• Dynamics Matters Podcast: Ep 3 - How to create an agile business

Dynamics Matters Podcast: Ep 3 - How to create an agile business

With special guest Mike Stanbridge, Enterprise Architect, HSO

✔ How to get products into the hands of people faster & more efficiently

✔ Evolving forwards instead of having a big bang approach

✔ And why businesses are no longer limited by technology, only their imagination


Michael Lonnon: Welcome to you, our lovely listeners. To the HSO dynamics matters podcast our regular sonic dive into the world of Microsoft technology. Race matters a much more besides I’m Michael London. And today I’m joined by enterprise architect, Mike Stanbridge, who gave me the skinny on what it takes to create an agile business and why it’s so important. We also talk about challenges on getting there and why you need to consider the repercussions of changes in others before anything else into action, because a good move here can cause a problem somewhere else. So grab a brew, sit back, relax and enjoy the show tea or coffee

Michael Lonnon: People or technology?

Mike Stanbridge: I understand technology more, but I need to work with people better.

Michael Lonnon: And when it comes to people, I would probably say they’re the most fundamental part of creating an agile business. And is what this topic is particularly about is, is particularly becoming to COVID. Lots of businesses are looking at how they can improve business efficiency. How can they can, how can they get products into the hands of people faster and more efficiently? I mean, yeah. What sort of general advice or what sort of general things a company is looking for in order to, to create kind of an agile, efficient business around them?

Mike Stanbridge: I think that’s about the culture and the people of the business. So people are always looking to be more efficient at that sort of well, people are always looking to be more lazy is really the trick. Anything that makes a lot easier for them is people will grasp upon the challenge about it is actually being efficient across a group of processes within the business. So I can make my life easier, but it might hurt someone else. Right? How do I join all those sorts of dots up and the way that that sort of works quite nicely, it’s about culture and process and thinking though, if you look at I’m comparing space, X was NASA space X know exactly where they want to go and what they’re trying to do and how they’re trying to do it. They’re also happy to fail because they’ve blown up all of their rockets recently, NASA, how many rockets have NASA launched in the time that space X have lost a whole load of star ships? No,

Michael Lonnon: I can’t think of any.

Mike Stanbridge: One. And was it’s just two different cultures. Would you accuse bisects of being agile or would you accuse Lasser of being agile and what’s difference? But difference is about their attitude to risk and their ability to fail and their ability to encourage that staff. My view one is one has got this sort of idea of iterate quickly, fail quickly, get them new ideas out there, encouraging new ideas, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. The other one is sort of make sure you do it right first time. We’ll make rockets and they’ll get to the moon. Both will work if you look at within our businesses and people in terms of our clients that come along, you look at things like power apps, which we can deploy in dynamics, which are that agility, that piece that says any given developer, any given citizen inside that business can actually then create something which makes them more efficient, can create a flow, can create an app, can create something which enables them to capture data better, faster, and plug it into the system to give them more agility within that particular area.

Michael Lonnon: So is that not that kind of thing, not scare some businesses that kind of freedom of movement of technology have the ability to affect things fundamentally.

Mike Stanbridge: I think it does. And I think for good reason, because things need to be controlled in the right sort of places. You wouldn’t want someone writing power apps over your general ledger, other than the published information to make it more visible because that’s sensitive and key. But if you’re looking at a business that needs to capture pictures of something that’s been delivered or something, that’s sort of generally, Incruse a process flow, then actually having people develop these things themselves should absolutely be encouraged. And then they come out the other side. The other thing that’s worth bearing in mind here is that it happens anyway. I mean, we’ve had to Excel in the business so 30 or 40 years now, and how many different businesses have, how many different spreadsheets in place power apps is just another version, but better controlled version and a much more functioning Rick’s version of a spreadsheet that gives that sort of power to the citizen to make their world easier and better.

Michael Lonnon: Do you think? Okay. So do you think that the people higher up in the businesses are, do you think they’re aware of the need or the they’re aware of the need to increase, improve efficiency? They’re, they’re aware of the need to increase agility in the business. Are they aware of the need to empower people to be able to do that the way in the kind of the ways that you’ve described?

