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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Aug 20, 2021

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by three of his AgileThought colleagues, Carlos Romero, Justin Thatil, and Mariano Oliveti to talk about different cultures and how they impact agility.


In today’s episode, you will hear about the concept of power distance and how it differs in different cultures with real examples of how organizations work in several countries around the globe. These three experts also share their knowledge regarding the diverse levels of uncertainty avoidance in different cultures and how it impacts agility.


Key Takeaways

  • Different Cultures and their tendencies
    • Power distance is the degree to which the people who are called “lower” on the ladder expect there to be a gap between them and those who are higher on that ladder.
    • Power distance varies in different countries.
    • If there is a high power distance in an organization, modeling challenging behaviors is a good way to shorten the gap.
    • Encouraging experimentation on the team is another way of reducing the power distance.
  • Uncertainty avoidance talks about “a truth”; a “right way of doing something” in some cultures which results in avoiding uncertainty.
    • One clear way to determine if a team is trying to avoid uncertainty is that developers can take a long time to do their work, as a consequence of trying to go through every detail instead of seeing the overall structure.
    • A spike is useful for those cases when a team is not sure if something will work, someone builds something quick and just tries it out, being an efficient way to alleviate uncertainty.
  • Diversity matters!
    • Building empathy in the teams to encourage respect for different approaches and tendencies.
    • Applying Agile and Scrum values consistently is necessary.
    • Don’t focus on the problem itself but rather on coaching the people.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Carlos Romero

Justin Thatil

Mariano Oliveti


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