I think that is very much the case. I know what drew me in was that I could see that when we were doing something that resembled the “agile” principles, the work the team produced was better, the feeling within the team was great and it felt like you were building something amazing. When we drifted away to try to meet unreasonable and seemingly arbitrary deadlines that ended up not mattering that we suffered from loss of morale, worse code and burnout.
Funnily enough as we have cycled back to a more agile style of development all the aforementioned benefits are coming back and the business is getting better value for money. Remembering that the point is to deliver value for the business helps keep the team centered. Using retros we make improvements and we all grow.
I’ve found the trick for us is for me to say, “I’ve noticed x seems to be a common complaint, why don’t we try…” and then other developers going along with it or me doing it for a while and others eventually joining in.
I think with the business side of things, until the numbers show something. the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) effect apply. I’ve noticed niceties tend to go when things get tight. Unfortunately, this is a very human reaction. Sometimes though it ends up being a case of “cutting your nose off, to spite your face.”
I don’t have any answers to the need for undercover agile even within “agile” teams, but it seems to be the status quo.