Nurturing a People-first organisation

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Nurturing a People-first organisation

Nurturing a People-first organisation
why innovation!
3 min
27 Oct. 2021

The most important part of any successful organisational transformation is People. They are the heart of an organisation and hence core to the transformation journey.

People need to be involved, supported and empowered. If you’ve already implemented the steps and processes to achieve business agility, focusing on improving things for your employees will be integral to a successful transformation.

Here are four recommendations to employ in the creation of a people-first, agile organisation.

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Knowledge, resources and tools

It is imperative to level the playing field and empower all team members with knowledge, resources and tools. Transparency allows every motivated team member to excel and feel valued. They are both able and feel encouraged to contribute to the success of the team and their mission. As a result, teams become more competent and capable.

Self-assessment and Improvement

Continuous inspection of practices, competencies and processes allows flaws to be uncovered and addressed quickly. Teams can work out the kinks together and as they improve themselves and their way of working, they are able to deliver value more efficiently. Such behaviours of self-assessment and improvement need to be cultivated so that the teams figure out how they work best. It also eliminates the pressure of external audits, the distraction of third parties and the risk of a blame culture.


Incentives are a powerful way of accelerating the adoption of certain behaviours. Teams are not only motivated but feel appreciated and valued. This encourages their commitment to the mission. The kind of incentives used is ultimately up to the stakeholders and the team members to agree.  


Align all stakeholders, leadership and teams on the vision, goals and the user needs. Business value metrics should quantify the users’ needs and business benefits. It is a waste to build a product that no one needs, wants or finds useful. And when developing a people-first organisation, it is important that the team is constantly challenged and able to complete their work with minimal disruptions.

Having them work on projects that are constantly at risk of being cancelled or postponed indefinitely can create apathy. Apathy will negatively impact motivation and commitment. A user-centric approach will help align business goals with the expectations that the development team are aware of how their customers consume the product and can therefore, plan accordingly to satisfy those needs without being fearful of not hitting a business expectation.

Much more goes into creating a People-first organisation. The above four are good starting points but this process is much less of a sprint and more of a marathon. It requires active participation, an ego-less approach and a willingness to listen and change based on feedback.  

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