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Mike Stanbridge: The enlightened ones are? I think there’s a, there’s a real difference in terms of managers within business. And I think there’s also a real difference in terms of industries. If you’re in an industry, that’s always done things in exactly the same way. And focusing on that sort of process, then what’s been the driver to change. It’s always operated that way. If you want, within a trading industry, you’re still buying and selling. What’s really going to make something fundamentally different. If you, if you look to the way that businesses are transforming digitally and being brave digitally, they’re starting to service, create servitisation products rather than sell things that changes the model and changes the thinking. But until you’ve got the, the guys who are steering the ship, recognizing the need that changes needed them, what is their incentive to invest in anybody who’s rocking the boat?

Michael Lonnon: So it’s almost like hiring or finding people to help direct, you know, you know that there’s a need from the top and it’s about finding the people who then can steer where it needs to go from there.

Mike Stanbridge: I think that’s about their vision though. And it’s about motivation. We go back to space X in some ways you, Moscow says, Oh, my job is to do Starship and get it to the moon. Everybody’s aligned to that sort of thing. Formula one teams, their job is to get the car to go faster, sorted. Everyone’s aligned to that Olympic teams. How do I make the boat go faster? All of these have got us very clear defined vision. This is where we’re going, and this is how we’re going to get there because the nature. So leadership have been really good in terms of pandemic and explaining the transparency of where we go and how do we get that? All of these things encourage that culture of transparency and a common core objective. So set that up at the top that I think it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire new people. People will then will then align themselves to that objective or we’ll fight against that. But then it’s clear and transparent. And then you’ve got those people who are all trying to make efficiencies and make things move in that common direction. So I think it’s less about the individual is much more about leadership and communication.

Michael Lonnon: So it really is about our vision coming down from the top there.

Mike Stanbridge: I truly believe that sort of thing. You look at some of the core cool things that come out of Simon Sinek in terms of his golden circle and why and what, and how, and has changed management and that sort of thing. It’s all about compelling vision, very clear reason about what you’re trying to do, communicate it well. And that’s what makes things easier. And then you can evolve forward rather than necessarily having to have this very painful, big bang.

Michael Lonnon: Yeah. And so the vision has come down for the business, the right vision, the right direction. What, what might, what advice might you give to an organization that there, the following vision, the following an objective, how might they have been approached? Well, following that through to create that kind of agile business, what are some of the things in? Well, I think,

Mike Stanbridge: I mean, this is what we do. This is what we enjoy, particularly my job and this sort of thing. So you talked about digital transformation. Well, the interesting part, there are the two words they’re just total transformation. Well, the transformation part comes from the business. They know what they want to do. They know they need to be better. They know they need to transform and know what they do now. And they know that processes and then their, their efficiencies and they know their opportunities. They think the digital part has to come from somewhere else because most businesses don’t know the capabilities of software and beaches and functions and those sorts of things. So that’s where we can come in and bring in our architects and our expertise to say, join the dots together. Let’s have a session together that says, this is the business model.

Mike Stanbridge: This is the process. What if we put an app in here? What if we linked in with a customer demand? What if we provided your products as a service into the customer? How will you feed the data back with the forwards? What if we sold rather than selling is a classic example, rather than selling renting generators, solar it’s kilowatts. How would that make a difference to that particular client? And we can then navigate with them to come up with a digital contributed by us and some, our knowledge of what the transformation, that business, their objectives that modeled forward and really work with them.

Michael Lonnon: Okay. So it’s almost fishing. First people, second and technology comes in.

Mike Stanbridge: It’s always like people process technology, isn’t it, it always comes together, get vision and people in the right sort of place process can follow in terms of what you want to achieve. And the technology will follow on. And with the world of dynamics, as it is now, I don’t believe that businesses are technology limited anymore. I believe that imagination limited before anything else.

Michael Lonnon: What a great way to end the podcast there. With my next point, the businesses are no longer limited by technology only by their imagination. And in keeping with Mike’s thread, the approach, the risk is also a factor in how many businesses move their agendas forward. Are they risk averse, prepared to keep at it until they get it right first time, but it may take slightly longer or they more risk oriented and prepared to fail quickly to learn quickly and perhaps achieve the aims faster. And for any business looking at ways they can increase efficiency of processes and diligence rule. It really all stems from the vision, from the top visual first, your people second, or a technology, a distant third. So tune for more fantastic content and then dynamic spotters podcast series. As we discover how to build a company of giants, we’ll look at how data can help you improve your customer’s digital journey. And what’s the most important thing is for a retail CEO until then I’ll leave you with this from my Angelou. People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

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