“There’s a new buzzword in the boardroom … agile”.
That’s how the latest episode of CEO Guru, by Steve Tappin, on BBC started. Once I’d picked myself off the floor and wiped the tears of laughter away, I plucked up the strength to watch the rest of the 4-minute video. I was preparing myself for it to be painful.
A few seconds later and we’re being shown a “lesson in agile” with those whacky Swedes at Crisp, who are getting attendees at their workshop to make paper snowflakes. Oh dear, now Tappin was surely going to start mocking it.
But he didn’t.
In fact, the video does a pretty good job of summarising the main reasons businesses might be interested in agile, using soundbites from a variety of senior businesspeople, such as Sebastian Thrun (founder and president of Udacity), Meg Whitman (president and CEO of Hewlett Packard) and Drew Houston (CEO of Dropbox). And I think this is why I like it: far from trying to make themselves look good, they are giving straightforward reasons why others might be interested in agile. There are no outlandish claims of why they are so amazing (in fact, I was surprised that Dropbox releases as infrequently as Houston says).
The BBC video isn’t perfect, but I think it succeeds in explaining why it might be worth organisations taking a look at agile, whilst also highlighting why it’s not an easy solution. I’d certainly prefer this kind of video to those self-promoting, airbrushed tales that organisations push out to try and persuade us that they are awesome because they’ve implemented some slightly different team structure.