CEO of Agilitea Kubair Shirazee shares his 5 things to do today

CEO of Agilitea Kubair Shirazee shares his 5 things to do today

Kubair Shirazee is CEO of Agilitea, an agile transformation consultancy, and co-founder of the not-for-profit Peace Through Prosperity foundation. Through agile methodology he has enabled thousands of micro entrepreneurs from minoritised communities to become self-sufficient business leaders. He speaks at global conferences about being an agile CEO, tackling the rootcauses of extremism through agile transformation, and is also a member of the non-partisan think tank Better Government. Here he offers five ways you can bring agile to your world

One: Understand agile

First I’d encourage everyone to explore what agile methodology is, and what it could mean to them. Agile is not just for work, it is a way of thinking and being. Embark on your learning journey, get certified in the foundations, join and contribute in your local Agile community and learn from the wisdom of the crowd, then seek out an agile coach and/or mentor find out what they can do for you. At Agilitea we work with everyone from startups to global corporations such as Novartism, Al Jazeera, Vodafone and Bayer to enable them to employ agile ways of working for the benefit of customers, employees, and their ecosystem. Agile is not about the freedom to do whatever you want, it is about incorporating defined structures and environment that enables people to maximise the value they bring to, gain from and create whilst working in a team. You can find out more here.

Two: Identify a cause close to your heart, and work out how might you help

Everyone has a cause close to their heart that they wish they could do more to help. I encourage people to seek out that cause, and ask what might I do? Whether it’s volunteering in a soup kitchen or running a sponsored 5k, we can all take a little time out to help others, and it helps us help ourselves. When my brother was killed by extremists in Pakistan in 2010 I was shocked to the core. My grief and anger were insurmountable for some time, but I decided to channel my energies not into anger or revenge, but into understanding how and why these things happen, and how I may be able to prevent them from happening again. I spoke to those who had been radicalised and found the root cause of extremism to be the suppression and marginalisation. With my wife Sahar I launched Peace Through Prosperity, a social innovation lab that runs mini-MBAs for micro entrepreneurs in marginalised communities in Pakistan, Egypt and Yemen. Through PTP we have enabled thousands of participants to work their way out of poverty and create an independent life and business, thus enabling them to escape the clutches of those who may seek to take a low sense of self-worth to radicalise them.

Three: Be open

Everyone from CEOs to next door neighbours can enhance their and their peers’ lives by just being open. Be honest about how you feel, and what you want to achieve from a relationship. Employers should set boundaries for workers but within this allow them to flourish and work to routines and timescales that best suit them. Smile at your neighbour – you don’t have to be best friends, but it makes life that little bit happier to give and receive a smile every morning. At Christmas and Eid Sahar and I run an ‘open house’ so that anyone can come and go if they would like some company. Whether they’re living alone or spending the day with family and friends, they are free to come to us for ten minutes or a few hours, whatever creates the happiest Christmas and/or Eid Day for them.

Four: Seek out a Scrum Master

Scrum is still not fully understood by Enterprises implementing it, let alone mainstream society, but a Scrum Master can help with everything from serving your business to serving teams in building positive relationships and facilitating continuous improvement. Effective Scrum Masters when brought into a product team or project team help facilitate the people committed to achieve their full potential. Through Agilitea I have worked with everyone from the NHS to Aj Jazeera using Scrum and other agile frameworks to build new products to scale existing product teams. A happy workforce is a productive one, and without a good work life balance nobody gives their best. A Scrum Master can help your business, team or charity manifest that.

Five: Question everything

From people to politics, nothing should go unquestioned. The mess we are in now – a government run by the loser of a two person contest – is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Government needs to change. We need to question how those in charge are still able to get away with running a country with no mandate whatsoever. But questioning isn’t just for the big things. Take every task you’re set and allow it to become a habit to ask ‘why am I doing this? What value am I gaining, creating by doing this and how could I do it better?’ from washing up to running companies, we can all learn from ourselves if we just
take a step back and question the whys and hows of what we are trying to achieve.