I talked with the manager of a large institution, which undergoes an agile transformation for years already. I learned it is great to have so many contractors & temporary staff aboard because they can be easily fired in the crisis.
Hearing such a statement tells me the organization still sees its people as just another resource. I call it the management via Excel sheet. How the managers can be so shortsighted?
In the era of knowledge and creative economy, it is the talent and knowledge of the people who make the difference. Talent can flourish where there is a culture that supports it. It is difficult to recruit the right people. It takes a lot of time and energy to create an environment, where people can be engaged and motivated. Investments in their knowledge and skillsets are expensive. The knowledge accumulates around individuals and teams. The T-shape nature of their expertise prevents people from being interchangeable.
After you spent so much time, effort, energy, and financial resources to create performing teams, will you still value the capability to fire someone irreversibly? I doubt. Your work with people and your approach to the knowledge-management strategically forms the pillars for your Agile organization.
What is your opinion?
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About the author: Michal Vallo builds agile organizations and helps managers to understand agile techniques, benefit from its adoption and consequently radically improve organizational performance. He is agile trainer, coach, and manager at Aguarra, a founding member of Agilia community and organizer of Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress. Feel free to contact him if you need help with your agile adoption.