting things done”. She draws on popular tenets of Agile like “Stop starting and start finishing”, suggesting that Agile offers the key to true productivity.

She talks about the need to “give yourself permission to look at where the value lies today”, rather than spending too much time attempting to plan for a completely unpredictable future. Agile brings us back to what needs to happen to achieve identified goals.

The message clearly resonates for Liù and they start to discuss how being a perfectionist can get in the way. “We all try to do things to the best of our ability,” observes Pam, “but sometimes we might misinterpret what that might be.” They touch on the need for clarity around goals, and the value of making the right judgements about what really needs to be done rather than following “a textbook ideal”.

They talk about how the concept of User Stories can be applied to marketing and how this simple technique “forces you to look at your different audiences.” They discuss how Agile helps organisations avoid the pitfalls of ‘opinion-based’ marketing. Pam refers to “the amount of business resource that is lost by things going round and round in organisations and never getting finished.” She points out how progressing projects through loops of test and learn, relying on feedback from relevant audiences to direct improvements, is evidence based rather than opinion based. For Liù this sounds like a safer way to move things forward, as direction isn’t based on the opinion of the creator – but rather the marketplace itself. Pam advises making the most of the data that’s now available to marketers.

Liù asks how we can avoid our ingrained resistance to doing “the best job we possibly can before we show it to anyone” and this leads into a discussion about leadership and how Agile leadership is focused on empowering teams rather than instructing them.

An Agile approach offers the firm foundation needed to be creative and deliver in line with strategic direction, in a pragmatic and adaptive way.