Businesses across all industries are becoming more agile\u2014faster to see and pursue opportunities, willing to fail and learn fast, and increasingly responsive to customer needs\u2014except when they aren\u2019t! In a 2017 survey by Gatepoint Research, 70% of predominantly senior decision makers indicated they know that agile organizations can respond rapidly and effectively to dynamic business conditions, but fewer than half said their organizations were using agile methodologies to develop products. There\u2019s a disconnect there, to say the least.\nThere are many myths surrounding agile, and they can easily hamper progress. \u201cAs with many concepts and approaches, misconceptions and myths are often times communicated and shared amongst new and even seasoned practitioners,\u201d the California Department of Technology (CDT) observed in its Understanding Agile handbook. \u201cMyths can be misleading when trying to understand what work might be involved and what situations are most appropriate for leveraging an agile approach.\u201d\nTopping the CDT\u2019s list of the top myths: agile doesn\u2019t mean no planning; doesn\u2019t mean no governance; and doesn\u2019t mean no documentation, although its requirements are certainly less onerous than traditional methodologies.\nRequired: A shift in thinking\nAgile reflects more than software development methodology\u2014it represents a shift in thinking and a change in culture, and it requires buy-in throughout an organization, not least the senior management that sets the tone.\n\u201cAgile development cannot be a priority solely for the technology organization,\u201d a team of McKinsey analysts advises in A business leader\u2019s guide to agile. \u201cSenior business executives must include it on their agendas as well, thereby signaling the importance of making the required technology and cultural changes.\u201d\nThe agile mindset is an essential element if you have any hopes of transforming your business to stay abreast or ahead of digital business trends. In a more traditional organization, employees may have to fight their way through structural and hierarchical barriers if they are to communicate, plan, and execute anything outside of established processes.\nWhat can go wrong\nAgile development is elegantly simple and many agile fundamentals \u00a0are spreading from engineering to marketing, sales, and finance teams, transformational consultants Sol Sender\u00a0and\u00a0Ben Edwards write in a Quartz at Work article. But, they caution, \u201cmuch can and does go wrong at every level of the organization, from the individual team member all the way up to the CEO. Which is why most companies, despite their intentions to adopt agile methods, often end up working in a way that doesn\u2019t look much like true agile at all.\u201d\nOrganizational transformation\nTop executives have to be willing to cut through cultural barriers and unbind their teams from restraints that deter them from new achievements. They must accept that a successful transformation is a journey that may not always run smoothly. And they need to view themselves as coaches, not just bosses, willing to:\n\nSeek guidance and input from teams.\nModel correct behaviors and make a personal commitment to their teams.\nRecognize the personal commitment they\u2019re asking of their employees.\nCommit to measuring success differently.\nCelebrate setbacks as opportunities for growth.\n\nBusiness agility is a company\u2019s way to sense and respond to change proactively and with confidence to deliver business value\u2014faster than the competition\u2014and as a matter of everyday business. It\u2019s a new way of working and thinking that requires a new mindset. Not only for one department, but for everyone within a company\u2014from development teams to the C-suite. When done correctly, it will change the way business thrives in this century and beyond.\nLearn more.